Recs for grass-fed beef in Chicago/Milwaukee area


Alicia Jaybird

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Hi everyone,

I'm interested in splitting a quarter of a cow with some friends so that we can each better afford grass-fed meat. I have found several farms online that all seem pretty similar, but if anyone has personal experience with a farm in the area, I'd love to go by word-of-mouth recommendations! We aren't picky about the cuts, just the quality. Bonus points if we could pick up eggs and possibly other types of meat while there.

Thanks for any ideas!

Alicia

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  • 1 month later...

Hey Alicia,

I am not from Chicago, but I suggest you go to your local farmers market and ask around. I am sure there are tons of opportunities available - I was just in Chicago for a business trip and was really impressed with the local foods system. Also, do you know the restaurant Browntrout? It is fantastic and the chef/owner is very cool - he has a lot of relationships with farmers and may be a helpful resource as well! Good luck.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Laura,

I see you're in DC- where I'm from originally! I'll check around at the next farmer's market- the one near me is pretty small and I did not see any meat vendors around, but it has just started again this year so we'll see. I have found someone in Milwaukee who may be able to supply grass fed beef for cheap but I'll have to see in the fall.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alicia,

There is a small group of us who have just started Whole30 and correspond regularly to share ideas, discoveries, and resources. We have recently made a purchase from Wallace Farms and share our reviews as we use what we bought. So far, pretty good.

If you (or any one else in the Chicago area) are interested in joining our informal group, The PIPs (Partners in Paleo), please let me know. The support has been very helpful for all of us.

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Yes, check out the markets...try the beef before you buy a 1/4 or 1/2. Also try different cuts of the meat...Also cook them on low heat, and don't overcook. Something else I've found, make sure it's good beef cows. Some of the beef in this area is a product coming off of diary farms...they slaughter the males for obvious reason, but I find the quality is not as good as a true beef cow.

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As far as beef is concerned, I, too, am experimenting and getting accustomed to it. Two good grass-fed beef products I've had are the grass-fed organic beef that I buy at Trader Joe's (rather than weird tasting as I thought before, I now find it flavorful) and have used it in my last two Bolognese sauces, and Wallace Farm's Nick's Sticks, the beef ones. They're the healthy version of those old-fashioned, additive-laden Slim Jims. Great for a snack and sugar-free. I like them.

I'm another member of the PIP group mentioned by lobind, above, who coined the name.

Edited to add: I just looked up Nick's Sticks. They do have lactic acid, though I'm exactly sure if it's a no-no. I ate them pre-Whole 30 and would probably do more research before I ate them now.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I live in the Chicago area and for several years now have been buying grass finished beef (and also poultry and pork on occassion) from Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm in Ottawa. It's not too far off of I-80 so even driving out from the city isn't too bad. They also have a monthly shares program you can check out in case you are reasonable distance from their pick up points.

This is an extremely nice family running the farm, homeschooling the kids, etc. I have been very pleased with the product, the service, and everything about our business relationship.

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