Buying an Eighth of a Cow

In Health-Mastery by admin8 Comments

One of my favorite foods is beef. It tastes good and can also be good for you.

So much of the “nutrition world” still believes that red meat is bad for you. You look at things like The China Study or documentaries like Forks Over Knives and you’ll get this idea. But there is a problem with these “so called facts”.

First of all, when a person goes off of a standard American diet (SAD) to a vegan or vegetarian diet many changes are taking place. Its not just stopping meat (and for some reason the culprit is always pointed at the cow not the fish or chicken). Its getting off lots of processed foods like junk food. And there’s an increase in fruits and vegetables. In general it’s a removal of processed crap and eating more natural foods.

Secondly, although there are studies pointing to problems with red meat I have not seen one study that makes the critical distinction in commercial meat versus natural meat. Just like humans have problems off of a “natural” diet, so do cows. Cows force fed grains and kept in stressful environments have to be pumped full of antibiotics to keep them alive. This doesn’t lead to a healthy animal. And thus the quality of its meat IS bad for you…

But that’s not what a cow ought to be. A cow’s natural diet is grass for its full life. A problem with grass fed meat is that the cow can be fed grass for three quarters of its life and then grain at the end to fatten it up, and it can still be called grass fed. In fact baby cows need grass (in addition to milk) to survive so this is normal practice. A cow that has eaten its natural diet its whole life is sometimes called grass finished (as in it finished its life eating grass).

Here’s a problem for many. It’s difficult to get high quality meat. You won’t find it in most stores and even if you do you often won’t be sure if it is grassfed or grass finished. I recently saw Costco carrying grassfed meat which I was excited to see but I’m still not sure if it’s the best.

Even my local health food store only has a couple selections of grassfed meat.

The Cost Problem

The second problem is it costs more. There’s the whole argument that you’re either going to pay now or pay later via health care costs. Yes, this is true…

And it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to pay for quality food today. So what can you do about it?

Buy in Bulk

And for that reason I just bought my first 1/8th of a cow and I’m extremely please. I had done some online shopping before for quality meat. One of the most popular sites is US Wellness Meats. I like their stuff but I got a new lead on a place with the highest quality meat (possibly in the world).

Alderspring Ranch

I waited on placing my first order because the 1/8th of a cow wasn’t ready yet. They sell them in lots and they sell out quickly. So I waited a couple weeks until the next lot was ready and I placed my order.

A 50 or so pound box arrived at my door a few days later. Here’s a couple pictures of when it arrived.

Alderspring 4

Just barely fit it all into my freezer.

Alderspring 5

One of my cats, Valhalla, inspecting the meat laid out on the floor. She loves it too!

Alderspring 1

You can see I’m very excited about this meat.

One of my favorite meals. A rare steak from Alderspring along with steamed broccoli with raw butter on it.

One of my favorite meals. A rare steak from Alderspring along with steamed broccoli with raw butter on it.

Happily the 1/8th of a cow fit completely in my freezer. For larger amounts I know people by special ice chests or extra space to fit all their meat. In the future I may go that route.

This is the best meat I’ve ever had.

I need to get a little better at cooking it. My first steak I overcooked. It was still good but almost well done.

But my second was way better. Here you can see that. No spices or marinades even needed. So good just by itself.

I’ll also need to get better at cooking roasts and various other cuts I haven’t even done before.

My Cost for an Eighth of a Cow

In total with shipping I paid approximately $12 per pound. This is still not cheap but its not that bad. At my local store you can get lower-quality grass fed ground beef for $9.99/lb. The only selections are ground beef and stew meat there.

But here the lot was 18 lbs. of ground beef and then a selection of other steaks and cuts, ones that are usually quite a bit pricier.

As a special bonus I got a free box of bones and liver with this order too!

I’ve heard of people actually getting their cost done to roughly $4 per pound for larger orders. Imagine that! That’s the highest quality meat you can find for less than most commercial meat sells for.

Of course you need the space for it. And you need the upfront investment. But that is just what it is, an investment. It’s an investment in your health. Its also going to last you for sometime so the rest of your grocery bills are going to go down.

I recommend you check out Alderspring Ranch. It’s a family run operation that has limited capacity. In doing this its possible you’ll snap up my eighth of a cow (or maybe ¼) next time I go to order and I’ll be SOL, but its worth doing.

By the way if you have some other great sources of high quality meat I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.


  1. Hi Logan,
    I shear beef live with you. Though the main point is to have enough protein in your nutrients. In meat, beef has the maximum of it, around 19% give or take a little. And one can belly dance around its so called “quality”.
    But there is a plant which contains in its seeds min. 33% protein (containing all the amino acids plus a slew of minerals). It is called HEMP. At COSTCO you can get Hemp Hart in nice packing though not cheap. By and large that is the most cost efficient natural source of clean protein. I mix it into my porridge, delicious.

    1. Author

      If you think the only reason to have beef is protein than you are mistaken. As you said its up to 19%. Protein is good but I’m MORE interested in the other things in beef. Since you bring up hemp, quality grass fed beef will have even better omega 3 : 6 ratios than hemp, not to mention it being the necessary long-chain instead of short chain forms. And I do like hemp although I like chia even more.

  2. Here’s a great way to cook that steak. It requires a cast iron skillet, which if you don’t already have one–go get one.
    First critical step – leave steak out to come up to room temperature before cooking
    Place the cast iron pan on your cooktop and put on full flame, don’t touch for 7-8 minuted. Let this pan get scary hot.
    While the pan is heating liberally salt your steak – don’t be afraid, more is better than too little/Pepper if you like (fresh cracked please)
    Add one tablespoon of Grapeseed or some other high heat neutral cooking oil
    Oil will heat immediately and run across the pan – carefully pan the steak
    Flip every minute until desired doneness – It’s my contention this ensures best crust and perfect cooking
    Feel the steak every time you turn it, this will familiarize yourself with doneness.
    When the steak feels like the unflexed hand between index finger – its done.
    Critical step – REST for at least 5 minutes to ensure reabsorption of juices.

  3. dude,

    You just made me hungry 🙂

    And yes, beef does contain lots more than mere protein. I’m certain future studies involving genetics will spell out a long list of other benevolent-nutrients.

    bon appetite..

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