You can’t take your backyard BBQ seriously if you are grabbing commodity meats (Select or Choice grade) off of your grocer’s shelf. You can step up one level and head to your local butcher, but even that may not be enough.
I’m not here to discuss beef politics with you, but rather provide you with the information needed to stock your freezer full of grass-fed beef from local Arizona ranches.
Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Beef
In today’s world, cattle are mostly fed grains. The animals we consumed throughout our evolution roamed free and ate grass. Numerous credible studies have shown that the nutrients in beef varies depending on what the cows eat – just like chickens, pigs, goats, fish…you get the idea.
It’s not only important what we eat, but what the animal ate too. Grass-fed beef is typically shown to provide more Vitamin A, Vitamin E and micronutrients such as Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus and Sodium. Red meat is incredibly nutritious, but when cows are grain fed, their meat is higher in fat and lower in nutrients.
Grass-fed beef’s fatty acid composition is vastly different, which is why it also tastes better too.
But is it worth the extra price, since grass-fed beef is more expensive?
It’s your health, but if I had the choice, I’d grab a grass-fed steak off the shelf every time.
Luckily, there’s over a dozen places around Arizona where you can buy your grass-fed beef directly from the supplier – the ranches themselves. Get great beef, cut out the middlemen and support your local rancher – a win win.
Unlike cattle, we can’t just breed more farmers, so they need our support and you need a better cut of beef.
Don’t want to buy in bulk? Many grocers like Safeway, Fry’s and Albertson’s have started carrying a limited selection of grass-fed beef in their meat departments but prices can get north of $15-$20 per pound for a Ribeye, and they are not usually locally-sourced.
Where to find Grass-Fed Beef in Arizona
This Google map pinpoints every ranch or farm in Arizona that sells grass-fed beef, Click on the pinpoints to get more information about the ranch.
Get yourself an extra freezer or ice chest for the garage and head out to your nearest grass-fed beef supplier to stock up on enough grass-fed beef for the next several months. You’ll likely save a few bucks by buying in bulk and nothing is better than heading to your kitchen or garage to grab a steak, instead of the grocery store.
Another great resource is EatWild.com. Eat Wild is a directory of farms and ranches so you can find local grass-fed meat, eggs and dairy. Their summary on the pros of going grass-fed dives in a little further than I explained above on why you should consider switching over.
There’s also ship-to-you reputable beef suppliers like Snake River Farms, which arguably provides the best cuts of beef you can get within our country’s boarders. SRF is highly popular on the competition circuit and provides Kobe and Wagyu cuts you rarely see at your butcher.
It’s not rocket science. It’s just grass.