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  • What if Grass Fed isn't an option?

    Ok, in my current location and budget, I simply cannot afford grass fed. Period. I've got 1060 a month, 610 of which goes to rent and my bills, leaving 450 for any other things I need throughout the month, 300 of which is set aside as my personal groceries. I've looked at the local grass fed options and they all want 6-7$ a lbs HANGING weight. That's ridiculous, I can't even begin to afford that on a monthly basis. I've taken to using a fish oil supplement to help out but I want to know, is it quintessential to have grass fed? Am I shorthanding my possible results? Once I finish up high school and move on towards College and University I'll eventually be able to afford grass fed and I will, but for now, is it alright to be eating the standard meat that's available to me at the local grocers?(And despite my seeming worry, it doesn't really bother me either way, I know in the future I'll be able to support a full on Paleo diet because I refuse to live this way my whole life, but is it really essential is what I'm getting at.)

  • #2
    you'll still lose the weight and you're making better choices by eating "real", whole foods. but it is of utmost importance to purchase grass-fed over grain-fed whenever possible. I make it a priority.
    this great blue world of ours seems a house of leaves, moments before the wind

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    • #3
      Whoa! That's quite the challenge. First, I commend you on working your way through high school and planning to move on to college. As I'm sure you know, that's not a lot to live off of, regardless of what you eat. I mention this first part aimed more towards "life" and I know this might sound insulting (I don't intend it to be that way), but first and foremost, I'd try to find a way to add a little more income to your mix. Even though you're in school, I'd aim to work 7 days a week. You're young, you can do it! Maybe wait tables somewhere, anything where you can make more than just a little over minimum wage (especially during the summer). Never let youth or a feeling that you're somehow deficient in education discourage you. It probably isn't, but I like passing that notion along whenever I can.

      Obviously grassfed is ideal, but you need to work with what you have. Don't be the person I saw at Whole Foods several months ago that was splitting up $30 worth of groceries over two credit cards. I believe in prioritizing groceries in lieu of other wants when you live this lifestyle, but at some point step back, stop the insanity, and shop at Wal-Mart!

      Ideas:
      1) Do you live near a College/University with an Agriculture department? I went to a University with a rather large one. On Saturday mornings for about 4 hours they would open up their "butcher" and allow people to come in and buy cuts of beef for dirt cheap. They were not grassfed cows of course, but it was cheap. There were many trips made for cheap steaks and ground beef that was processed by students. Were they the best cuts? No, but again, cheap.

      2) Find a Sams Club if you're near one. My local club will sell to people without memberships provided you pay with cash. I'm not sure if every Sams will do that. If not, ask people you know and find someone that has a membership and tag along. You can buy ground beef for really cheap. Costco also has organic eggs for cheap. Both stores have regular eggs for cheap too.

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      • #4
        I say don't sweat it. Contact a local farm that does the grassfed thing and ask if you can buy some beef liver. They will probably sell it to you very cheap and you can have it once or twice a week if you are supplementing with vitamin D3. Otherwise, get whatever conventional meat you want.

        You might want to look into traditional methods of preparing meat, such as marinating it, especially pork. Also look into sprouting and fermenting lentils for another cheap source of protein.

        Honestly, stressing about grassfed beef on a tight budget is going to do you enough harm to outweigh the good of eating it.
        You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Catharsis View Post
          Whoa! That's quite the challenge. First, I commend you on working your way through high school and planning to move on to college. As I'm sure you know, that's not a lot to live off of, regardless of what you eat. I mention this first part aimed more towards "life" and I know this might sound insulting (I don't intend it to be that way), but first and foremost, I'd try to find a way to add a little more income to your mix. Even though you're in school, I'd aim to work 7 days a week. You're young, you can do it! Maybe wait tables somewhere, anything where you can make more than just a little over minimum wage (especially during the summer). Never let youth or a feeling that you're somehow deficient in education discourage you. It probably isn't, but I like passing that notion along whenever I can.

          Obviously grassfed is ideal, but you need to work with what you have. Don't be the person I saw at Whole Foods several months ago that was splitting up $30 worth of groceries over two credit cards. I believe in prioritizing groceries in lieu of other wants when you live this lifestyle, but at some point step back, stop the insanity, and shop at Wal-Mart!

