4

votes

How many people out there ONLY eat pastured meats?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 19, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Pork, lamb, veal, chicken, obviously ground beef, even eggs -- is there a minority or a majority of folks who abstain from conventional meats? Is it expensive?

Do you go as far as finding pastured bacon? What's your reasoning for doing this? Have you noticed any superficial health benefits?

I, myself, cannot make the claim. My chicken and ground beef are pastured without exception but, alas, I have difficulty finding store-bought pastured pork. I haven't been able to bring myself to order from US Wellness but I guess I'm asking the above question to begin the rationalization process that I should...

E9808a9cfe806a22c0bdaff7c010c659

(405)

on January 20, 2012
at 10:17 AM

But JayJay you'll get cancer if you don't eat strictly organic, grass fed eggs, butter, beef ! :D

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:20 AM

meret, I know fish farming is terrible. I try to only buy local/wild-caught stuff (unless it's sustainably-farmed shellfish). I never bought the fish as non-sentient-animal crap. No worries! I just find it's easier to find clams, mussels, oysters, etc., than wild-caught fish and pastured meats. (Should've mentioned that.) I think I'd get by on shellfish were the other options not there. It's hard for me to reconcile eating flesh sometimes, but such is life, eh?

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:47 AM

blueballon, fish farming is just as bad as other meat production. in overcrowded farms, fish swim in such polluted waters that their eyes are perpetually bleeding, until they are completely blind. i know it's easier to turn away from fish as sentient beings, but that's simply false. don't get me wrong, i'm def not trying to give you a hard time -- but just want to point out something that most people have an easy time pushing aside. to be honest, i had a really hard time reconciling my meat and fish eating once i read 'eating animals' but meanwhile i've simply decided to do the best i can.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:06 AM

I agree, I get local grass-fed grain-finished beef from cows that graze a couple miles outside my town. Grain-finished isn't going to ruin any benefits of grass-fed; cows can graze on grains in the fall when they're slaughtered, probably helps them pack on some blubber for the winter. The big idea for me is cows that live healthy, no pesticides/antibiotics, and being able to buy meat directly from the person who raised it.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:02 AM

did you mean bones *for* dogs or bones *of* dogs? either is fine just make sure your dogs are pastured

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:00 AM

Agreed. I switched to pastured after reading Omnivore's Dilemma (Paleo came around the same time). It's the only way I can stand behind being a meat eater; even though I have a nearly poverty-level income (and proud of it!), responsibly-sourced food is a priority expense (second only to rent).

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 19, 2012
at 09:28 PM

Agreed. Pastured, humanely-raised meat is the only reason I'm not doing flesh other than fish. I can't stand the idea of CAFO meat because of both nutritional deficiency and the horrific conditions for the animals, and will go out of my way to avoid it even if I can't afford much meat and end up eating more starches. (We've also cut back on a LOT of our expenditures to buy healthful foods.)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:46 PM

I'll just assume you meant to ask that somewhere else :)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:20 PM

The economic impact of cancer was estimated at 263.8 billion/year....the question is, why are you asking me?

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:15 PM

I have shifted the budget a lot. Plus, I'm already spending less on skin cream/ointment (for my eczema) and allergy/asthma medicine. I hope to eventually spend zero.

49ca0c5deccb29338b7e1050d2da4f15

(50)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:00 PM

How much do you think cancer and other diseases cost?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on January 19, 2012
at 07:50 PM

You could keep a dairy cow or goat for your own pastured cream and butter! If you don't eat other dairy, give the rest to the pigs and chickens!

4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on January 19, 2012
at 07:45 PM

No argument here, Nance. Though I wonder how many other Paleos (who happen to be in a similar situation to yourself) can say the same thing--that they've tried other thrifty things and still can't afford it. I'm not convinced that everyone has your level of dedication/motivation.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:44 PM

It's true, but when you're already doing most of the other thrifty things and still can't afford it you just do the best you can.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:43 PM

It's really true about the bacon. I used to love conventional bacon but after buying uncured--not the best but better--I don't like the regular stuff at all now. I never thought THAT would happen!

