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ordering side of grass-fed beef - should I get charged for offal?

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  • ordering side of grass-fed beef - should I get charged for offal?

    So I just got the invoice for a recent order I made at a local farmer and I asked to keep the kidney, liver, and heart and they tacked on another 22 lbs to the hanging weight (at $3.30/lb, so I now owe $72 more than I had planned on). Is that typical? Not to be cheap or anything but to be honest I was kind of expecting to get them for free (or at least charged at a different rate than the main beef) since I figured these would just get tossed otherwise. Maybe I'm wrong about that??

  • #2
    That sounds odd to me. We get charged for the hanging weight from the farmer and then a separate bill from the butcher for their time. The farmer doesn't even know if I take the organs or not, I pay for how much it actually weighs. What they seem to be doing to you is charging you for the organs which are included in the hanging weight and then then again! Also, I would find $22 for just the organs quite expensive even from a yuppy butcher shop. I have never asked for kidney and heart, but I always ask for the liver, bones and fat and have never been charged extra. I probably pay the butcher a bit extra for their time to do that (the bill isn't itemized) but the farmer is paid for the hanging weight no matter what I do and don't want from it.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by PaleoMom View Post
      That sounds odd to me. We get charged for the hanging weight from the farmer and then a separate bill from the butcher for their time. The farmer doesn't even know if I take the organs or not, I pay for how much it actually weighs. What they seem to be doing to you is charging you for the organs which are included in the hanging weight and then then again! Also, I would find $22 for just the organs quite expensive even from a yuppy butcher shop. I have never asked for kidney and heart, but I always ask for the liver, bones and fat and have never been charged extra. I probably pay the butcher a bit extra for their time to do that (the bill isn't itemized) but the farmer is paid for the hanging weight no matter what I do and don't want from it.
      I called the butcher and they told me the liver heart and tongue aren't included in the hanging weight on the half-beef carcass, so since I asked for those I have to pay for them (and this is payment to the farmer not the butcher...I'll still owe the butcher for packaging fees). Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't have asked for the organs before I paid my balance to the farmer, and just asked for them when I got to the butcher? I'm confused how it all works I guess. Maybe the farmer asks to get back any offal that the customer doesn't take, so if I decided to take it I have to pay extra for it? I'm also getting 20 pounds of kidney suet and they aren't charging me for that (although they may charge packaging fees, we'll see.)

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      • #4
        Rip off! I get any organ I want included in the hanging weight, even though I know that technically, they're not there when the beast is actually hanging. But I think the farmers transport the slaughtered beef to the butcher, so they just hang on to the offal and dole it out if it's wanted, keep it if it's not. It probably depends on who handles the different stages. I just know that if I take everything possible (including skin & feet from pigs) it's a much better deal.

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        • #5
          They grew the cow, they can ask for as much as they want for it. Just because it's an organ - doesn't mean it's worthless. Since you're buying and eating the part of the cow, shouldn't the guy who grew it, get paid for it?

          You don't get charged by most other places, because they consider those parts garbage. We know better than that - as does the farmer you're buying from.

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          • #6
            My farmer did it at a reduced amount for me last time but I ordered extra (hearts liver etc)

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            • #7
              I paid for lambs liver and tongue in my last meatshare, happily (and without any choice in the matter).
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              • #8
                I'm not sure if I pay extra, and I figure I'm getting the entire cow at such a good rate I'm not going to complain about it. I know that tongue sells for a good price at the butcher, so does liver, so the packer does get money for it. The next side I've ordered, I'm getting everything but the moo pretty much, right down to the tail, and I expect to still pay for it at the overall rate, which right now is $2.75/lb
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ElaineC View Post
                  The next side I've ordered, I'm getting everything but the moo pretty much, right down to the tail, and I expect to still pay for it at the overall rate, which right now is $2.75/lb
                  Wow $2.75/lb is a good price. The only place close to me is $3.30/lb for a half beef (hanging weight, pre-butcher fees, etc).

                  When all is said and done it comes out to a bit over $6/lb of packaged meat. So since the majority is hamburger meat that isn't exactly "cheap", and $6/lb for tongue and liver seems pretty steep as well. But I'm willing to pay for the quality, plus that IS a good price for the steaks/roasts that come along as well. I just think grass-fed newbies (like myself) should not be looking at the $3/lb price quoted by the farmer and think, "wow that is so cheap compared to the store-bought stuff~", because it's really not when you look at what you actually get to put in your freezer. And it's a pretty hefty upfront investment (I'm shelling out ~$1500 for my 400 lb half-beef).

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                  • #10
                    My cow man lets me decide how much burger i want. I tell him to get as many roasts and steaks as possible and please and thank you i wil ltake the organs ( he wont let me hav the kidneys as the butcher sells them for dog food)

                    I got so much liver last time i may actually have liver until the cow runs out. and bones and 5 hearts and tail it was a great cow LOL
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                    • #11
                      Around here any of the organs are included in the hanging price if you want them, but you do have to ask upfront of course. Hanging price per pound runs $4.50-$6.35 here depending on the farm.

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                      • #12
                        When I got my quarter cow they asked if i wanted the liver, heart, and marrow bones, those were already included in the hanging weight. I then asked for the beef suet, ox-tail, fat trimmings. tongue, bones, etc... and they gave me them all for free, it was at least 20 extra lbs worth of stuff. Even though I just ordered a 1/4th a cow. My order was only $3.39 per lbs and no counting all the extras.
                        Last edited by lizzychan5; 07-01-2011, 02:26 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Sounds a little odd to me as well.
                          We just went to a local and bought some fresh-butchered meat. As we bought some of the fresh stuff (slightly higher priced), we got the heart, liver and tongue + bones for free. The liver was over 23 pounds, the heart about 7 pounds and I assume the tongue was about the size of the heart, though I didn't weigh it. The bones were the "uglier" cut-offs, but I think there was at least 25 pounds or so.
                          Btw, do you have any idea of how HARD it is to handle 23 lbs of liver?!?!?! I spent like 2 hours cutting it up into portions before freezing it!

                          I bought 22lbs of ground beef, a flank steak (~6lbs) and about 2.2lbs of other (beautiful) cuts for 185$, and then all the extra good stuff for free. 100% grass-fed.
                          When we recently got half a pig, we got 3 half heads, and an extra half heart for free because other people usually don't want them.

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                          • #14
                            We were charged the hanging weight. We told the slaughterhouse how we wanted our cow packaged up and told them we wanted every bit and bobble they could give us and to label any "weird stuff" or scraps as dog food. We weren't charged extra. I could see maybe a nominal amount for additional packaging, esp for the "dog food" type cuts that perhaps most people don't usually ask for.
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