          Ideas:
          1) Do you live near a College/University with an Agriculture department? I went to a University with a rather large one. On Saturday mornings for about 4 hours they would open up their "butcher" and allow people to come in and buy cuts of beef for dirt cheap. They were not grassfed cows of course, but it was cheap. There were many trips made for cheap steaks and ground beef that was processed by students. Were they the best cuts? No, but again, cheap.

          2) Find a Sams Club if you're near one. My local club will sell to people without memberships provided you pay with cash. I'm not sure if every Sams will do that. If not, ask people you know and find someone that has a membership and tag along. You can buy ground beef for really cheap. Costco also has organic eggs for cheap. Both stores have regular eggs for cheap too.
          The point I don't like to bring to the table is my autism. That's the reason I'm still finishing up High School-it isn't a lack of intelligence, it's a surplus. Another, annoying point in certain situations (Such as this one) that I live in Canada. Despite what many believe about Canada, we're a bit behind on a lot of things. I actually live between Montreal and Ottawa, you'd think it'd be a booming place with lots to look forward to, but alas, that is not the case. As for the agricultural aspect, there is a McGill University branch of Agriculture in the adjoining town-20 minutes away by vehicle. Were I able to drive it would be an option to look into, but the local butcher has a surprisingly fair pricing. Good thing too-Meat is the most important part of my day to day meals. I LOVE meat(Blame the Algonquin in me, he's been quite pleased with my dietary shift, I've become stronger, faster, more energetic, all the good stuff.). As for Costco, I've always been told you need a membership card, and we are rarely out in the area to purchase from there(though thank god for small favors I managed to procure a chest freezer for 30 bucks.).

          @Grumpy, I've got plenty of meat. I'm always on the look out for cheap cuts, nice fatty cuts are my favorites. I was mostly wondering how much of a difference it would make given my 22 years of life, I figure (not counting possible fatalities) that I've got at least 50 years ahead of me. So I'm not worried about it being a HUGE deal, I'm simply curious as to how much of a difference it would make. That and all of the people going on about how delicious a slab of grass fed beef is makes me wonder how much of a difference it makes.

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          • #6
            On your budget I think you have to do the best you can and don't worry too much about not having grass fed beef. At the farmer's market where I live the rancher that does grass fed beef usually has some cut on sale, like ground beef, if you ever see something like that you can purchase it and freeze it. My sister is on a budget similar to yours though she is in her 60's, she rarely buys grass fed meat and her health has never been better, she's been primal for about a year. Since you are young the main thing is to make sure you get enough to eat. Have you ever tried canned salmon? It is often pretty cheap and almost all canned salmon is wild caught. It's a great protein source.
            Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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            • #7
              I haven't tried Salmon, but I've heard it's a good idea to go for the canned-so I'll give it a whirl next month.(Living month to month is my major source of stress.) It's funny, it doesn't really bother me as a "Huge priority deal" but I hear a lot about the difference it "seems" to make in people. So if it's working, I'll stick to it for now(Not like I'd return to SAD, or CAD(Since I'm Canadian and all).

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              • #8
                I've never had grass-fed anything.

                I'm 43.5 and I haven't died...................... yet.........



                Julie

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                • #9
                  Then eat grain fed - not ideal but better than other alternatives like staying on SAD.
                  Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                  PS
                  Don't forget to play!

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                  • #10
                    Not the end of the world, but I actually thought in Canada you mostly had grass fed?

                    Anyway, you should consider getting getting some organ meats that are grass fed. These are pretty cheap (in the States, at least) definitely nutritious and pretty delicious too! I'd recommend looking for grass fed hearts (beef, lamb, etc) and livers. Heart is pretty mild in taste, and can be eaten more often than liver so that would be my advise to you if you want to incorporate grass fed option and "supplement" with the grain-fed muscle meats.
                    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Concrete Indian View Post
                      That and all of the people going on about how delicious a slab of grass fed beef is makes me wonder how much of a difference it makes.
                      You know, I can't taste much of a difference. I suspect the extra money that people shell out for it somehow alters their tastebuds. Partly fabricated justification maybe.
                      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                        Not the end of the world, but I actually thought in Canada you mostly had grass fed?