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:21 PM

This, exactly. Couldn't have put it better myself.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:11 PM

Oh the subject of commercial meat and odor... I bought some packaged bacon a few weeks ago because it was on sale. I must say, after eating the fresh stuff I get from our butcher, that bacon was absolutely revolting in smell, taste, everything. I thought it would be okay because we used to eat it all the time... Funny how your taste changes once this WOE is adapted.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 19, 2012
at 05:37 PM

Occasionally. On Social Security and feeding a grandkid, I can't afford it often.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

19 Answers

best answer

6
4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:10 PM

I only eat pastured meats. Is it expensive? It can be, sure. But it doesnt have to be. It really depends on who you are buying from, the cuts of meat etc.

I buy all my meat from a farm that has a booth at my local farmer's market. Though I don't mind the price (around $7/lb for ground beef, $12/lb for bacon), I could cut my food bill significantly by buying part of a cow through a meat share or participating in CSA's.

Paleo on a budget CAN be done. In fact, last night I read a story about recent comments made by Iron Chef Michael Symon about his food values and it touched on this very topic. In a tweet, Symon said he fed 8 family members and friends for $19 (Chicken Thighs, Kale, Onions, Potatoes, Ham Hock) and he had enough food for leftovers. He also said he gave up TV, a car, and began shopping at thrift stores to ensure his family ate properly. Although I don't think this dedication lives inside everyone, Symon's point is clear; you need to decide what is important to you (health via pastured meats, organic veggies, whatever) and create a plan to attain your goals.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:44 PM

It's true, but when you're already doing most of the other thrifty things and still can't afford it you just do the best you can.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:15 PM

I have shifted the budget a lot. Plus, I'm already spending less on skin cream/ointment (for my eczema) and allergy/asthma medicine. I hope to eventually spend zero.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:21 PM

This, exactly. Couldn't have put it better myself.

4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on January 19, 2012
at 07:45 PM

No argument here, Nance. Though I wonder how many other Paleos (who happen to be in a similar situation to yourself) can say the same thing--that they've tried other thrifty things and still can't afford it. I'm not convinced that everyone has your level of dedication/motivation.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 19, 2012
at 09:28 PM

Agreed. Pastured, humanely-raised meat is the only reason I'm not doing flesh other than fish. I can't stand the idea of CAFO meat because of both nutritional deficiency and the horrific conditions for the animals, and will go out of my way to avoid it even if I can't afford much meat and end up eating more starches. (We've also cut back on a LOT of our expenditures to buy healthful foods.)

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:20 AM

meret, I know fish farming is terrible. I try to only buy local/wild-caught stuff (unless it's sustainably-farmed shellfish). I never bought the fish as non-sentient-animal crap. No worries! I just find it's easier to find clams, mussels, oysters, etc., than wild-caught fish and pastured meats. (Should've mentioned that.) I think I'd get by on shellfish were the other options not there. It's hard for me to reconcile eating flesh sometimes, but such is life, eh?

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:47 AM

blueballon, fish farming is just as bad as other meat production. in overcrowded farms, fish swim in such polluted waters that their eyes are perpetually bleeding, until they are completely blind. i know it's easier to turn away from fish as sentient beings, but that's simply false. don't get me wrong, i'm def not trying to give you a hard time -- but just want to point out something that most people have an easy time pushing aside. to be honest, i had a really hard time reconciling my meat and fish eating once i read 'eating animals' but meanwhile i've simply decided to do the best i can.

6
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on January 19, 2012
at 05:52 PM

I do. Yes, it's expensive, and somewhat difficult to find. Slanker's Meats will ship naturally-fed, no-grain-etc. pork 'round the country, but there is a minimum order and shipping costs can get a bit high.

My grocery bill is high, but I decided it would be better to pay for the food and reduce other costs, so that's what we do.

We've learned, now, that since we're eating only pastured meat, we can tell commercial meat by its odor and taste without even knowing where it came from. In terms of health benefits, we do feel better eating strictly animals raised on their natural (pre-agricultural) diet, but I believe that most of the benefit is relatively invisible to the majority of folk. I'd say that if someone has the option of luxuries, good food is a priority choice. If a person is trying to do well on a slim budget, eating plainly from affordable but perhaps not perfectly raised animals is certainly preferable to saying "well, I can't get the BEST, so I might as well not do anything at all."

