Almost a month ago, we published a story on the benefits of cow share for those looking for access to raw milk. In the article, we mentioned that options also exist for those looking for steady access to organic beef, but glossed over the details. As it turns out, however, folks are curious about beef (and pig) share too, so read on for a little information on what this is, and how to find it.
Meat share systems work off roughly the same principle as cow share (for milk), except the math is a little easier to figure. When you buy a “share” in a livestock animal, you’re generally buying a quarter, a side/half or even a whole/full animal. This entitles you to that fraction of the yield of meat. Unless otherwise noted, this is generally an even proportion of steaks, burger and the like. Some programs, however, will present you with a “cut sheet,” so you can select the exact cuts of meat you’d like.
Why go this route? Well for starters, beef-shares generally use 100-percent grass-fed cattle, which is generally desirable, yet almost always out of financial reach. When buying in such bulk, however, the price-per-pound becomes incredibly cost effective. It will also help support farms in or near your own community–you certainly can’t hate that.
Pig shares, of course, are not going to be grass fed, as the animals are omnivores. but the other benefits hold true. Its an economical, and almost always healthier, option than buying from your local big-box grocer.
How to Find One
So, if you’re sold on the idea of a meat share, how do you find one? Luckily, many of the same sorts of resources that exist to find cow shares, exist for meat as well. Cairncrest Farms helpfully lists a full directory of such farms at this link here: cairncrestfarm.com/find-local-grass-fed-beef-farm/, as does eatwild.com. If you can’t find anything that suits your needs in either of these places, simply searching for “cow/beef/pork share near _____” is always a good solution. Finally, if you’re feeling really lazy and have the means, Starwalker Organic Farms offers free shipping on a whole share of beef here.
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”