2

votes

Beef budgeting. Quality vs. quantity?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 12, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Hey all!

So I am currently out of work and living off my student loans, and let me tell you it is SUPER easy to go over budget on Paleo. When it comes to my meats I can no longer afford strictly grass-fed beef....the only place I can get it costs a minimum of $15 dollars a pound. However they do have hormone/antibiotic free beef that is pastured and fed a vegetarian feed...does this mean its O3:O6 ratio would be way out of whack like CAFO meats? It is SUPER lean...there is hardly any fat on it at all, and it is still more expensive than the beef I would get from a larger chain store (i.e. Walmart). Would buying from this specialty store really make that much of a difference because the beef is still corn-fed? While I am a little wary of Walmart meat, do stores like Publix have a good quality beef that runs cheaper? Any ideas on good, cheaper beef options in larger chain stores? Auburn University also has a meat Co-Op. The cows are grain fed, but are also on pasture....opinions?

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:23 PM

Just remember some-"body" does pay the price for cheap. If you can shop at a smaller grocer where hopefully the meat is at least locally raised and not from a huge/cramped/stinking/feedlot or battery caged chickens/penned sows. ask the butcher.let them know you "care" about what you eat. It bothers me that people think esp of checken as "cheap" food. They live a horrid life to provide you with "cheap".

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:19 PM

It is very possible Tyson supplies Walmart.I would sooner starve than buy any of their products. They are as ethical as Monsnto IMO. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyson_Foods#Refusal_to_supply_beef_to_Costco.2C_so_as_to_avoid_intensive_E._coli_testing

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:10 PM

Really.. buying factory farmed is comparable to actively supporting puppy mills.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:09 PM

It is not too hard to find out the source of meat and read up on their farming practice. I also buy very little pasture /cost. Just one thing..Please do not support any Tyson Farms products. They have a horrible reputation for humane practices and treat their farmers with the same disrespect. http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2012/05/11/tyson-foods-and-piglet-abuse-is-ethical-behavior-profitable/ not an isolated incident. do your best to eat "happy" animals-as I put it. I rarely eat chicken unless I know it is happy and eggs are one way you can support "pasture/organic" happy hens.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on February 12, 2012
at 10:07 PM

Hmm. If it were me, I'd save my $$ for grass-fed organ meats (especially if it's liver) and go industrial for muscle meat.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 12, 2012
at 08:07 PM

And that premium is based on the honors system. They promise you that it's grass-fed meat.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:37 PM

I second more organ meats! I haven't purchased any other cuts of beef, even the cheapest grass-fed ground beef I can find ($6/lb), since I started eating grass-fed heart, tongue and liver for $3-4/lb. Heart and tongue are just muscle and don't taste much different to me than any other part of the cow (liver is an entirely different matter... baby steps). They're so inexpensive despite being pastured, so CAFO is probably even cheaper.

C4a0c9f9a748f1d3354055bc6d020c7e

(298)

on February 12, 2012
at 03:17 PM

I wonder if it would be more economical to buy an upright freezer (maybe used) and then buy beef by the half or quarter animal? I know I that my local producer will give me a big discount (especially because you get all grades, ground all the way to fillet). I know there is a big up front cost but if you are in this for the long haul it might be a much cheaper way to go.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 12, 2012
at 01:14 PM

Ive heard "pastured" referring to cows that live on pasture but also get feed and referring to completely grass-fed.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 12, 2012
at 10:58 AM

I would go with the co-op... especially if you can see the animals before they are harvested. If you are going to go "less expensive", I personally think it would be better to at least cater to the non-CAFO alternative.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 12, 2012
at 06:11 AM

They're not bad. Toss a little mustard on them and they're downright tasty. I also like kippers with some balsamic vinegar, but the balsamic isn't as cheap as a jar of mustard.

0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

(701)

on February 12, 2012
at 06:09 AM

I thought that "pastured" meant that the animal's diet was, by definition, the pasture.

