9

votes

Cheapest ethical protein source?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 20, 2012 at 7:38 AM

I've been Paleo for awhile, but recently I've begun to realize how cruel and harmful unethical farming and husbandry is. While it is relatively cheap and easy to move over to local and sustainable sources of fruits and vegetables, it is much harder to afford ethically sourced protein.

My wife and I live on $28,000 a year - we're recent college graduates - and we have a budget of about $400 / mo for groceries. I am still very obese so I need a lot of energy and protein (about 100-150g per day). We cannot afford the initial investment of a chest freezer right now ($500-800) so cheap grassfed quarter beef is right out; beef by the box is about $9/lb.

I am thinking that my best choice is going with ethically-sourced protein powder, but it seems only slightly less expensive.

Can anyone offer me some advice on how to stay healthy on paleo while doing right by nature and my fellow man?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 06, 2012
at 08:20 PM

I buy very few things at Whole Foods, but they have nifty place in the freezer section with frozen tubs of chicken feet, turkey necks, whole sardines, marrow bones, chicken hearts, chicken gizzards, chicken and beef liver. Even with the Whole Paycheck markup none of it is more than $2.99/lb, most is $1.99/lb. The feet and necks make the most amazing stock. Chicken hearts taste like the best hotdog you ever tasted, and look really cute skewered. Gizzards are delightfully chewy. Last two times I've gotten to the register they ask if I'm making dog food. "Nope! Yummy people food!"

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 06, 2012
at 12:13 PM

We got two chest freezers new, $170 each. I second the Craigslist suggestion though.

34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on March 21, 2012
at 10:40 AM

Read Richard's latest experiment (FreeTheAnimal.com). Potatoes can cause additional weight loss. Low carb is not a panacea. Potatoes are pretty satiating, which helps in losing weight. Just don't fry them all the time.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 21, 2012
at 06:29 AM

jj: depends where you live, here fresh herrings are cheaper than canned fish... And it tastes better. You can get good deals when you get to know your fisherman or monger. Just need to ask around and do little work.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 21, 2012
at 06:10 AM

That's perfectly healthy.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 21, 2012
at 12:50 AM

I weigh 344 at 40% bf. According to Dr. Rosedale that means I should be eating about 70 grams of protein at .75 per kg of LBM. That seems really low compared to most of what I've read on paleo. Is that OK?

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 21, 2012
at 12:41 AM

"small fish" like sardines and smelts, AFAIK, are in absolutely no danger of being overfished. Regardless, good point.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:43 PM

Yeah, I used to buy lots of "dog meat" carcasses, organ bits, and scrap for SUPER cheep from a farm near me. Worked out really well, and the dog may have gotten the occasional marrow bone to chew on along the way ;)

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I would second that you may not need to eat that much meat. How far you can drop it may depend on how large of a person you are overall (height/bone structure), but I suspect if you're obese you're overestimating your nutritional needs.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:29 PM

Canned small fish are much cheaper.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:02 PM

just because something is wild caught doesn't mean it's ethical. Commercial fisheries are decimating ocean biodiversity.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:29 PM

Thanks for this! I will have to look into that. I could probably make some fatty vegetable stews using beef tallow or dried coconut.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on March 20, 2012
at 06:47 PM

For cheap protein, I do canned wild-caught fish. Sardines, herring, salmon and tuna. Make sure the tuna is yellow fin or skipjack (sold as 'light' tuna. The best sardines are Wild Planet brand, and my husband likes King Oscar sardines.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:29 PM

And if you can source fish offal its an excelent source of nutrition. I bought a burbot liver less than one euro. It has tons of vitamin a and D. More than cod liver. gydle: well depends of the country, here fish industry is small business. And theres still few old school fishermen selling their fish on the market square. Usually their fish is the freshest. This one particular guy i buy my smelts from is over 80 years old and still fishes:)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Sardines are always wild caught; they happen to be canned and cheap. I prefer fresh or frozen smelts, but the fish have a similar profile. Squid and octopus aren't necessary wild caught, but they are cheap when canned. If you're worried - stick with sardines. I just thought: canned-in-water clams are probably AOK as well, for similar reasons. Watch out for "smoked" canned oysters, clams, mussels - they are often in shit oil like cottonseed these days.