                        Anyway, you should consider getting getting some organ meats that are grass fed. These are pretty cheap (in the States, at least) definitely nutritious and pretty delicious too! I'd recommend looking for grass fed hearts (beef, lamb, etc) and livers. Heart is pretty mild in taste, and can be eaten more often than liver so that would be my advise to you if you want to incorporate grass fed option and "supplement" with the grain-fed muscle meats.
                        In the plains it's abundant-out here in "modern" Canada, they proudly tout "100% Naturally Grain Fed Beef/Chicken/Turkey's!"

                        Originally posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post
                        You know, I can't taste much of a difference. I suspect the extra money that people shell out for it somehow alters their tastebuds. Partly fabricated justification maybe.
                        Honestly-that's what I figured. If I'm paying more it's gotta be better! But I know it's the healthier alternative, so once my life hits the path I want I will be making the change despite the cost, but for now I'll make the most of what I've got. Thanks =)

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                        • #13
                          Good advice all over this thread. As far as a taste difference goes, I can't really tell a difference. Frankly, every cut is so different that it's arguably hard to tell. If you took a grainfed ribeye and a grassfed ribeye, prepared them the same way and grilled them, I'd be shocked if a panel of 10 people could pick out which was which with any real methodology. I eat grassfed because I can afford to (as ridiculously expensive as it is). If I was going to eat a grainfed piece of meat, I'd go for something lean like a london broil or a flank steak. Most of the "bad stuff" in grainfed cattle lands in the fat anyway. If I had a down month with income, the first thing I'd cut out would be organic groceries and grassfed beef. I can tell a mental difference more than a taste difference. I do find greens and berries to taste better, probably because they're local and more fresh.

                          To the OP, I understand what you mean about living month to month and stress. I've been there and done that but I can't imagine working through it all with Autism. The paleo lifestyle definitely helps with stress, but at the end of the day it's not a magic bullet. There are really only two things someone can do which is decrease expense or increase income, the latter is your best option. Sorry for derailing the topic with all that!

                          If you have a really good local butcher, then I'd stay with that. If you become a frequent enough customer, you might be able to get a little bit of a discount. Sometimes you can get a discount paying with cash over a debit or credit card since the merchant isn't paying a 3+% fee to the card issuer. It might not seem like a lot, but pennies add up.

                          Definitely go for canned salmon. I don't think I've ever see canned salmon that wasn't wild caught! It's cheap and has good nutrient density.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Concrete Indian View Post
                            I simply cannot afford grass fed.
                            You can only do what you can do. I started out still having porridge oats and potatoes that I had already bought. I refused to waste the stuff and ate it. Just by cutting out bread I am losing about a pound per week. I am slowly getting in to the diet and lifestyle although I can not afford a lot of the recommendations on my pensions. We just have to make the best choices we can, it's as simple as that. I can get exercise by walking into town with a rucksack to get my shopping every day, other people can't. As I progress, I am finding more ways to obtain foods that are better for me and I am content with that even though it will take me a bit longer to get to where I want to be. All I'll say is, just don't give up on being as healthy as you can be.
                            Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Concrete Indian View Post
                              In the plains it's abundant-out here in "modern" Canada, they proudly tout "100% Naturally Grain Fed Beef/Chicken/Turkey's!"



                              Honestly-that's what I figured. If I'm paying more it's gotta be better! But I know it's the healthier alternative, so once my life hits the path I want I will be making the change despite the cost, but for now I'll make the most of what I've got. Thanks =)
                              I think they've all given you great advice. As a mom to an autistic child, I just have to say how proud I am of how you're doing. And you're definitely making the right dietary choices. Just to add, if you can do it, make sure that your eggs have Omega 3's added and that you're cutting off the fat and eating lean cuts. The last thing you need to add is more toxins, right? Anyway, if you can really up those omegas, I think that would do you some good. If you can't, you can't. I hear ya' on the budget issue. It's hard to do with a disability on top of things. But you are doing great!

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