2

votes

Grassfed Beef on a budget

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 11, 2012 at 5:47 PM

I am a student with a limited budget looking to purchase grassfed beef for it's health benefits. Due to money constraints, I will most likely purchase ground grassfed beef in bulk since it has the lowest cost/lbs. I understand that ground beef will contain a much higher fat percentage vs a lean cut like a filet mignon.

My question is: Is there any nutritional benefits of consuming various cuts of beef (ie: steak, roasts) vs ground beef other than macro nutrient profile?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 20, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Yes! I've found this to be true for sure. I just put them in slow cooker on low overnight with vegetables, potatoes, spice and water. In the morning you can easily shred the meat and remove any bones.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 20, 2012
at 04:42 PM

I haven't tried this myself yet, but I've been told that cheaper cuts can actually produce superior results. You just have to cook them low and slow. The gristle and connective tissue turns to jelly and makes the meat very tender.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:23 PM

Bummer, mine (in NC) does not yet carry fresh grass-fed beef actually labeled as such! I was under the impression that the Sommers Organic was actually grass fed (per their website) but since the packaging doesn't state that, I haven't been one to fully believe it.

033ceff8e23d4abf2ff122e223d7a123

(350)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:18 PM

the TJs in Iowa also sells non-frozen grass fed ground beef for $2.99/lb (total steal) so hopefully you have that as an option...

B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

(877)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:08 PM

@Beth, VERY good idea!

B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

(877)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:04 PM

The Costco near me USED to sell USA sourced, grass fed/potentially not grass finished, ground beef in 3 1-pound packages. They have since replaced it with an organic, but not grass fed, alternative for some reason.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Urgh, damn you Costco!

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 11, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Yeah, somewhere here there's a thread about that. One easy option is to freeze it (make it easier to handle) chop it up into bits and then put 4 oz into your week's worth of ground beef. Probably not too noticeable in a burger or chili.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on March 11, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Double check that beef. When I checked, it was NOT grass fed. Might be at some point, but... And for some of us poor suckers, our Costco organic ground beef is coming from South America. And I just don't want to support that.

A96720eb77be29f27f198654fecd8f3c

(824)

on March 11, 2012
at 06:32 PM

Thanks! I'm aware of the health benefits of liver but I have yet to find a way to make it palatable...

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 11, 2012
at 06:22 PM

The 4 oz. of beef liver a week is to cover your copper requirements (ie. supplement with beef liver rather than pills).

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7 Answers

2
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 19, 2012
at 11:50 PM

Find a farmer near you who raises grass fed cattle. Ask for the cuts that are cheapest and/or no one else wants. E.g., shank, round, chuck roast, arm roast, heart, tongue, oxtail, etc. Any of these can make a really good stew with some vegetables, potatoes, spices, etc. Ground beef is also a good option, but I think a lot of the time these cuts are as cheap or cheaper and will give you some good variety.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 20, 2012
at 04:42 PM

I haven't tried this myself yet, but I've been told that cheaper cuts can actually produce superior results. You just have to cook them low and slow. The gristle and connective tissue turns to jelly and makes the meat very tender.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 20, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Yes! I've found this to be true for sure. I just put them in slow cooker on low overnight with vegetables, potatoes, spice and water. In the morning you can easily shred the meat and remove any bones.

2
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 11, 2012
at 06:15 PM

If you're getting grass-fed beef then the more fat the better ... there's good nutrients in grass-fed beef fat. Other than that, the difference is less between the muscle meats as steak vs ground beef, but there's a bigger difference between the muscle meats and the organ meats. If you want health benefits, see if your budget can support some liver or other organs regularly. Paul Jaminet recommends keeping liver to just 4oz per week, so a pound or two can last for a while.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 11, 2012
at 06:22 PM

The 4 oz. of beef liver a week is to cover your copper requirements (ie. supplement with beef liver rather than pills).

A96720eb77be29f27f198654fecd8f3c

(824)

on March 11, 2012
at 06:32 PM

Thanks! I'm aware of the health benefits of liver but I have yet to find a way to make it palatable...