7b11ed525ffa23bc7257684e27488a6a

(366)

on March 20, 2012
at 12:54 PM

You may want to read this article on the ethics of eating meat. From a vegetarian perspective, but it might help you to learn more on the topic. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-issues/ethics-of-eating-meat

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 20, 2012
at 12:07 PM

I eat scrambled eggs in coconut oil with onions and grated cheese. A bit of sauerkraut on the side. I'm not that big an egg fan, either, but I like them this way.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 20, 2012
at 12:06 PM

The fish industry is no more ethical than factory farming. read "Eating Animals" by Safran Foer.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:58 AM

Look on Craigslist for a freezer. People are unloading them for cheap all the time. I picked up mine for $25 and shop locally for humanely farmed meats in the $6/range.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:44 AM

Low carb, but also low meal frequency and an overall caloric deficit. Just my own experience talking, but I kept to 100g of carbs a day or less for the first 3 months (lost 50 pounds) and included a good bit of potatoes, but tried to limit myself to 2 big meals a day with little to no snacking. With potatoes, this seemed easier because they filled me up. I lost 4 pounds in Feb, but I moved away from potatoes but upped my carbs from fruit and ate around 2500 cals/day. For March, I added potatoes back in and have been averaging around 1700 cals/day. I lost 4 pounds in the first two weeks.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:36 AM

I've been getting grass fed beef hearts and tongues for $4/lb from a local source near me, both of which have been working out great in recipes. Really like the heart for stew meat. I also eat chicken hearts and gizzards. None of these are as vitA/copper heavy as the livers.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1061)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:21 AM

Dualhammers, just a couple months ago I asked a question on here about how to mask to the flavor of eggs, because they made me want to puke (you're welcome to look there for ideas, btw). Nowadays I eat omelets (I like 'em dry and browned) like they're my favorite food. Ease into it! And a trick I use is adding lots of garlic powder, some fennel seeds and two pinches of red pepper flakes to give it a sort of Italian flare and stuff it with spinach/kale, then top with EVOO. I usually add a can of sardines for extra protein but that might be too weird for you. :P

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:07 AM

Do you have a link to where they list their sustainable and ethical practices?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:05 AM

I am fairly obese so I was hoping to go low carb as I hear it results in much faster weight loss.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:35 AM

Theres plenty of other offal besides liver, i buy kidney, heart, tongue, oxtail, spleen, whole lambs heads, marrow bones and knuckle bones with tendons.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:32 AM

Here local wild salmon is about $31 a lb in season, small fileted baltic herrings are $16 per lb, and organic meat (not pastured obviously during winter) is $26 per lb. So i know how you feel :( I mostly eat the wild herrings for my daily protein and some eggs. And organic offal that i pick from a local farm very cheaply cause people here are so stupid that they think its dog food. Makes sometimes hard to get the offal since rich dog owners buy them.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:43 AM

What about eating grass-fed bones? I get them for free at my butcher's (though they normally aren't). Overall, bones are cheap and you can re-use them multiple times to get gelatin. The weirder the stuff you buy, the cheaper it becomes. I wish you luck!

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:35 AM

Small fish at the co-op are $8-9 a lb. Only offal I saw was liver of which I shouldn't eat constantly because of the vita A. I do plan on investigating eggs, and I haven't looked into shellfish. Thanks!

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:34 AM

I honestly hate the flavor of cooked egg when it isn't masked by something. This comes back to the need for meat, cheese, etc. I am also trying to stay relatively low carb so a high-sugar smoothie with egg might not be the best. Still, I am definitely going to investigate this.

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16 Answers

5
D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

on March 20, 2012
at 11:51 AM

First off, I 100% applaud you for trying to source everything ethically. I try to, as well, and it can get difficult!

