J.W. asks from Aurora, IL on August 17, 2010
Local Farm to Buy Meat
I recently saw some reports on meat safety and feel finding a place to buy safer meat. I went to Whole Food once. They claim their meats are all natural-no added hormone and antibiotics, cage free etc. I bought some chicken. It did taste better than from regular grocery store. Of course, the meats from Whole Foods are several times more expensive. I also heard you can buy organic meat from local farms. You will need to pay first and you can get meat regularly. I am wondering whether anyone has experience in buying meat directly from a local farm and can recommend a place. Thanks.
2 moms found this helpful
A.R. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2010
We use Wallace Farms. They have excellent tasting meat and very high standards. We have had no problems with any of the meat we have bought there, as far as taste or quality. There is no CSA to join or fees, they sell frozen meat at drop-off locations in the area (you order ahead of time and bring a check) on Saturdays, and they just built a warehouse in Naperville so they will have more routine pick-ups.
There is a little store at Heritage Prairie Market just outside of Aurora that sells some select meats in their freezer from surrounding farms. They usually have pork ribs, some lamb, etc. (We love their honey and will sometimes pick up a little meat when we are in for that.)
There are several more options in the area that are CSAs, like MooGrass Farms, which also sells raw pastured milk and butter. I have not used them myself, so not sure about price comparison/quality.
(My food blog: www.chickiepea.wordpress.com)
1 mom found this helpful
C.C. answers from Chicago on August 19, 2010
I recommend blackangusdirect.com. It is a farm in Sycamore. They also go to many farmers markets. Most farmers markets have a meat farmer come at least a couple times a month. Geneva has a Green Market on Thursdays and 2 different farmers come there with meat. No matter what it is more expensive but if you can swing it, it's definitely worth it.
N.P. answers from Chicago on August 18, 2010
Epiphany Farms Enterprise Inc. (EFE) is a freshly new, “Farm to Fork Concept,” that practices sustainable, beyond organic, environmentally friendly techniques.
23676 800N Rd.
Downs, IL, 61736
I plan on ordering my meat from this place next time I need it (I still have a lot from last time I got a 1/4 cow from a different farm). My friend ordered from them and was thrilled with the quality.
M.J. answers from Chicago on August 18, 2010
I am a volunteer at the Sugar Grove farmers market and we have a local farmer who sells meat. It is Burgin Farms from Maple Park. He has beef, pork, chicken and ground turkey. Also, bacon, eggs, hot dogs, ground beef, and bratwurst. His meat is great and he has a very large following. The market is on Saturday, from 8 a.m. til noon and is held at the Sugar Grove Village Hall on Route 30 and Municipal Drive. There is also great local produce, an additional fresh egg vendor and other great vendors. you can also check out the market on facebook.
E.M. answers from Chicago on August 18, 2010
L.C. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2010
When it comes to meat, Whole Foods is not much more expensive than anyplace else such as Trader Joe's. There is a meat CSA, called Walnut Acres Family Farm. You buy a share and then they have a drop off in Naperville where you pick up your meat - I think it's once a month. Although they do let their meat range, and it is hormone and antibiotic free, they feed them a small amount of corn and the corn is NOT organic. (I sent them an e-mail and asked). I want organic meat, but just hormone and antibiotic free. That's a good start, but if it's not organic, your chicken or cows could be eating food laden with pesticides or GMO corn. I eat organic chicken, organic sausage and hot dogs, wild caught fish and grass-fed, free range beef. I priced out Walnut Acres and they are slightly cheaper, but I'd rather have organic - that's the most important to me.
I decided when I went fully organic that I would just eat less meat since it is so expensive. So far, it's worked. I'm also doing the Green Earth Institute CSA for veggies in Naperville.
H.S. answers from Chicago on August 18, 2010
I have always bought meat by the half a cow and whole hog for the year. We get ours from an organic farm in Eureka, IL and it's wonderful. The prices are very reasonable and you are only driving down there about once a year...there are 3 of us. They also have chickens and eggs. You pick up the meat from the butcher...cut and packaged the way you want it...deep frozen. It will make it for the drive back up here no problem. We have a 25 cubic chest freezer and it's big enough with some extra room every year. Great for sales. Let me know if you want to look into this. It's cheaper than chicagoland as I looked into all the prices of going this route as well and saving on gas. Oh, and by the way, the taste is amazing! You can even get the organic curing for the ham and italian sausage which I guess it takes time and is hard to get that certification for the butcher too.