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:44 AM

You could alway run to the whole foods in Birmingham

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:42 AM

By cheaper meat, drain off bad fat add in grass fed butter or coconut oil.

E57d8e182251b61ccc6ada197c359d7e

(623)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:58 AM

sardines take like tuna. If you like tuna you should be fine with sardines. Just break them up in to pieces.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:49 AM

im afraid of sardines...never tried them, but ive heard some not so good things about them.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:48 AM

...i would do fish, but thats also not very filling to me

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:47 AM

we dont have a whole foods but we have an earthfare...they claim that their meats are local (within 100 miles), antibiotic/hormone free...does this make it "conventional" i really like beef...other than bison or venison...its really the only meat that fills me up thats readily available. what would be a good alternative? chicken never satisfies and while i like pork i get bored with it really quickly unless its bacon ;]

  • 273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

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7 Answers

5
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on February 12, 2012
at 04:34 AM

If you can't afford grass-fed beef, don't sweat it, because who really can? Go with the highest quality you CAN afford. If all you can afford is standard store-bought grain-fed beef, then go with that, its still better than the alternative.

I personally do not bother to buy grass-fed because, yes, it is $15/lb and I refuse to pay such a premium.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 12, 2012
at 08:07 PM

And that premium is based on the honors system. They promise you that it's grass-fed meat.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:09 PM

It is not too hard to find out the source of meat and read up on their farming practice. I also buy very little pasture /cost. Just one thing..Please do not support any Tyson Farms products. They have a horrible reputation for humane practices and treat their farmers with the same disrespect. http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2012/05/11/tyson-foods-and-piglet-abuse-is-ethical-behavior-profitable/ not an isolated incident. do your best to eat "happy" animals-as I put it. I rarely eat chicken unless I know it is happy and eggs are one way you can support "pasture/organic" happy hens.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:10 PM

Really.. buying factory farmed is comparable to actively supporting puppy mills.

4
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on February 12, 2012
at 02:21 PM

Buy the WalMart beef. Too many people think eating paleo, primal, or any other ancestral plan has to be followed so strictly that they seem as if they view it like a cult. Why? Most people are simply followers. Eat the cheap beef, eat chicken thighs or leg quarters, (they are really cheap if you get the bulk bags of leg quarters), eat your green veggies from a can if you can't afford fresh. Get your eggs from the same store you buy your cheap meat at. You aren't eating the grains, pasta, refined processed white flour, etc...you are going to be healthier because of this...so don't sweat it over the meats.

Yes, eating closer to how our ancestors ate is important. But not to the point of stressing over every detail. Get rid of the bulk of the modern processed things, the bulk of the neolithic things, paying some degree of attention to what you eat...but not what your food ate. Oh yeah, for the omega 3s... get some fish oil capsules at the same WalMart you get your meat at...they are cheap in the pharmacy section (I take about 10g a day of them). Eating grass fed bison and wild game would be nice, but economic reality says we can't all do it and that's fine...we are still better off than we would be if we were still eating SAD.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:19 PM

It is very possible Tyson supplies Walmart.I would sooner starve than buy any of their products. They are as ethical as Monsnto IMO. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyson_Foods#Refusal_to_supply_beef_to_Costco.2C_so_as_to_avoid_intensive_E._coli_testing

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:23 PM

Just remember some-"body" does pay the price for cheap. If you can shop at a smaller grocer where hopefully the meat is at least locally raised and not from a huge/cramped/stinking/feedlot or battery caged chickens/penned sows. ask the butcher.let them know you "care" about what you eat. It bothers me that people think esp of checken as "cheap" food. They live a horrid life to provide you with "cheap".

3
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 12, 2012
at 03:24 PM

You can try incorporating more organ meats into your diet, even if they are from CAFO cattle. The organ meats are still nutrient dense and very good for you and usually very inexpensive.

