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    Nancy Ann's Avatar
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    Buying Milk and Meat Questions

    I don't have access to raw milk. But stores do carry organic milk. If I can't buy raw milk is organic still better than regular milk? Can you explain to me why organic milk would be better than regular milk? I guess I am just thinking that if I can't get raw than just the regular whole milk is fine.

    I noticed at Trader Joes that the meat is not grain fed. They say the animals are corn and soy fed but it's good quality and organic. So, basically is it worth it to spend the extra money on Trader Joe's meats than the regular grocery store. It is still corn and soy fed, they are not grass fed.

    We are a one income family just getting by and I don't mind spending money on quality food but I don't want to just dump the money down the drain if it is really not going to have significant difference in our health. Obviously getting rid of processed foods and buying real, whole foods is worth the cost but not so sure about the milk and meat since I can't get the really good stuff anyway.

    Thanks for any input

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    I daresay first and foremost, buy better food -- what you can afford. When I was single, I could only afford the meat "club packs," as I was feeding myself on $40/week. Now I have a bit bigger budget, and I can buy mostly grass fed -- fully grass fed and finished is still out of my reach. So I get the best I can from a local farm. That is where I suggest you start. Go to eatwild.com and see who is nearby that might offer better quality meat. Ask at your local farmer's market about hormone/antibiotic free meat that is at minimum mostly grass fed. I pay less for mostly grass fed (80/20 or 70/30 grass/grain) than what you would buy at the grocery store. It can be done -- it takes a little leg work. But then you have your source and you can relax.

    Re: milk -- you don't need it. If you live in a state that does not allow the sale of raw milk, just don't buy it. Substitute with coconut milk (full-fat) or almond milk. They are tasty and do the trick for nearly any recipe. That being said, if you must have milk or you will hate life, then I guess organic is better than the other. But I can't see why anyone needs cow's milk when there are so many better options out there.

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    Nancy Ann's Avatar
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    So basically, even if the meat at Trader Joes is corn/soy fed it will probably not have the hormones and antibiotics that the meat in a regular grocery store will have?

    Same with the milk? The organic milk will not have hormones and antibiotics in it?

    Thanks for the EatWild link it was very helpful.

    ETA - that link was super great!! I found a place about a 15 minute drive that has all grass fed beef, chicken, pork, lamb and bison. Going over today and see what the wallet damage will be.
    Last edited by Nancy Ann; 08-17-2012 at 01:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Ann View Post
    I don't have access to raw milk. But stores do carry organic milk. If I can't buy raw milk is organic still better than regular milk? Can you explain to me why organic milk would be better than regular milk? I guess I am just thinking that if I can't get raw than just the regular whole milk is fine.

    I noticed at Trader Joes that the meat is not grain fed. They say the animals are corn and soy fed but it's good quality and organic. So, basically is it worth it to spend the extra money on Trader Joe's meats than the regular grocery store. It is still corn and soy fed, they are not grass fed.

    We are a one income family just getting by and I don't mind spending money on quality food but I don't want to just dump the money down the drain if it is really not going to have significant difference in our health. Obviously getting rid of processed foods and buying real, whole foods is worth the cost but not so sure about the milk and meat since I can't get the really good stuff anyway.

    Thanks for any input
    Milk: Raw milk is much more different from regular milk than organic milk is to regular milk. Raw will never have been heated whereas the others will have been heated, sometimes to temperatures so high that the proteins are completely changed (ultra-pasteurization). Organic refers usually to the foods the cattle ate and whether or not there were antibiotics used. Organic may be ultra-pasteurized but they won't say so on the label. So if you want unadulturated milk, raw is the best choice.

    Beef: Grain fed = soy and corn. Corn is a grain. With some of the crap they feed cattle these days, corn is an improvement. Organic will refer to the same as above for milk. Out here in the West most cattle are grass fed (they graze public lands) their entire lives until the very end when they are sent to feedlots for a few weeks of fattening. And depending on where they graze, they might have supplemental grains available because grass doesn't grow all year long.

    Trader Joe's doesn't advertise how well they source their meats, which is unfortunate. It is worth it if you can afford their meats. They tend to do a good job of ensuring the quality matches what they advertise.
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  5. #5
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Re raw milk. Since I see the OP is in CA, it is legal and available. Google "Organic Pastures" brand and see who sells it near you. The Sprouts chain I know carries it.

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    Nancy Ann's Avatar
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    I thought raw milk was illegal in California, so this is good news. We also have a Sprouts right up the road. I will have to check them out.

    I packed the kids in the car and drove to the place that has grass fed meat. What a cool place. We bought a couple things and it is really expensive though. Meat starts at $9 a pound and goes up to around $13 or so for basic stuff. That is 2 or 3 times as much as what I pay now, so not sure....we will see. I also like the idea of supporting these farmers! That is a big deal to my husband and I.

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    Also, look for a local dairy. Some are small and artisan without being raw or organic. The rules for doing raw milk in my state make it tough for a small dairy to do, but many still craft a good product anyway.

    I used to have my own milk cow, and when I sold her I taste tested every milk produced in my county. I was surprised to find out the best was from a non-organic, small-batch pasteurized, non-homogenized 3 miles from home. It tastes and smells like the cows eat grass, and they do.

    There are pastured raw dairies around. They usually sell some of the cream to cheese makers, so you don't get what you're supposed to. Most people don't know the difference since they've never milked their own cow. I just can't pay for "skim" milk, raw or not.

    Anyway, do some asking around, check at a local co-op, not a chain store like Trader Joe's.
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  8. #8
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Ann View Post
    I thought raw milk was illegal in California, so this is good news. We also have a Sprouts right up the road. I will have to check them out.

    I packed the kids in the car and drove to the place that has grass fed meat. What a cool place. We bought a couple things and it is really expensive though. Meat starts at $9 a pound and goes up to around $13 or so for basic stuff. That is 2 or 3 times as much as what I pay now, so not sure....we will see. I also like the idea of supporting these farmers! That is a big deal to my husband and I.
    Also, since you are here in SoCal, try googling "Green Beef" and the name of your city. There is a CSA here that does just meat. I get grass fed/finished beef and lamb at $8/lb for all the cuts from hamburger to steaks. I know they do all of SoCal. See if there is a pick up location near you.

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    Ironically, buying meat directly from the farmer can be *cheaper* than buying rubbish meat from the supermarket. Our latest lot cost $4.70/kg. Mince in the supermarket varies between $10-15/kg, and steak is up to $20-30/kg.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

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    OP, what did you find out about buying meats from the local ranch? When I contacted the local ranches here in SoFla, their price lists were easily double the "regular" grocery store and and significantly more than Whole Foods. I happily pay more for quality, but I was definitely priced out of going that route . Now I just buy whatever the best I can get my hands on at the store. I like Whole Foods because their butchery does say where they get their meats and they are often local. In a pinch I get the "natural" antibiotic free chicken from the CW grocery store (which does carry grass-fed organic ground beef, yay!).
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