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:11 PM

Oh the subject of commercial meat and odor... I bought some packaged bacon a few weeks ago because it was on sale. I must say, after eating the fresh stuff I get from our butcher, that bacon was absolutely revolting in smell, taste, everything. I thought it would be okay because we used to eat it all the time... Funny how your taste changes once this WOE is adapted.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:43 PM

It's really true about the bacon. I used to love conventional bacon but after buying uncured--not the best but better--I don't like the regular stuff at all now. I never thought THAT would happen!

2
188301602c9046177298e1ce6cced275

on January 20, 2012
at 12:16 AM

I do, at home. I can afford to, I have all the resources I need for local, pastured everything (there are real advantages to living in Portland, Oregon) and it's something that matters to me.

At a friend's house? NO WAY would I ask about the source of my meat. On the flip side, I saw pork at a big store the other day for 1.39 a pound. NO WAY am I eating that, either. There is balance in the middle.

2
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 19, 2012
at 07:57 PM

Not always, I eat out some. At home it all is though. Beef, eggs, some bacon and sausage, cheese, and butter primarily. Don't really eat chicken much, and get my fish from the store since wild caught is not impossible to find.

I buy bulk and store it in a freezer (about 1/4 cow at a time). That helps with costs.

49ca0c5deccb29338b7e1050d2da4f15

(50)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:00 PM

How much do you think cancer and other diseases cost?

E9808a9cfe806a22c0bdaff7c010c659

(405)

on January 20, 2012
at 10:17 AM

But JayJay you'll get cancer if you don't eat strictly organic, grass fed eggs, butter, beef ! :D

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:46 PM

I'll just assume you meant to ask that somewhere else :)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:20 PM

The economic impact of cancer was estimated at 263.8 billion/year....the question is, why are you asking me?

2
4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 19, 2012
at 07:41 PM

yes. it's pricey, but meanwhile the idea of conventional meat grosses me out enough, where it doesn't matter. i'm currently only working part-time and my income is much less than it used to be, but i've joined a CSA, where i volunteer and therefore get all my fruit and veggies FOR FREE the entire season. i order meats and eggs through the CSA and buy cheaper cuts -- no steaks here, instead shanks, marrow bones, bottom roasts, etc. i've just started learning how to cook them in ways where they are amazing nonetheless! as for things like seafood -- i only buy wild-caught.

in the end, i know this is a worth-while cost. and whenever someone tells me that the amount of meat i eat is unethical and bad for the environment, i can tell them that i'm not supporting the industrialized mess that is the U.S. food system. i can tell them i support nancy and allan of lewis waite farms, who raise their animals in a humane way and on pasture, and put aside my favorite cuts of meat for me, because they appreciate the support. :-)

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:00 AM

Agreed. I switched to pastured after reading Omnivore's Dilemma (Paleo came around the same time). It's the only way I can stand behind being a meat eater; even though I have a nearly poverty-level income (and proud of it!), responsibly-sourced food is a priority expense (second only to rent).

1
7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on January 20, 2012
at 08:23 AM

I live in New Zealand. All lamb and beef here is pastured, with the exception of a few feedlot operations that produce very expensive marbled beef for the gourmet market and export. Because we don't have crazy subsidies on corn, grass-fed is the cheapest way to produce ruminant meat here.

I have started eating less and less chicken since I started paleo, as almost all chicken here appears to be fed grain-based feed. When I do buy chicken I buy free-range for animal welfare reasons. Same goes for pork -- there are some free-range operators here, though they don't advertise what they feed the pigs. Soon, we may be moving to a more suburban location and if so I'm going to look into ducks and chickens in the back yard for eggs. My partner may not let me kill them though.

Although I don't face the same price difference with grass-fed that Americans do, every now and then I go shares in a lamb carcase with a friend. I've looked into doing this with beef but we don't have the freezer space.

I don't eat a lot of steak-type cuts. I mostly go for fatty, tendonous ones and long slow cooking. I also buy shellfish often as mussels are ridiculously cheap here.