I will agree with the others and say, buy the best quality you can afford and try not to worry about buying 100% organic grass fed for every single meal. Go back to buying higher quality when your financial situation changes.

Here is some info that may help you:

http://paleodietnews.com/1970/following-the-paleo-diet-on-a-budget/

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on February 12, 2012
at 10:07 PM

Hmm. If it were me, I'd save my $$ for grass-fed organ meats (especially if it's liver) and go industrial for muscle meat.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:37 PM

I second more organ meats! I haven't purchased any other cuts of beef, even the cheapest grass-fed ground beef I can find ($6/lb), since I started eating grass-fed heart, tongue and liver for $3-4/lb. Heart and tongue are just muscle and don't taste much different to me than any other part of the cow (liver is an entirely different matter... baby steps). They're so inexpensive despite being pastured, so CAFO is probably even cheaper.

2
3db96673061a57412677e39c4bce94c8

(58)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:35 AM

Organic eggs are a fairly good budget protein. For seafood, I get New Brunswick canned herring; they are wild-caught, inexpensive, and low on the food chain (less mercury, etc). For beef, I recently bought a locally grown quarter beef that was grass-fed. I found it on craigslist, went to meet the farmer, the whole nine yards. She charged $1.75/lb hanging weight, which worked out to about $4/lb in the freezer. The catch with this is that you have to have a freezer. I think it is absolutely worth it. $15/lb is just too much. For that price you might as well splash out and buy hunting gear and deer tags.

2
E57d8e182251b61ccc6ada197c359d7e

on February 12, 2012
at 05:00 AM

I use pretty much CAFO meat most of the time. I can't really afford grass fed all the time. I do the sardine and salmon thing a few times a week and some fish oil. I personally feel that just by doing paleo with main stream foods puts you way ahead of the game.

Matt

2
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:45 AM

Honestly, if you're on a budget, I'd buy lean CAFO beef and some cans of sardines. It's the cheapest way to a more balanced Omega ratio.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:49 AM

im afraid of sardines...never tried them, but ive heard some not so good things about them.

E57d8e182251b61ccc6ada197c359d7e

(623)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:58 AM

sardines take like tuna. If you like tuna you should be fine with sardines. Just break them up in to pieces.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 12, 2012
at 06:11 AM

They're not bad. Toss a little mustard on them and they're downright tasty. I also like kippers with some balsamic vinegar, but the balsamic isn't as cheap as a jar of mustard.

1
65cd65934c5159b47968dc3802ca9fe6

(303)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:37 AM

Do you have a Whole Foods near you? The ones in my city sell grass fed ground beef for $7 per pound. It is an economical way to get your grass fed beef. I too struggle with the grass fed/price issue, but if you really do some reading and research into why it's preferable, you'll probably find yourself wanting to stay away from conventional cuts of beef. These days I'm relying a lot on the GF ground beef from Whole Foods because the idea of a conventional grocery store steak isn't very appetizing. Just read The Omnivore's Dilemma, and it is very eye-opening on the grass fed issue. But, if you're buying conventional beef, the lean cuts are definitely preferable, as the Omega 6's, hormones, etc. accumulate largely in the fatty parts of the meat. If the animal is "pastured" but not eating grass, it's probably getting corn and/or soybean feed, which will skew the Omega ratios. Getting lean cuts will definitely help. Bottom line, of course it's best to buy the best you can afford, and if the budget is tight for buying clean meat, maybe avoid beef for awhile and look for cheaper sources of protein.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:48 AM

...i would do fish, but thats also not very filling to me

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:47 AM

we dont have a whole foods but we have an earthfare...they claim that their meats are local (within 100 miles), antibiotic/hormone free...does this make it "conventional" i really like beef...other than bison or venison...its really the only meat that fills me up thats readily available. what would be a good alternative? chicken never satisfies and while i like pork i get bored with it really quickly unless its bacon ;]

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