In a world where more and more people are becoming health conscious, organic meat delivery is becoming an increasingly popular choice. But what is organic meat, and why should you be eating it?
In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of organic meat and provide a list of the 9 best organic meat delivery services available in 2022!
What is Organic Meat?
While organic vegetables typically get all the glory and even often have their own section in the supermarket, it’s important to understand what “USDA certified organic” means when referring to meat.
The USDA’s requirements for organic meat are as follows:
The animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors.
So chickens get to peck and forage and cows get to graze on grass.
That they are fed 100% organic feed and forage.
This refers to the pasture as well.
They are not administered hormones or antibiotics.
Currently, federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork or poultry.
What do Grass-fed, Grass-finished, and Pasture-raised really mean?
When it comes to organic meat, there are a lot of terms that can be confusing. So what’s the difference between grass-fed meat, grass-finished meat, and pasture-raised?
We’ll break it down for you!
Grass-fed meat comes from animals that have only been fed grass and hay. They may be finished on grain for a period of time prior to slaughter to increase marbling, but the majority of their diet is still grass. Grass-finished beef comes from animals that have been fed only grass and hay throughout their lives, including the time leading up to slaughter. This results in a much leaner product because grains are higher in calories and fat than grass.
Pasture-raised meat means that the animal was raised on pasture its entire life. It may have been supplemented with grain while on pasture, but it never had anything other than grass in its diet.
So what’s the difference? Grass-finished beef typically has less marbling because it hasn’t been fed grain before slaughter. However, it is often considered healthier because it also doesn’t contain the herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides necessary when feeding the animals grain. In addition, the requirement of antibiotics when grain-finishing beef is yet another additive further from the natural state.
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture is a sustainable farming system that seeks to regenerate degraded ecosystems and soil health.
The regeneration of soil health and the reduction of synthetic inputs is highly reliant on the relationship between man, soil, and animal.
A key element of this process is a practice called intensive rotational grazing, a practice that mimics the way large herds would move across grasslands. Rotational grazing is ultimately sequestering more carbon and building better soil.
What is No Corn/No Soy?
When you see the term “no corn/no soy” on a meat product, it means that the animal was raised on a diet that did not include those ingredients. This is important because most conventionally-raised animals are fed a diet of corn and soy, which can have negative consequences for their health, and ultimately yours.
These two crops are also the two largest GMO crops grown and are incredibly high in PUFAs, polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Typically this label is often used in referring to free-range poultry.
What is Sustainable Seafood?
In part, this is determined by who you ask.
According to the Marine Stewardship Council and their blue label certification, it must be wild-caught seafood with minimal environmental impact by a fishery with effective management in place.
While a broader definition states:
“Sustainable seafood is seafood that is wild-caught or farmed in ways that consider the long-term vitality of harvested species and the well-being of the oceans, as well as the livelihoods of fisheries-dependent communities.”
source – seafoodwatch.org
The Health Benefits of Eating Organic Meat
Many health benefits come with eating organic meat.
One of the most important is that organic meat reduces a person’s exposure to added hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. All of these can have cascading negative effects on a person’s health and well-being.
In addition to not bombarding our bodies with growth hormones and reducing our pesticide load, organic meat has been shown in many studies to have a higher nutritional benefit than conventionally raised meat.
Organic meat from ruminants like cattle, goats, and lamb may contain more of the good omega-3 fatty acids because they are grazing on organic pasture throughout their lives.
A review of 67 studies detailing the nutritional profile of organic meat done in the European Union showed a 50 percent increase in the Omega-3 quantities compared to conventional animals.
Best Organic Meat Delivery Services
1. White Oak Pastures
The Harris family has raised cattle on the same South Georgia farm for five generations. I knew Will Harris when I used to live in Atlanta and we bought ground beef from him for our burger joint, Farm Burger. He was a stand-up guy and he’s taken it to the next level by now offering his amazing product online.
They offer a wide variety of pasture-raised meats, all of which are ethically and sustainably sourced. In addition to the typical cuts, they offer a wide variety of organ meats and bones as well. If you want an amazing no corn/no soy chicken look no further.
One of the things that makes White Oak Pastures stand out from the competition is its commitment to regenerative agriculture. They believe that by nurturing the land and the animals that live on it, they can create a more sustainable future for everyone involved.
2. Crowd Cow
Crowd Cow is a Seattle-based company that sells beef, pork, lamb, and chicken that is sourced from ethical farms, fisheries, and producers around the world.
What makes Crowd Cow unique is its commitment to selling a variety of options including organic, grass-fed and pasture-raised meat.
