Alternative Options

3  creative ways
to buy humanely raised meat…

 (if you can’t find it at your farmers’ market or grocery store)

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1. Order meat by mail:

It’s always best to buy meat that was raised near you — you can talk with the farmer, visit the farm — but if this isn’t possible, try ordering frozen cuts online. (Just keep in mind that you’ll encounter shipping costs.) Here are some independent meat suppliers that ship nationally and make humane animal care a priority:

White Oak Pastures »

White Oak logoThis impressive Georgia farm sells a wide range of meats through its online store. Beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, goat, chicken, duck, geese… even pet treats. All the animals at White Oak are raised outdoors, on pasture, and rotationally grazed. The farm, run by legendary rancher Will Harris and his family, is also humane certified and certified organic. Some very helpful info about their shipping policies and philosophy can be found here.

Duba & Company »

Duba & Co.Jeff Duba sells meat from animal breeds that were once prominent in American agriculture but are now rare because of factory farming. Heritage breeds tend to be more flavorful and robust, and for some people that takes getting used to, but folks who try heritage meats tend to become converted. Just keep in mind that these meats are often more expensive (and there are good reasons for that). Check out Duba & Company’s online store and learn about the farms that are supplying this unique Michigan-based company. Here is some shipping info.

Ranch Foods Direct »

ranch-foods-directThis online shop sells beef from Mike Callicrate’s ranch near Colorado Springs. The cattle are fed grain during the second half of their lives, so keep in mind that they’re not entirely grass-fed. (Some consumers prefer the marbling that comes with grain feeding.) Buffalo, elk, goat, lamb, veal, and pork are also for sale, as well as pet foods. You can also buy in bulk from his Cowpool program. Mike is an advocate of humane treatment; his slaughter facility is Animal Welfare Approved and he invented a widely-used humane castration bander for male animals. Plus, he is transparent about what he does; you can visit the ranch any time.

The Honest Bison »

Honest BisonBison meat found in the grocery store is not necessarily grass-fed. In fact, most American bison spend the last part of their lives eating grain in feedlots. As an alternative, The Honest Bison sells 100% grass-fed steaks, roasts, burgers, and sausages. There’s also bison jerky, bones for broth, and an intriguing mix of ground meat, liver, and heart. All products are sold online and available for shipment nationwide. The bison are initially raised on open range out West, then “finished” on grassy pastures in Wisconsin, where they’re slaughtered in the most humane way possible: right on the pastures where they lived. The name of the company comes from founder Sean Lenihan’s belief that his company’s ranching practices should be completely transparent.

Wild Idea Buffalo Co. »

Wild IdeaWild Idea Buffalo Company raises 100% grass-fed bison on thousands of acres in South Dakota. This is in contrast to how most bison are raised in America – partially on grain and in feedlots. Wild Idea, run by Dan and Jill O’Brien, is dedicated to protecting and improving the grasslands on which their bison roam. Numerous cuts are for sale on their website and available for shipment nationwide, including bison ribs, charcuterie, and dried snacks, as well as steaks and roasts. The company brings its mobile processing truck right to where the bison graze, and there the animals are slaughtered, in the most humane way possible: on the very pastures where they spent their lives grazing.

 

2. Join a meat CSA:

Coming soon…

 

3. Buy in bulk from a farmer:

Coming soon…

 

 

 

Consider
a chest freezer!

Whether you buy meat online, from a CSA, or in bulk, you may not have enough room in your kitchen freezer to store it all. Don't let lack of freezer space keep you from buying humanely raised meat!

Investing in a standalone chest freezer (or upright freezer) could actually save you money because it allows you to buy humanely raised meat in greater quantities - which often means lower prices.

Here is a great guide from Consumer Reports on what to know about buying a freezer.