Have you looked into finding a farm nearby that will sell you their odd cuts? I'm actually headed down to farm about an hour away later today to stock up on grassfed lamb heart, lamb liver, beef liver and beef spleen for $3/lb, and pastured pig heart and liver for $2.50/lb. The farm is currently low on beef, but I'm a big fan of grassfed beef heart and tongue and where I get it in town it's $3.99/lb, which is still pretty cheap. Tongue and heart taste the most like the regular meat from the animal, so I definitely suggest trying to find a local source for those.
Edit: forgot to mention that you can also go to farmers' markets and specifically request these items from the meat vendors, or better yet call/email the vendors and ask them to bring the weird items to the farmer's market (make sure their price isn't ridiculous first, though). Because they're unpopular and don't sell as well, sometimes vendors don't even bother to bring them to the farmer's markets or at least don't advertise that they sell them, but ask and you shall (usually) receive.

Besides buying bones like Korion suggested, you might also want to look into buying pure gelatin - NOW Foods sells it for extremely cheap if you buy in bulk, but I'm also unsure as to how ethically they source it (their website says it comes from healthy cows, but doesn't everyone say that?). I trust them more than Knox, but I probably should have done more research before buying 5 lbs of their gelatin. Great Lakes is a more trust-worthy source, and still decently cheap.

If you have a Trader Joe's near you, their canned seafood is all wild-caught and BPA-free, and pretty inexpensive. Even if you don't have a Trader Joe's, whatever health-food store you go to probably has stuff like that in stock. TJ's also sells frozen Alaskan cod pieces for $3-something/lb which are pretty good.

Lastly, work on enjoying eggs. If I can do it, anyone can. Eating eggs everyday and loving it is something I thought would NEVER in a million years happen, and within 2 weeks I managed to get over my disgust. It's now normal for me to eat 8 eggs a day, and I frequently go over that number. :)

5
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:06 AM

Small fish (its wild afterall), shellfish, eggs, offal etc?

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:32 AM

Here local wild salmon is about $31 a lb in season, small fileted baltic herrings are $16 per lb, and organic meat (not pastured obviously during winter) is $26 per lb. So i know how you feel :( I mostly eat the wild herrings for my daily protein and some eggs. And organic offal that i pick from a local farm very cheaply cause people here are so stupid that they think its dog food. Makes sometimes hard to get the offal since rich dog owners buy them.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 20, 2012
at 12:06 PM

The fish industry is no more ethical than factory farming. read "Eating Animals" by Safran Foer.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:35 AM

Theres plenty of other offal besides liver, i buy kidney, heart, tongue, oxtail, spleen, whole lambs heads, marrow bones and knuckle bones with tendons.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:29 PM

And if you can source fish offal its an excelent source of nutrition. I bought a burbot liver less than one euro. It has tons of vitamin a and D. More than cod liver. gydle: well depends of the country, here fish industry is small business. And theres still few old school fishermen selling their fish on the market square. Usually their fish is the freshest. This one particular guy i buy my smelts from is over 80 years old and still fishes:)

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:35 AM

Small fish at the co-op are $8-9 a lb. Only offal I saw was liver of which I shouldn't eat constantly because of the vita A. I do plan on investigating eggs, and I haven't looked into shellfish. Thanks!

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:29 PM

Canned small fish are much cheaper.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 21, 2012
at 06:29 AM

jj: depends where you live, here fresh herrings are cheaper than canned fish... And it tastes better. You can get good deals when you get to know your fisherman or monger. Just need to ask around and do little work.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:36 AM

I've been getting grass fed beef hearts and tongues for $4/lb from a local source near me, both of which have been working out great in recipes. Really like the heart for stew meat. I also eat chicken hearts and gizzards. None of these are as vitA/copper heavy as the livers.

5
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 20, 2012
at 07:58 AM

Can you eat eggs? Even the good ones are not that expensive in the US and they're like the perfect protein.

BTW I'm totally with you on this one, and I salute your efforts. I'm currently reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer and the whole factory farming thing is a horrible tragedy. I don't want to put any of my money in it, either.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:34 AM

I honestly hate the flavor of cooked egg when it isn't masked by something. This comes back to the need for meat, cheese, etc. I am also trying to stay relatively low carb so a high-sugar smoothie with egg might not be the best. Still, I am definitely going to investigate this.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1061)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:21 AM

Dualhammers, just a couple months ago I asked a question on here about how to mask to the flavor of eggs, because they made me want to puke (you're welcome to look there for ideas, btw). Nowadays I eat omelets (I like 'em dry and browned) like they're my favorite food. Ease into it! And a trick I use is adding lots of garlic powder, some fennel seeds and two pinches of red pepper flakes to give it a sort of Italian flare and stuff it with spinach/kale, then top with EVOO. I usually add a can of sardines for extra protein but that might be too weird for you. :P

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 20, 2012
at 12:07 PM

I eat scrambled eggs in coconut oil with onions and grated cheese. A bit of sauerkraut on the side. I'm not that big an egg fan, either, but I like them this way.

