My husband lost his job recently and I'm feeding a family of 4 on a foodstamp budget until one (or both) of us can get employment to afford our bills and grocery budget. So basically my budget is $668 per month. Take about $100 away to afford baby food for my youngest. Unfortunately there are two places here to buy grass-fed beef (Soon to be 3 if whole foods offers grass fed? They're opening on the 10th) but it's always very expensive and certainly not in my budget right now. I do have a very large stock of free range chicken, as I buy them during sale times at our local market for $1 per pound, but I usually bought beef as we needed it and I can't do grass fed now.
Anyway, there is a small meat market here that raises, butchers, and processes their own meat. They're certified organic, hormone and antibiotic free, but the beef is grain fed.
I know commercial grain fed beef is bad, but would occasional meals of organic grain fed beef be okay?
asked byCrystal_9 (10)
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on March 26, 2013
at 04:32 PM
Commercial CAFO beef is not bad, it's not optimal. Grain-feeding isn't actually that bad for cattle, assuming it's not the primary source of nutrition for the animal. Hay/grass supplemented with grain is perfectly fine, aside from the minute (negligible?) amount of ALA and CLAs, there's not much difference in quality.
The difference between grass-fed organic ground beef and CAFO ground beef is much smaller than the difference between CAFO ground beef and processed foods.
on March 26, 2013
at 04:28 PM
Crystal, it is absolutely okay. Without even getting into the benefits of grain fed v. grass fed, you are under tremendous stress right now to feed your family and meet all of your financial obligations. Don't add this stress to your plate. I strongly believe the physical effects of stress are more detrimental than eating grain fed meat for a few months. I applaud you for keeping healthy eating as a priority during this difficult time.
I say take the excess money you save by buying conventional meat and apply it towards grassfed, organic organ meat. Much higher nutrient levels for your money and I do think that getting the Cadillac of organ meats is much more important than sacrificing quality on the muscle meat.
And regarding local farms taking food stamps ..... definitely worth asking. I know in my area (Washington DC), we have several farmers markets that accept food stamps. And if you are paying with food stamps, the farmers often help you out by throwing in some of the ugly fruit and vegetables.
Best of luck to you and your family.
on March 26, 2013
at 02:13 PM
Depending on the ages of your family and how much they are used to eating, you should be able to get along in your budget, especially if you buy your meat in bulk. We do, so I always have a freezer full of meat, and I then buy frozen veggies on sale .79/bag or my summer garden. We found our hardest part is the up front cost of buying beef in bulk, but it's so much cheaper in the end. Also, I like the hamburger because I can stretch one pound for an entire dinner making meat loaf or pasta sauce. It really stretches our food budget. Find a farm at www.homegrowncow.com and see if you can buy a 1/4 or 1/2. We find a 1/4 will last our family of 4 (two middle school girls) 6 mos. A hand raised steer from a small herd farmers will be better than commercially, factory farmed. Best of luck!