One of the main reasons I started this blog was because I kept hearing over and over how expensive it was to eat the foods that are promoted by going Paleo or Primal to people I was talking to about it.
My standard answers were always:
1. When I stopped buying processed foods, I had plenty left over for good, whole food.
2. You spend money to buy decent food now, and save yourself on medical bills in the future.
and when I was slightly less sarcastic, I would say
3. Eat the best you can afford, see how it makes you feel, and go from there.
I never intended on getting all snobby about the food I eat. I certainly can't afford to feed my family 100% organic, 100% locally grown 100% of the time, but I have made some changes to what I buy, and I do my best to support my local farmers.
(I'd do better to support my local farmers if the Government would get out of the way and let me buy from them the way I'd like to, but that's another rant for another time.)
Anywhoo....the point of this blog post was specifically to talk about grass-fed beef. I figured it would be a long time before I'd be able to afford to purchase this on a regular basis, and had even started working on a fund to buy a half or a quarter of a locally grown cow and pig in the future.
But first I wanted to see if it was really worth the hype. I know, nutritionally it is. I've done the reading on how grass-fed meat is higher in Omega-3s, and all that. One thing that really stuck with me was that if our bodies cannot digest grains and corn...how is eating animal products that were fed on grains and corn going to be handled by our bodies?
Stew on that for a moment, and see if that doesn't give you an "AH-HA!" moment in your brain...well, then I doubt I can help you much.
DaHubster and I wanted to try grass-fed beef in order to see if there was a real flavor difference, too. I get squiggy on some meats, and I really cannot stand gamey-ness in any way, shape or form.
But seriously, buying steak and having it shipped is wicked expensive. Is it really worth it?
I'm a newish fan of Tropical Traditions. The Paleo blogs I frequent generally have them as an ad on their site. A few even host giveaways with their products. I started haunting the site, and bought some Coconut Cream Concentrate to liven up some of my Paleo-ized sweet treats.
Oh yeah, that Coconut Cream Concentrate stuff is heavenly. And evil all at the same time.
But again, I digress....
I started getting their emails, and when I got an email that said their sister-site Grass-Fed Traditions was having a Mega-% off sale on some of their beef, DaHubster and I decided to try it out. It was for 4 grass-fed beef Top Rounds, about 3 lbs worth, I think. After shipping (they offer ground shipping for a slightly cheaper option), the cost was just under $80.
Yeah, that was a tough hit.
But we knew it wouldn't be until next summer before we could get our half of a cow anyway, and we wanted to try it, so we indulged and ordered it.
The order was delivered about 3 business days after placing it, and it was totally frozen, having come in dry ice. We thawed one for the grill that night, and....
Top Round steaks, as you might know,are not that special a cut of meat. They tend to be tough or chewy, and are great for marinating and using for dishes such as fajitas and what-not.
We just slapped it on the grill. We didn't even throw any garlic powder or anything on it. We wanted to see what this highly expensive, usually tough cut of meat had to offer.
It was NOT tough. It was NOT chewy. You really could have cut it with a butter knife, though I didn't try it.
It had great flavor. Nice Grilled Steak Flavor. The kind of flavor that makes your mouth happy. That kind of happy that makes you wanna roll on the ground and wriggle your tummy like a puppy...
OK, so I get carried away sometimes....but seriously the steaks were *that* good.
We've eaten 2 dinners out of the 4 steaks that came our way. And when those last 2 steaks are gone, I'm going to cry. Srsly.
So, is there a difference? I'd say yes, based on the fact that I ate a "lowly" top round steak that rivaled any Prime/Choice/Gold/Black Angus/Whatever from my local big box grocery store.
Will I buy again? Probably. I don't intend to bankrupt myself by only buying grass-fed from now, but it did give me justification to continue to put away money for bulk purchase for next year.
Then I will be eating like the Paleo Queen that I am.