3
34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on March 20, 2012
at 09:51 AM

If you are not intending to be low carb (or have issues with potatoes), then potatoes are a decent balanced protein source. At 10% protein by calorie the ratio is not bad for a fairly active person. And adding small source of good sourced offal and gelatin from bones will make it a very balanced diet. Potatoes are not bad as a mineral source, either. And they are quite cheap and don't need a freezer.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:05 AM

I am fairly obese so I was hoping to go low carb as I hear it results in much faster weight loss.

34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on March 21, 2012
at 10:40 AM

Read Richard's latest experiment (FreeTheAnimal.com). Potatoes can cause additional weight loss. Low carb is not a panacea. Potatoes are pretty satiating, which helps in losing weight. Just don't fry them all the time.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:44 AM

Low carb, but also low meal frequency and an overall caloric deficit. Just my own experience talking, but I kept to 100g of carbs a day or less for the first 3 months (lost 50 pounds) and included a good bit of potatoes, but tried to limit myself to 2 big meals a day with little to no snacking. With potatoes, this seemed easier because they filled me up. I lost 4 pounds in Feb, but I moved away from potatoes but upped my carbs from fruit and ate around 2500 cals/day. For March, I added potatoes back in and have been averaging around 1700 cals/day. I lost 4 pounds in the first two weeks.

2
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on April 06, 2012
at 07:11 AM

I LOVE this post. I'm saving it to my favorites. Thank you for asking this question because it's helpful for me as well. I love seeing that other people made it work, despite financial restraints. It gives me the motivation to venture out and try the same by getting close to farmers.

People have already mentioned it, but sardines are amazing. Wildplanet is the brand I get. My grocery stores doesn't sell the kind in spring water so I have to get the ones in tomato sauce...and it's too bad because the ones at the store are actually cheaper than bulk in amazon. It's a shame, but I just lightly rinse them off. They taste amazing. They're very meaty, dense, and nutritious.

I mostly live off of rotating between sardines and various seafood and pastured eggs. As someone else mentioned, "wild" doesn't necessarily mean sustainably caught. I use this guide to help me:

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_health.aspx It helps you make a choice that's both good for you and the environment.

I see that you're not a big fan of eggs. I have eggs everyday but can't have too much at once...but they are delicious!

  1. Maybe you can make something like "egg drop soup" (paleo version of course) with bone broth. Egg thrown into a broth isn't very noticeable in taste.
  2. If you do smoothies, you can throw in raw eggs too.
  3. I sometimes get grass-fed humanely raised beef, but when I do, I make the pound stretch out by mixing it with eggs so that I get a bigger batch out of it. It's barely noticeable. I recently started to just use egg whites when I mix it into the beef and then separating it into portions for the week. Then when I reheat it, I throw a raw egg yolk on top. It is amazing.

Good luck and let me know if you run into new ideas. I'd love to learn more.

2
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 20, 2012
at 02:55 PM

When I made $10,000 a year in NYC (which sucks because offal/lard/marrow bones are trendy there, so you can't get it for cheap anymore), I got most of my meat through bartering. I did some marketing and grunt work for various CSAs (first one called the piggery and then I started my own meatshare). I got most of my meat for free and the rest for $4-$8 a lb.

I would question whether or not you need that much protein though. Even Low-carb advocate Dr. Rosedale recognizes how harmful that can be. And plenty of people lose weight on higher carb diets.

And this will sound bad, but I put my chest freezer on my credit card. It paid for itself within months, particularly since I had offered to sell meat from it, on commission. Also, when I bought whole animals, most farmers gave me the fat for free. A Rosedale low-carb lower-protein approach would probably be cheaper in many ways.

