What You Don’t Know: You Can Afford Well-Raised Meat

  • July 6, 2011 10:03 am

One of my absolute favorite things from The Butcher’s Guide To Well-Raised Meat is where we explain how to afford well-raised meat. So many people lament it can’t be done. I disagree. Here’s how I do it, excerpted from the book. Enjoy!

People often complain that grass-fed and organic meat (and everything else organic) is too expensive, that they can’t afford it, that it’s not for them, or that it’s elitist.  We firmly believe that well-raised meat is for everyone.  If you share any of these concerns, first consider the amount of meat you eat- generally Americans buy and eat too much meat.  You don’t need mountains of sausages or pounds of ground beef to make a sauce.  Reduce portion sizes.  It’s better for you, and it will make well-raised meat affordable.  If you would like to try something like filet but can’t get over the sticker shock, buy 1/4 pound of it and don’t make it the centerpiece of your meal.  Beyond eating less and shrinking portion size, you can also lower costs by buying cheaper cuts instead of rib eyes and strips.  And plan for leftovers – a big roast can be dinner tonight and sandwiches tomorrow.  If you buy smart and cook smart, you can make up the price difference between conventional and pastured meat.  When people say our prices are too high, Jess invites them to throw $50 on the counter and watch her work.  She can get them ten meals for half a bill.  When she first made the claim, I must admit even I didn’t believe her.  But she proved me wrong.


Here is Jessica’s list of ten quick, delicious, easy-to-prepare meals for four.  The meat costs only $50 and change.  If you don’t eat meat every day, that means enough meals for two weeks.

1. Ground Beef (1/2 pound) $3

Beef and Bean Enchiladas

2. Bacon (1/4 pound, or about 3 slices) $3

Collard Green and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

3. More Bacon and Eggs (1/4 pound, or about 3 slices, and 3 eggs) $5

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

4. Sausages (3/4 pound, or 3 sausages) $6

Chinese Broccoli with Sausage and Polenta

5. Chicken Thighs (1 pound) $5

Thai Chicken Stir-fry with Vegetables

6. Pork Stew Meat (1 pound) $8

Quick Pork and Chile Stew with Hominy

7. Stir-fry Beef (1/2 pound) $4.50

Stir-fry Beef with Rice Noodles

8. Whole Chicken (3 to 4 pounds) $12

Roast Chicken

9. Eggs $4


10. Roast Chicken Bones $0

Chicken Soup

Planet Home Radio and Satellite Media Tour Recap/Photos

  • January 12, 2011 9:29 am

I've spent the past two mornings talking to radio stations and television stations about Planet Home. I always love the chance to speak with people all across the country.


So far people have been very receptive to Planet Home's holistic approach to going greener faster. The book explains the real systems behind simple green steps like turning off your lights, or only using cold water to do laundry, or cleaning all rooms of the home from your bathroom to your attic with natural products in an attempt to reduce the vagueness around going green. I often see people taking what they think of as a few unrelated steps to green their lives. Planet Home lays it all out systematically, showing how all of these steps are connected, and how we're all interconnected. The radio and tv hosts seemed very into this approach.


I also heard a lot of concern over if green cleaning products really work (they do), if washing in cold water can really get your clothes clean (yes — and it saves so much energy as 90 percent of the energy associated with doing laundry goes to heating water), and about the expense of going green. I've tackled the expense discussion many times in the past and we do it again in Planet Home. If you buy less stuff, and only durable stuff, and truly understand the reasons why an organic apple or a "green" toy might cost more than a conventional version, my hope is that you'll be willing to spend the savings you gain when you reduce your purchases on greener versions of what you do buy. There's more on that in the pages of Planet Home. Plus tips on how to make your own cleaning products out of things you already have in your cabinets (vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide etc.).

Here are some behind the scene shots of the SMT (satellite media tour) — me getting my makeup done, the set, and even the organic food section of the catering table. Did you happen to catch one of the radio or tv segments? What did you think? If you did and have any follow up questions, please post in comments and I'm happy to answer.