UPDATE: As of this writing, it has been confirmed by BJ’s Wholesale that their regular ground beef and fresh hamburger patties DO in fact contain up to 10% of the pink slime, but their USDA-certified organic NatureSource beef does not. They confirmed this on their Facebook page, and also backed it up by saying it is in fact okay, which garnered some hostility from it’s Facebook fans. Here’s a screen shot:
Also, there is a small list of stores that do NOT sell beef with the additive in it:
- Whole Foods
- Tops Markets
I have also done some research via some stores’ Facebook pages and found that ShopRite’s meat does not contain the pink slime, nor does Acme’s fresh store-ground beef, as well as Marsh Supermarkets.
As of right now, AHOLD, the stores that bring you Giant and Stop and Shop, carries meat that contains the pink slime. Check out this post from ABC for more info.
So, for those of you that know me pretty well, you know that I am a big meat eater. Steaks, burgers, roasts, you name it. I am most definitely not a vegetarian. I thought about it once, you know, becoming a vegetarian. Those thoughts didn’t last long. I don’t know where I’d be without a good steak or burger. That’s not to say I think there is anything wrong with those who’ve given up red meat and such, whether it be for health reasons, religious beliefs, or just because they can, because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’m just saying that I won’t be joining that demographic any time soon.
Imagine my surprise (and disgust) upon opening my Reeder app to find a post on 100 Days of Real Food with a link to a post from the ABC News blog regarding the fact that it’s been found out that more than 70% of the ground beef sold in grocery stores contain that dreaded pink slime.
Personally, up to this point, I’ve been buying ground beef in bulk from BJ’s Wholesale. Thus far, I have only purchased beef products marked “Product of the USA”, and not anything marked with Canada or Mexico, and ESPECIALLY not any of those pre-packaged chubs. I also won’t touch Walmart meat with a 10-foot pole. But honestly, how do I know that this pink slime shit isn’t in what I’m buying at BJ’s? I don’t. And that’s the part that scares me.
According to the ABC News post, The Fresh Market is one of several stores that have come forward to say that they *do not* use any of this pink slime filler in their ground beef. I have bought some of their ground beef before, and it was delicious. Granted, it was $4.49/lb. On a side note, I really hate the fact that if you want to buy organic and healthy (by healthy standards), it comes at a higher price. But that’s a subject for another rant.
Okay, so, Mr. Fox and I have a Fresh Market near us, we can buy our meat there, right? Yes, but since I buy about 5-6lb every few weeks, that’s almost $250 over 6 months on ground beef alone. $27 in one shopping trip for 6lbs of ground beef might not seem like a lot, especially if it’s for about 3 weeks. You’re probably thinking, “Man, they eat a lot of ground beef!” Well, you’re right. We do eat a lot. There are times when I don’t use all 6lbs in that time frame, so I have it in my freezer for when I do need it. I do make chicken a lot too (which is next on my “to be sourced locally” list), so we don’t eat ground beef all the time.
And I digress, again.
After calculating that $250/6 months, I began to do some research. Mr. Fox and I do, after all, live in Pennsylvania, not too far from the sprawling farms and such in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. I started looking at local sources for grass-fed beef. I know it’s more expensive, but I am willing to pay more for something that isn’t padded with fillers and chemicals. In my research, thanks to a site that was actually linked in the post from 100 Days of Real Food, called LocalHarvest.org, I was able to find two sources that either deliver to Philadelphia, or are easy to get to from the Greater Philadelphia area.
A Philadelphia CowShare is a way for individual customers to buy high quality, local, grass-fed beef in bulk by splitting the purchase of a cow with other people.
By buying a CowShare, you can:
- Receive High Quality Grass-fed Beef
- Simplify Meal Planning
- Support Local Farmers and Butchers
At Philly Cow Share, you can choose from 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 or full CowShares, which are distributed evenly among their available cuts of meat, including Delmonico steaks, roasts, ground, patties, and more. According to their website, if you eat 2lb a week, an 1/8th CowShare will last about 6 months. And they will deliver it to you.
Tussock Sedge Farm:
Similar to Philly CowShare, Tussock Sedge is a local farm located in Upper Bucks County, PA. They have a couple all year round purchasing options, including a 12lb sampler pack and an 1/8th pack. You can also get a Beef Share, which is either 3 samplers or 2 1/8th packs. An 1/8th pack includes:
- 9-10 steaks
- 1 London Broil
- 1 flank, flat iron, or skirt steak
- 10-12 lbs roasts (4 pcs) – 2 ½ – 3 ½ lbs each
- 18 lbs ground beef (in 1 lb packages)
- 2 lb chipped steak
- 3 lb cube/stew meat
For the beef share of the 1/8th pack, you get one in the spring and one in the fall, which can be paid in full with a small discount, or on a payment plan of $100 up front when ordering, and then the rest in two payments at each delivery.
After comparing the offerings of both Tussock Sedge and Philly CowShare, I’ve determined that Tussock’s 1/8th share offering would suit Mr. Fox and I much better, because it’s filled with everything that we would use and enjoy. All of the steaks are boneless, which makes it easier for sharing. That, and it’s $60 less than Philly CowShare.
So, if we decide to go this route, it becomes more cost effective when you lay it all out. One 1/8th share is $349, and it’s almost 50lb of locally-sourced, organic grass-fed beef in various cuts of steaks, roasts, ground, etc. For $100 more than enough ground beef for six months, we’re getting 50lbs of more enjoyable ways to eat beef. And healthier beef at that. It means more ways to prepare it, and more meal variety. Because I will admit, I do get tired of the norm (die of shock!), and wouldn’t mind a good roast every now and then.
Man…I can taste the steaks already. Mmmmmm.
If you’re looking for local sources for your meats, dairy or produce, please check out LocalHarvest.org. Also, check out the co-ops and CSA (community supported agriculture) sources in your area, because you may just find you have more access to healthier, organic foods than you think! If you’re in Pennsylvania, and more specifically Philadelphia, check out Buy Fresh, Buy Local Pennsylvania and Farm to City.