I also got a hunting license, hoping that would lead to some cheap protein, but I ended up not having time.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:29 PM

Thanks for this! I will have to look into that. I could probably make some fatty vegetable stews using beef tallow or dried coconut.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I would second that you may not need to eat that much meat. How far you can drop it may depend on how large of a person you are overall (height/bone structure), but I suspect if you're obese you're overestimating your nutritional needs.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 21, 2012
at 12:50 AM

I weigh 344 at 40% bf. According to Dr. Rosedale that means I should be eating about 70 grams of protein at .75 per kg of LBM. That seems really low compared to most of what I've read on paleo. Is that OK?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 21, 2012
at 06:10 AM

That's perfectly healthy.

2
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:35 PM

US Wellness meats sells a "dog burger" for 4.19/lb (plus a bulk discount) - it's a mix of beef and organ meats. If I couldn't get grassfed meat locally, I would totally eat that.

Also, if you have any local CSAs, some of them also have stuff like eggs, and will let you lend a hand on the farm in exchange for a discount.

Also, to add to the suggestion for weird meats: I LOVE chicken feet, and they make a delicious stock. I just slow-cook them with some bay leaves and oregano and salt. Once you get over the fact that you're eating a foot, they're really crunchy and tasty.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:43 PM

Yeah, I used to buy lots of "dog meat" carcasses, organ bits, and scrap for SUPER cheep from a farm near me. Worked out really well, and the dog may have gotten the occasional marrow bone to chew on along the way ;)

1
2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

on March 20, 2012
at 08:56 PM

This may sound bad but the first year going Paleo, my dad was unemployed, we just decided nutrition is far more important so we charged everything to the credit card. He got a job and now we have a surplus of money to buy local, grassfed meats and have payed off all our debts. Its mainly about making friends with your farmers. We are dedicated to one meat market, generally they offer us 3 steaks for 2 (huge tbones, ribeyes etc.) and are willing to cut us a deal because we support them. We probably are on the extreme end though. Roughly are food budget is $1200-$1300 dollars a month, however we gave up frivilous, unnecessary items to just eat good food.It all comes down to whats more important for you. We even have our dogs on a grain free, raw food diet. And trust me were not wealthy.

1
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on March 20, 2012
at 03:03 PM

There's no need to pay that much for a freezer. Watch your local newspaper's classified ads section or go to some estate auctions. It shouldn't take too long to pick up a freezer for $100 or less.

Then find a local butcher -- one to which actual farmers deliver live animals. (Some butchers just get carcasses shipped in from the big slaughterhouses and cut them up the rest of the way.) You want a butcher who can hook you up with farmers you can meet and talk to. Look for one in a small town, if there are any near you.

Also, if your main concern is humane treatment of the animals, don't get too caught up on whether they're grass-fed or organic or whatnot. There are ranges in all those things, and only a few farmers go to the trouble to be 100% anything, and those tend to be the ones who are charging the most. The ones who aren't actively in the business of selling to those high-end niche markets will be harder to find, but they may have what you want at a much cheaper price.

My parents, for instance, raise some beef and pork for the family and to sell to other people. It's not their main focus, just a sideline for a little extra cash, so they don't advertise or do anything to spread the word. These animals are outside, getting plenty of sunlight and fresh air. The cattle are on pasture while there is any, and they get hay and silage in the winter, but they do give them some grain to keep energy up in the winter and fatten them up, as it's been done for generations. The hogs are on dirt (or pasture that they soon turn into dirt), but they get to root around for bugs and roots and things, and lie in mud and do all the piggy things they like to do. They don't use medication unless something is genuinely sick.

These animals have a great life, and they make some great meat. They don't fit any of the current buzzwords, though. When people buy one, by the time they pay my folks and the butcher, they end up paying about $2/pound for the whole thing. That's not just cheaper than the specialty places; that's cheaper than the factory-farmed stuff in the grocery store. And the butcher will give you extra liver, bones, and fat for free if you ask for it. There may not be any sources that cheap in your area, but you should be able to do much better than $9/pound. Good meat raised right is out there at a reasonable price, but you have to hunt for it.

1
Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 20, 2012
at 03:03 PM

Cheapest are going to be Mexican/Latino butchers and Asian butchers, BUT there's absolutely no indication of how the animals were raised, fed, or slaughtered (beyond buying live seafood at an Asian market and killing it yourself).