I never ate grain fed beef until I travelled overseas for the first time in my late teens. When I travel I still notice the taste difference.

1
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 19, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I do not eat any CAFO meat or any meat that was not raised humanely with access to fresh air and sunshine, but this does not mean I eat only pastured meat. There are a lot of "in-betweens" that you will start to find as you visit natural food stores or farmers' markets. Last summer I had the choice between paying $6.89/pound for a quarter grass-fed cow (good price) or $2.48 per pound for a "pasture-raised, occasionally corn-fed cow" at my farmer's market. I chose the $2.48 per pound "occasionally corn-fed cow" because I'm a PhD student, a single mom of twins, and dead broke, and because it really was great meat raised by great people. I visited their farm with the 3-year-olds and all of their cows were on pasture. They occasionally supplement with corn which is grown on their own land and their neighbor's land with some fertilizers but no pesticides. They don't do anything unhealthy to the meat and it's processed at a local facility. No, it's not as good as fully grass-fed, but do check out those in-betweens if you are on a slim budget. You'll find some not perfect, but still really good stuff.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:06 AM

I agree, I get local grass-fed grain-finished beef from cows that graze a couple miles outside my town. Grain-finished isn't going to ruin any benefits of grass-fed; cows can graze on grains in the fall when they're slaughtered, probably helps them pack on some blubber for the winter. The big idea for me is cows that live healthy, no pesticides/antibiotics, and being able to buy meat directly from the person who raised it.

1
C513f1dba19e01bbd7e0f4f12b243a97

(670)

on January 19, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I get half a grass-fed lamb for $120 online (I believe most Australian lamb is grass-fed anyway! But it's more convenient to buy in bulk, if a bit more pricey) plus a kilo of offal 'pet' mince - the only way I can stomach it! Butter is from the supermarket and the same price as regular butter, but it comes from Tasmania and I believe is pastured too. I also buy lamb dog bones from Woolworths, they're like $5 a pack, have some tasty grass-fed fat on them and can bulk up my bone broths.

I can only really afford one type of meat at a time, so I rotate beef and lamb. Fish comes to me in cans for the most part. The only thing that is not 'pastured' is eggs, of which I don't buy the omega 3 kind. They are sooo expensive- but sometimes the yolks of the regular kind are a magnificient deep orange. It depends on the batch and probaby has something to do with the seasons.

To avoid all the less desireables and save money I just avoid chicken and pork. Unless someone else makes it for me... mmmm.

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on January 19, 2012
at 07:45 PM

I feed my family pastured meats...I purchase half or whole animals from local farmers, but my local co-op has really great prices on their local grassfed meat...was rarely eat out, and local friends and family who eat meat shop where we do. I am committed to this not only to avoid hormones and antibiotics and less than favorable fatty acid profiles, but also because of the well being of these creatures we're choosing to consume becomes my responsibility when I trade my dollars for their lives, as is the environmental impact of a grass farm vs. a factory farm. I was vegetarian and vegan for half my life because of issues around the way our animals are treated in this society, and I see every reason to be as responsible in my partaking of flesh as my abstaining.

1
5e6a6f5c0fd3ab048f81c0a500206f41

on January 19, 2012
at 06:24 PM

I wish I could, but unfortunately I am a (poor) grad student, so I have to pick and choose when it comes to the type of meat I buy. When buying conventional meat, I tend to pick the leaner cuts of meat, and then cook them in either coconut oil or add kerrygold butter to them. That way I am still getting in some good fats with these leaner cuts of meat.

One thing I do ALWAYS splurge on, though, are eggs. IMO, there's a HUGE difference between store-bought and pasture-raised eggs. I can't go back to eating conventional eggs!

1
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 19, 2012
at 06:22 PM

All my ground beef & lamb, and most of my roasts & steaks are grassfed. Whenever I go to Whole Foods (once every month or two) or the farmer's market, I get a pastured chicken. Unfortunately I get most of my bacon and about 2/3 of my chicken at the grocery store, but mostly from Giant's Nature's Promise brand, which looks a little better than Tyson and whatnot.

