Holy Cow


**This post is a re-print from my other blog Agoge Fitness Systems**

Last Sunday marked a milestone in my family’s journey toward greater health and wellness. We purchase ¼ of a grass fed cow. Specifically this cow came from 2733 Ranch and was a grass finished cow, meaning that it was allowed to forage and live off of grass, a cow’s normal food, it’s entire life.

Feeding my family clean, healthy meats has always been a priority. Cost has, however, always been prohibitive. Just check the meat counter at Whole Foods and you’ll see why. Grass fed ground beef frequently runs in excess of $8 a pound. I have a family of six and we all have healthy appetites. We often eat beef two or three times a week.

So in order to feed us (and actually be full) I have grown accustomed to compromise. Until now most of our meat has come from Sam’s Wholesale. The meat is mass produced, corn fed and antibiotic laden. But, it was meat, of decent quality and most importantly affordable.

No more. Sunday night Samantha and brought home three coolers brimming with beef. We went in with four other families and divided a whole cow. Including processing and fuel costs for the family who drove to retrieve the meat our total cost was less than $800. Our quarter of the cow came in at over 150 pounds. That comes to a few cents more than $5.00 a pound.

Even by my family’s standards this was a fair amount of meat. In preparation we bought a 7 cubic foot freezer and set it up in the garage. Once everything was packed away we realized, if we use the freezer in the garage refrigerator as well, we actually have enough space for half a cow.

Once the cow was divided our take included 50 pounds of ground beef and New York strips, Ribeyes, chuck roasts, shoulder roasts, short ribs, soup bones, stew meat, liver and filets. One thing to note is that your personal mileage will differ each time. First of all the cow is sold in terms of total pounds and so don’t be surprised if you end up with meat from more than one cow. Also the very nature of buying a cow means there will be more some cuts than others. Unless you’re buying the entire cow yourself, you and your partners will have to devise a system of fair distribution.

In our case, everyone walked away happy on Sunday.

Now, all I can think about are recipes.

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