Thursday, February 7, 2013

Meat From a Local Farmer and My Learning Curve in the Kitchen {Cure Tooth Decay}

This is what our freezer looks like! That, my friends, is a good chunk of our hard earned money in the form of grass fed meat from a local farmer. Lovely hubby drove almost an hour one way to pick it up. So I might have mentioned we were going to buy 1/4 of a cow. Haha. Let me tell you that story...

We had a clue it would not fit in our freezer, but we placed a deposit for 1/4 of a cow anyway. We thought we would just buy a chest freezer on Craigslist and stuff it into our already crowded, tiny kitchen. Then a good friend of mine sent me an article about buying meat from a farmer, with some useful details (thank you Luda!). Uhm, yeah, turns out we thought we were paying $4.95 per pound of meat we were getting, it was actual $4.95 per pound of actual 1/4 cow hanging weight before it is butchered, so it would end up way out of our price range. 

What we did is talk to the farmer about using our $75 deposit to get some ready cut meat at the farm and he agreed. We explained we didn't know what we were getting into and the pricing wasn't very clear - the way it was worded surely wasn't for newbies like us!

So we were pretty excited to get some meat, organs, soup bones, etc. I'm sure you're dying to know what the pricing is like on these! The organ meat were $2.50 per pound, packed with vitamins, minerals, and all kinds of goodness. We're not new to liver, tongue, heart, kidneys, where we come from the whole animal was used for food - but it has been a while since we have eaten such nutrient dense stuff. Soup bones were also $2.50 a pound and we've already made soup once from those and let me tell you - wow, it doesn't even compare to soup from store bought bones. Such rich taste, it was the best soup I've had in a while! 

The grass fed ground beef at $4.60 per pound isn't exactly cheap, but I can prepare beef cutlets/patties/burgers mixed with some veggies and millet and have enough for at least 2 days, or even 3 for the 4 of us. Hubby also got a roast at $7 per pound, which ends up being super expensive - it is something we would save for special guests and it is so much meat that we would be eating left overs for several days most likely. Cage free pastured eggs at the same farm are $3.50/dozen - not bad at all considering grain fed organic eggs from the store are $3.99! In that case it is cheaper at the farm. 

Before you think "Wow, they must be rich buying meat at such prices!", let me clarify. We live on 1.5 incomes, with very substantial expenses and trying to pay off debt. We are used to buying chicken drumsticks for $1.29 per pound. Will I never again eat plain non-antibiotic chicken from a store? Uhm no, we can't go through the whole meat stash from the farm in two months, we need to stretch it out. So yes, we'll be supplementing with some organic grain fed chicken from the store because our finances can only stretch so far. We already have most luxuries cut out, like cable, clothes shopping, second car, overseas travel, dining out, etc. So there isn't much else we can cut. But because we don't consider all those things important, we are able to buy wholesome foods to nourish our family. Maybe, someday, I'll be able to have that cute new shirt and my grass fed beef liver, but until then - I'm fine with quality food and an outdated wardrobe.

In the Kitchen

If I used to spend about 2 hours a day in the kitchen before, it's about 3 to 4 hours now. Why? Because preparing wholesome foods that don't rely on bread, pasta, rice, etc., is just a little more time consuming. At least initially, while I'm learning new things. I feel like by the time I'm done making and eating breakfast, I'm already making lunch and dinner (hubby leaves for work in the afternoon). Not only that, I am making several new recipes every week while we get into the swing of things. I need to figure out what we like, what we absolutely will not eat, what we can afford (that's a tough one).

Add to that about half an hour a day of recipe searching and tweaking. I am making up a lot of my own recipes as we go so that I can use what we have and not go out to buy some missing ingredients. After we try many recipes and find our favorites, I will make a spreadsheet of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for us to pick and choose from on a regular basis. It's an alternative to meal planning because I am pretty spontaneous and don't like planning meals, it never worked for us.

Baking experimentation has taken off after buying several different flours to try. I am baking with coconut flour, sourghum, millet, and tapioca. There is something I learned this week and that's if we want to stick with this 'reversing tooth decay' diet, I cannot completely cut out baked goods because my family (and myself) will cry "I want to go back to how we were eating before!" We must have baked goods in the house. Otherwise what happens is we eat all kinds of junk when we are not home (hubby at work and my kids at grandparents'). If we eat healthy, wheat free, very low sugar (honey) baked goods at home, we're not as likely to gorge on the junk when we are out.