1
778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

on January 19, 2012
at 05:40 PM

I'm probably an atypical case, but we are able to grow nearly all of our meat and eggs. I can't say that my husband follows a "pastured" diet for the animals to the letter, but they are allowed to roam part of the time and are fed ground corn part of the time. Our piggies are fed left overs, which are Paleo. I don't have the patience to ponder that one! Occasionally, I buy chicken from the store, but not too often, as we have started raising those too. I do not buy pastured butter, which may be a sin, but I really can't afford the extra expense with two little ones. As I am on this diet longer and longer, I am able to rationalize spending a little bit of extra money on "the good stuff" in more catagories. Maybe with time I will switch over to pastured butter (if I can find it), who knows. I guess I'm more concerned about avoiding sugar, grains, and packaged foods.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on January 19, 2012
at 07:50 PM

You could keep a dairy cow or goat for your own pastured cream and butter! If you don't eat other dairy, give the rest to the pigs and chickens!

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:15 PM

Yes! We are fortunate to have a huge Farmers market year-round along with a great Food Coop. No problem finding pastured pork.

0
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on January 20, 2012
at 08:21 AM

Dish out for grass-fed and pastured, or eventually dish out for Big Pharma. That's how I see it. If you're tight on the money, lean conventional meats and veggies will do you pretty dang well. But aim to support local food!

0
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 20, 2012
at 06:06 AM

I had a blog post about the priority list based on humane treatment/health risks, but I don't have time to find it.

  1. Totally grass-fed ruminants
  2. pastured poultry, pastured pork, organic/"natural"/pastured ruminants that ate supplemental grain (I can buy cows like these for as little as $2 a lb sometimes, but of course you need to find someone to share them with. My own family's cows ended up in this market because when we got them they were sick and the farm manager thought some grain would help prevent wasting.)
  3. Ruminants. Almost all live on pasture for most of their lives, though they often end up eating garbage/hormones in the feedlot towards the end of their lives.
  4. Regular poultry/pork I eat almost never, mainly if I'm enjoying some food in Chinatown.

One of the reasons I started meatshare is that I could find people to bulk buy with and barter with the farmers in exchange for helping them sell. That's how I was able to eat almost all pastured meat on poverty-level wages in the past.

0
D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

on January 19, 2012
at 11:28 PM

I manage to buy grass-fed organic ground beef at Trader Joe's as a splurge ($5.99/lb) but mainly buy pastured beef offal at my local organic butcher for $3.99/lb. The only non-pastured (at least, I don't think) meat I eat is the uncured "ends & pieces" from Trader Joe's. It's just too cheap to pass up at $2-something/pound. I don't even bother with chicken.
For eggs, I buy organic (but veg-fed, which I don't like) from Trader Joe's. It's the most humane and nutritious I could get them while maintaining eggs as a cheap protein.
I supplement this with a lot of canned, mediocre (but wild-caught) seafood from Trader Joe's for a quick protein source.

0
361e96d70d6d3b91d63f6ad975e60ab6

(840)

on January 19, 2012
at 10:48 PM

As a student I do by eating nothing but dog bones, soup bones and organ meats.

A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:02 AM

did you mean bones *for* dogs or bones *of* dogs? either is fine just make sure your dogs are pastured

0
Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on January 19, 2012
at 09:33 PM

No, I don't because I'm not yet organized enough about sourcing it yet. As others have noted above, buying an animal, or a half or a quarter is the way to go. I've done 1/4 cow, 1/2 pig, and a whole lamb, but right now, all I have is a little lamb left.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Not as much as I would like, but much of that has to do with the fact that I recently got over a severe economic slump and could barely afford even CAFO meat. So, when turkey went on sale for .59 cents/pound, around Thanksgiving - I bought the store's limit. I am a member of a beef/pork/chicken/goat co-op and I purchase quarters and halves of meat 4-6 times a year (usually a quarter of beef and half a pig).

I also go out to eat since my job requires I travel occasionally, and usually with co-workers that prefer staying in hotels without kitchenettes. My next trip is solo, and despite my happily racked-up points at our normal hotel, I will probably stay in a different hotel with a kitchen and hit up an organic grocer. This will also help with the insane binge drinking sessions that occur when you have a literal team of travel-commuters in one spot for a week.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!