In addition to its commitment to organic farming, Crowd Cow also believes in transparency. All of their meat is clearly labeled with information about where it was sourced, how it was raised, and who raised it.
3. Good Chop
Good Chop sources only from American farms and is clear that this is their primary focus. They want to be America’s Butcher.
While Good Chop puts an emphasis on providing meat with zero exposure to antibiotics or added hormones and does have some grass-fed options, their emphasis isn’t on organic meat.
They are incredibly transparent about where their meat comes from and proud that everything is born and bred in the U.S.
4. Farm Foods Market
At Farm Foods Market they provide only 100% grass-fed and finished beef, pastured pork and chicken, and wild-caught fish.
They list out all of their farms and what is available from each, so that you have an idea of the farmer you’re supporting.
They work hard to take the anonymity out of the food business and bring you one step closer to where your food comes from.
5. Thrive Market
Thrive Market doesn’t have just the meat we’ve been discussing, but everything you may find in an upscale supermarket.
While Thrive Market does have many organic, grass-fed and pasture raised options, their real attraction is its one-stop-shop approach. You can get all of your shopping done, from meat to paper towels, and have it delivered to your doorstep.
6. US Wellness Meats
US Wellness Meats was founded in 2000, in Monticello Missouri. Their commitment to grass-fed beef has had them create a small network of sustainable family farms throughout the midwestern heartland.
They offer a wide variety of beef, pork, lamb, poultry and even game animals.
7. Porter Road
These guys are a couple of butchers out of Nashville, who had a hard time getting their hands on high-quality meat from sources they could trust – so took matters into their own hands and created an amazing online butcher shop.
The animals are pasture-raised in Kentucky and Tennessee and then hand-cut at their facility in Kentucky. In addition, they dry age all of their beef insisting it will change the way you think about beef.
8. Butcher Box
Butcher Box is practically a household name at this point.
The OG when it comes to organic meat delivery.
The thing is though, that it’s only the free range organic chicken from Butcher Box that is truly organic.
The great thing about Butcher Box is its grass-fed beef which is primarily sourced from Australia and happens to be grass-finished as well.
Grass-fed bison and wild-caught seafood are among some of their other offerings.
9. Primal Pastures
Primal Pastures says their free-range poultry is beyond organic.
While free-range organic chicken is the mainstay of these guys they also raise grass-fed lamb on their farm and offer a few other grass-fed meats in their online store.
While all of the above organic meat delivery services offer amazing access to high-quality meat there are plenty of other options available.
At your local farmer’s market you often have an assortment of small family farms, many even offering farm tours, and delivery services.
These family farms often have organic meats that other organic food that can only be offered at a smaller scale unlike some of the larger family farms utilized by the delivery services mentioned above.
Are all of these Subscriptions?
It’s really split down the middle.
Though not necessary for all of them in this category, Butcher Box, Good Chop, Farm Foods, Crowd Cow, and Porter Road have subscritption options.
White Oak Pastures, U.S. Wellness, and Primal Pastures are more ala carte.
Thrive Market is unique in the fact that it’s focus is really on getting all of your grocery items in one location.
Does the meat arrive frozen?
All of these organic meat delivery services ship frozen product which is kept so using dry ice. I’ve personally received items 6 days after it was originally shipped; still frozen solid.
Is it less expensive to buy organic meat this way?
That depends on the value you put on your time and a myriad of other considerations.
When you factor in the gas you spend driving to the supermarket, the time spent, and then the fact that it’s often more costly to buy high-quality organic meat at a store such as Whole Foods or Central Market, you often wind up far ahead having your organic meat delivered.
There are a variety of organic meat delivery options to choose from, each with its own unique selling points.
In general, these services offer high-quality, sustainable, and ethically sourced meat that is delivered right to your door.
Some of these offer grass-fed beef, while others actually offer certified organic meat and even grain-fed if that’s where your taste lies.
It’s also important to remember that while many of the grass-fed beef choices aren’t technically “organic beef,” that’s often due to the financial burden of getting the “Certified Organic” label, which is extremely expensive and may take years. During those years a farm may be operating organically without technically having the certification.
If you’re looking for the best possible option, we would recommend checking out White Oak Pastures or Farm Foods Market – both of which have an amazing selection of grass-fed meats.
I personally have been ordering from White Oak Pastures off and on for over 10 years with nothing but great things to say.
I additionally buy amazing organic meat and eggs every week at my local farmer’s market.
…But I also have a Butcher Box subscription, partly for convenience, but also just because it’s a great product that’s super dependable.