We're still in the process of deciding on which cod liver oil to take regularly, unfortunately the best one is out of our price range by a long shot. Meanwhile we're taking some that are recommended as 'second best' by the WAPF. We'll be taking pictures of Baby E's teeth again soon. I am seeing slight improvement just by observation, they don't feel as crumbly as they did and a little bit of the discoloration is gone. But not anything you would probably notice. It's a gradual transition and I have no idea if it is even possible to help her teeth that are there now, but I sure hope to give her new adult teeth a good start in the future!

What's going on in your kitchen?

PS: Written while sipping some delicious raw milk from another farm, more on that later!

Past Posts from This Series:

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  1. First off, I completely envy your raw milk! Is it cow's milk? Would you mind sharing the price? I can get it from across town for $10/gallon, but I haven't bitten that bullet yet. Can't wait 'til our goats are in milk!
    Second, I completely agree with the baked goods statement! That is Hubby's biggest complaint since we went primal. I made up a {triple} batch of my chocolate chip cookies Tuesday, and he was singing their praises as he ate them (with a glass of pasturized milk).

    1. Yes, cow's milk. It's surreal to me, I feel like I've been reading all the 'real food' blogs for years and dreaming of drinking real milk, now I can't believe it is in my fridge! I always thought 'someday!' and now that someday is here. It is $3.50 for 1/2 gallon, we get it from a family that have a few cows of their own, it is a lot more expensive at small certified organic farms around here at $5-$6 for half gallon.

  2. You sound a lot like us! We had checked into buying part of a organic grass fed cow from a local Amish Farmer, but instead we just buy what we need from him when he slaughters (end of summer): ground beef, marrow bones, shank (what he calls soup bone: mmm marrow! and shank meat), liverwurst, livers,chuck roast, pastured grass fed chicken eggs, and other yummy cow products that are "forbidden" such as raw heavy cream, etc.
    We are also lucky to buy free range chicken eggs from another closer farmer and ground bison and bison marrow bones for $1.99 lb because there isn't much of a market for them around here. And you are right, the best eggs happen to be cheaper (than the grocery store factory-tortured chicken eggs).

    Thanks for the great post! So nice to read of like-minded folk (few and far between around here. lol)

    1. I know how you feel, I love reading posts from like-minded moms as well! Thank you so much for your comment :)

  3. I just found a cavity on my 2.5 year old who has never had a bottle ever and has rarely had any processed sugery crap(grandparents slip him stuff once in a while though) I caved and spend the $50 on a bottle of the FCLO/BO from Green Pasture, he only needs 1/4 tsp a day though so it will last for ever...Ijust hope it helps! I cant find any raw milk around here without signing a year long contract and Im just not sure I will want it for a whole year since we have never even tried it.

    1. That's great, I hope it does help. You could just try contacting the farm(s) via phone or email to ask them if you could first try a half-gallon. If your toddler doesn't like it at first, don't loose hope. When we first tried raw milk about a year ago, our toddler hated it. Fast forward to now, she likes it and asks for it! :)

  4. That is quite interesting, we just purchased our big freezer that is almost the size of the fridge i guess it would be time soon to plan buying meat in bulk. As of right now buying from local meat store ground $3.99 for regular grain fed and $5.99 for grass fed. Everything else pretty much in a high price range which is completely out of our budget, so yes we eat a lot of chicken still.
    Unfortunately no one in our family will eat organs or liver besides me so i have to treat myself once in a while if you can call it that =)
    Today my kids finally tried raw milk for the second time and liked it. I tried so many brands and the only one that is available here is Raw grass fed $10 at the store, and my hubby found for $8 same brand at local little shop, so im all for it. I told my kids that is the only milk we will drink so you better get use to it =)
    Plus i get so much more out of raw milk, home made kefir is so delicious! Whey that i use for fermented lemonade and sauerkraut and planing to try sour dough soon, as im in a process reading a book "Fermentation"
    We are not grain free in our family, my husband doesn't approve coconut flour, i tried some others and he prefer to stick to wheat, but i always try back and forth.
    Very interesting to see how things are progressing, i know its a challenge but it's one that's worth fighting for!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your details! Wow, i didn't expect such high prices in WA. Is there a lot of demand for it?

      We got 3 half-gallons (each week), so I am probably going to try making Kefir, we'll see how that goes...

      If he prefers wheat, you should at least try the traditional method of soaking. Have you tried that? It makes it more digestible and that's how it was always traditionally prepared in the past before modern times.


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