How much meat for the freezer? Too many pigs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 27, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Family of four. Meat-centric now that I've gone paleo. I bought a (local, grass-fed, pastured, happy, yadda yadda) 1/2 cow and a whole pig last fall and I can't believe how quickly I am plowing through it. I only have 1 pkg of rib eyes for the grill left in the summer. (Plenty of ground and roasts left) Every time I go to get some pork I have to hold back..there is barely any left. Question? How many pigs and cow halves is enough? How long does it last you and your family? Am I insane to consider buying a whole cow and 2 pigs for one family of four?

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6 Answers


on February 28, 2013
at 02:32 AM

We are a family of four, bought a half steer = 220 lbs of meat a while back, lasted a little over a year, though we still have a few pieces left. We eat meat or seafood every night and had that beef 3-4 times per week.

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on February 28, 2013
at 03:26 AM

I went hog wild when fresh cohos were cheap last summer, and now I'm trying to move them up to the "use now" category in the freezer. Other foods push them back...my eyes are bigger than my stomach...

Are you buying in bulk just because it's a deal? My parents raised lambs for the chops, legs and roasts, but ended up with lots of ground lamb they ended up throwing away. Sometimes it's more economic to buy only what you need fresh. But it also sounds like you could go through two pigs a year.

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on February 28, 2013
at 01:45 AM

Sounds tasty. Might want to have any males or postmenopausal females keep track of their ferritin just in case. It didn't take long for me to hit 300 eating a couple pounds of beef a day. I suspect that unwanted iron deposition into tissues has more to do with copper insufficiency than a high-normal ferritin level, but one never knows.



on February 28, 2013
at 01:40 AM

I can't figure out how people on paleo eat so little meat. I eat AT LEAST 2lbs of meat every day, just me. I'm not zero carb either.


on February 27, 2013
at 10:26 PM

Calculate the lbs per day for what you're thinking about buying, divide it by four, and see if it sounds insane or not. I'd say anything over 2 lbs per day per person would be getting into 'insane' territory (and it really should be much lower), though some here would perhaps disagree.



on February 27, 2013
at 08:53 PM

If you are eating it and it isn't going to waste, buy what you need. My family of 3 or 4 (usually 2 adults and one child, with a teenaged male nephew eating with us half the time) typically goes through 1.5-2 lbs of meat each day for all meals.

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