The next alternative is look for a middle-Eastern butcher (especially a Halal butcher). Halal and Kosher don't specify pastured or grass-fed, but they both have rigid requirements on raising, handling, feeding, and (especially) slaughtering animals.

Beyond that, check out the various tips around the web on shopping cheaply on Paleo (like Whole9's Paleo Poor article) or the question on here I can't find dealing with shopping on $7 a day, day to day.

As a side note, I remember one website mentioning check out Whole Foods near closing time, they'll put some of their day's overstock on sale (this would probably be really variable on location).

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:17 PM

Probably the best will be grass-fed ground meat. Also, check your local butcher. They have lots of what they consider scrap (because no one wants it) that's both cheap and good for you. Lots of organ meats and such. Also, dark-meat poultry is usually really cheap, even at places like whole foods. If I were really constrained on my food budget, I'd look at:

-"Scrap" from the butcher -Grass-fed ground beef/bison (though bison is usually really expensive) -Dark meat chicken and turkey -Eggs - although the ethical eggs are generally quite expensive.

I would stay away from fake foods like protein powders. Eat Real Food. That's the most important thing for your health.

One other thing to consider: since food quality matters SO much to your health, it may make some sense to look at your budget again and move some money into food. That's what I did, I figured that my health is so important, that I'll give up other things for high-quality food.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 06, 2012
at 08:20 PM

I buy very few things at Whole Foods, but they have nifty place in the freezer section with frozen tubs of chicken feet, turkey necks, whole sardines, marrow bones, chicken hearts, chicken gizzards, chicken and beef liver. Even with the Whole Paycheck markup none of it is more than $2.99/lb, most is $1.99/lb. The feet and necks make the most amazing stock. Chicken hearts taste like the best hotdog you ever tasted, and look really cute skewered. Gizzards are delightfully chewy. Last two times I've gotten to the register they ask if I'm making dog food. "Nope! Yummy people food!"

1
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on March 20, 2012
at 12:43 PM

There are a few good brands of canned fish that I feel comfortable buysing. I know it's not ideal, but it's a good way to get nutrients without spending a ton of money. I get these two brands most often, in bulk via subscription at Amazon (for the best prices):

http://www.barharborfoods.com/wild-caught-fish.php

http://www.wildplanetfoods.com/

Edited to add: I also recommend sourcing some local/pastured offal. It tends to be inexpensive when compared to pastured muscle meat, and in general you get the most nutrition bang for your buck. (Also, you need less offal to get benefits.)

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:19 AM

Definitely small fish. Goya brand sardines, octopus, squid, etc - great protein, mostly ethical, although canned - but cheap!

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Sardines are always wild caught; they happen to be canned and cheap. I prefer fresh or frozen smelts, but the fish have a similar profile. Squid and octopus aren't necessary wild caught, but they are cheap when canned. If you're worried - stick with sardines. I just thought: canned-in-water clams are probably AOK as well, for similar reasons. Watch out for "smoked" canned oysters, clams, mussels - they are often in shit oil like cottonseed these days.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on March 20, 2012
at 11:07 AM

Do you have a link to where they list their sustainable and ethical practices?

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:02 PM

just because something is wild caught doesn't mean it's ethical. Commercial fisheries are decimating ocean biodiversity.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 21, 2012
at 12:41 AM

"small fish" like sardines and smelts, AFAIK, are in absolutely no danger of being overfished. Regardless, good point.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 06, 2012
at 07:19 AM

Not much to add to all the great info but -

Asian Markets here in Vancouver have amazing prices for shrimp, scallops etc...

0
0ead271762198cb1344fdc104b42bbbd

on March 20, 2012
at 02:11 PM

Small fish doesn't have to come from a can, either. I was getting frozen mackerel for $2/lb -- cheap, ethical, and healthy to boot -- plus, I actually like the taste of oily fish (not everyone does).

0
F524eaa9d58e5cd2d2368ff7bfffda9c

(480)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:09 PM

If you buy a small freezer and 1/4 beef on your CC and pay it off over half of the year it wouldn't cost you much and wouldn't add much to your monthly expenses.

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