Friday, April 15, 2011

Where's the beef?

For those of you who don't remember, there was an old ad for Wendy's with a funny little old lady complaining about the size of her beef patty and the well known slogan "where's the beef" was born. Check out the ad here.

What is the point of this? Well, us two hens have been discussing meat for quite some time now. When looking at our food budgets, meat is a huge expense. And, thanks to Jamie Oliver, we are now starting to question what is in our meat and where does it come from? If you haven't ever seen his show, I'm not that far ahead of you! I watched my first episode last night and was absolutely disgusted by what I learned! (For those of you in Canada, check out to watch it online free.)

So again, what is the point of this? Well, I've never put too much thought into my options when it comes to meat. What we have locally is basically whatever we have at the 3 closest grocery stores right?! WRONG! There are a lot of options! So, we started shopping around. We have a local farmers market that sells a lot of produce and a lot of locally raised grain fed meat! While that is awesome, that type of meat can come with a hefty price from $4 a pound for ground beef to $10 a pound (on sale) for t-bone steaks! Is this type of meat worth the price? I'm sure it is...but on our budget for my family, it is just more than we can afford. So, we found an alternative! Through a friend we heard about a local farm that raises their cows in open pastures and are fed on the grass of the fields. They are locally slaughtered and then sold in large quantities for a good price.

My first reaction was, "yeah right, a 'good' price". So, we did some more searching around and called the farm today. They sell their beef for $3.50 a pound! And you can get ground beef, roasts, stewing beef, steaks (and if you are lucky, bones for making soup). So what did we do?

We bought half a cow!!!!!

We get to pick up our meat today so we'll show you then what we got then. I am so excited though because when i went through and worked it out this is a really cheap, healthy way to get local meat! They do their next round of sales in October, so our 75 pounds of beef (each) needs to last us six months. That means we have about 3 pounds of beef a week to eat and it only cost us $12.50 a week. And there is no pink sludge in any of the meat! (Watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution).

I still have to look into the FDA approvals for Canada regarding the pink sludge, but I did ask the ever so uncomfortable question to the farmer who raised our cows. "What goes into your ground beef?" He wasn't really sure what I was asking. But I know that it is all the left over scraps of meat from the butchers cutting and the butcher grinds it on site so I'm not worried about it being sent out to be centrifuged, washed in ammonia and then added as filler to my ground beef.

So, stayed tuned for pictures of our beef and many delicious recipes as we learn to cook with cuts of meat that we wouldn't usually buy (due to their high cost). And for interest sake, let us know where you get your meat; do you go to your grocery store or buy from somewhere local?


  1. I buy mine often at the Red Barn market when I plan ahead, though I admit the local grocery store when I'm in a rush and driving by.


  2. I buy mine at Costco, not sure where it comes from! I now have a chest freezer so I'd like to have that farmer's info and get half a cow (it sounds so cool!)