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 11, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Yeah, somewhere here there's a thread about that. One easy option is to freeze it (make it easier to handle) chop it up into bits and then put 4 oz into your week's worth of ground beef. Probably not too noticeable in a burger or chili.

B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

(877)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:08 PM

@Beth, VERY good idea!

1
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on May 19, 2012
at 11:35 PM

Trader Joe's is now carrying grassfed beef from New Zealand in their freezer section for a reasonable price. I just saw it today for the first time. If you have a Trader Joe's nearby I'd check it out.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:23 PM

Bummer, mine (in NC) does not yet carry fresh grass-fed beef actually labeled as such! I was under the impression that the Sommers Organic was actually grass fed (per their website) but since the packaging doesn't state that, I haven't been one to fully believe it.

033ceff8e23d4abf2ff122e223d7a123

(350)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:18 PM

the TJs in Iowa also sells non-frozen grass fed ground beef for $2.99/lb (total steal) so hopefully you have that as an option...

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:35 PM

Grass-fed is nice and all, but not really a necessity. If you want to really find animals treated well, grass-fed or not, just buy from a local farmer. Local farmers aren't the ones running CAFO lots. Yes, the cattle may be grain supplemented, but that's not the end of the world. It's likely they're still antibiotic and hormone free, they may simply have a different fatty acid profile that grass-fed. Not that the fatty acid profiles are all that different between grain-fed and grass-fed. And when you buy something in between those extremes, the difference is even less pronounced.

0
033ceff8e23d4abf2ff122e223d7a123

on May 20, 2012
at 02:25 PM

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I think I might spend less now that I eat Paleo. Before I ate out a lot and now I'm forced to cook most/all of my meals. I can make bigger meals (like crock pot meals) and eat them for several meals.

Also, ground meat has endless possibilities: burgers, in omelets, taco salads, meatloaf, just a pile of meat...haha.

If you can find humanely raised ground pork I've found it tends to be about $1 cheaper per pound than beef, and if you mix it with ground beef it doesn't taste much different than all beef.

0
B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

on May 20, 2012
at 01:07 PM

Do you have a local supplier of meat, or can you join a meat share? It can be cheaper than purchasing from any stores a lot of the time from what I've heard. If not, I'd say go with the ground beef myself. I pick up the grass fed ground beef from Whole Foods when I'm in Chicago only because I haven't gotten into a meat share or bought locally produced grass fed beef (yet! going to this year!).

I like the ground beef, mainly because I'm lazy, and it's easy to cook. I love steaks and all the rest, but I like my steaks cooked medium rare and I'd get upset if I overcooked it XD lol

0
Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 11, 2012
at 06:35 PM

The biggest nutrient differences are going to be in the fat: higher omega-3, lower omega-6, beta-carotene, etc. Whole9 has a good buying guide for the Paleo poor, Mark's Daily Apple has covered things a couple times, Robb Wolf even has a video about Paleo on a Budget.

As far as meat is concerned, if you can afford grass-fed, go for the whole thing, fat and all. If you can't afford grass-fed, go for the leanest cuts (and grinds) you can find and then supplement with a healthy fat/oil (like coconut oil).

Costco usually has a good deal on a 3 lb. pack of "Organic Ground Beef" that someone on Paleohacks tracked down as being grass fed. Ground beef plus a basic spice rack yields endless possibilities from plain old hamburgers to Italian meatballs to Persian kofta kebobs to making your own sausage.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Urgh, damn you Costco!

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on March 11, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Double check that beef. When I checked, it was NOT grass fed. Might be at some point, but... And for some of us poor suckers, our Costco organic ground beef is coming from South America. And I just don't want to support that.

B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

(877)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:04 PM

The Costco near me USED to sell USA sourced, grass fed/potentially not grass finished, ground beef in 3 1-pound packages. They have since replaced it with an organic, but not grass fed, alternative for some reason.

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