Mama to DS (6/07) , DD (6/09) , and DD (07/12) ..
Thanks so much!
Important questions to ask the farmer:
1. Was the animal raised on pasture? Grass fed meat is much more nutritious, and its fat is better for you.
2. How do they manage their grazing? Management-intensive, rotational grazing is what you're looking for here. That means the animals are moved to new grass frequently so they always have plenty of high quality forage to eat. Some pastures don't have much to eat if thet aren't well managed, and the farmer in these situations relies on grain or hay as feed.
3. What kind of grain do you feed? Certified organic grain has more nutrients, and so do the animals who eat it. Poultry and pigs require grain to supplement their pasture-based diet. Ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats) do not.
Looking forward to farming with our 6 month old son on my back this summer!
and while I'm ordering, I also buy golden berries and mulberries since I can't buy those locally, either
I buy plenty from local farms, too, but mine don't have these products.
I've been happy with everything I've ordered and it always arrives in Massachusetts perfectly frozen, even in dead of summer, and super fast, a day or two. We especially love the tallow for oven fries! I got the beef broth several years ago and it was great, maybe not so much lately?
I have ordered from US Wellness meats but recently read in a blog that they have gotten so big that they have started importing meat from Tasmania to keep up with their orders. I went to the website, and yes, it had an article about the meat they import from Tasmania.
My concern is that while they only list their first four "founding" farmers on the website, they also use meat from hundreds of other farms, both in the US and Tasmania, to fulfill all their orders. I feel that they could not possibly control whether all of these farmers actually provide true grass-fed, grass-finished beef, particularly after the continuing drought in many of the highest beef-producing areas of the U.S. While I'm having to pay a little more, I started ordering from a small one-ranch Kansas operation, Green Cattle Beef, that only sells from its own grass-fed and finished stock. I have gotten great service and have no worries about where the beef is coming from.
I might be off on this thinking, but my first thought that meat is coming from Tasmania is that isn't bad - maybe I'm likening it to lamb from NZ that is grass fed, since it's close to Tasmania, but it wouldn't automatically equate that with being a bad move.
I've always ordered from them and they have never done me wrong. I've noticed the prices increasing quite a lot though. For instance I think a pound of ground grass fed buffalo is now over 10 dollars or something. It used to be 8.
The cons with them are high price... it's not local...... and you are for the most part getting frozen meat. They do have fresh chilled meat which is unfrozen but I haven't tried it. Freezing meat lowers it's quality somewhat.
I've order from US Wellness Meats for over two years. For the past several months, I once received spoiled meat and the second time, in the heat of summer, my meat arrived WARM in the box, without any ice packs. If they raised their meats as clumsily as they package it, then it can't be very good. And for my troubles -- a $10 credit for the first one. And a $25 credit for the second. I lost over $200 with them. Never again. If they had made good on their errors. If only they had enough integrity to stand behind their products. Buyer beware.