Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Until today, the picture above is what my food (specifically, my beef) eats.

But now, I am happy to say that this picture is what my new food eats!

Today, I made good on my threat to buy a quarter of a grass fed, grass finished local cow!  I would buy grass fed beef now and then from the farmer's market or Whole foods, but the prices were pretty high, and I usually settled for the CAFO beef that I would find at the local grocery stores.  I've been spending time every other weekend in the Quad Cities area, and I heard that the beef there was less expensive than it is around Chicagoland.  The farm that I was looking at around here was around $9.67 per pound (cut and packaged weight).  The beef I bought today was only $7.87 per pound, so I saved $141.00 by combining my cow-buying with my sister-visiting!

Around a month ago, I toured Sawyer Beef with owner Neal Sawyer.  The farm is located in Princeton, Iowa, which is 30 miles away from my sister's house.  Neal was kind enough to drive me around his acreage in his pickup truck, looking for the herd. 

I really wished I had taken the opportunity to ditch my flip flops in favor of my shoes and socks, for when we found the herd, we had to wade through knee-high and higher grassy fields to see the cows close up.  Neal walked ahead and pointed out cow pies so that I could avoid them, something I was keen to do, whether in flip flops or shoes and socks!  It was wonderful to get out into the middle of nowhere, in nature at its purest, "hunting for my dinner!

We found the heard, which was vastly bigger than it looks here, and Neal pointed out the different breeds of cow.  I took at few pictures and we walked back to the truck as Neal told me the story of his family and how they got into raising cows.  

They started with standard corn fed cows, and then branched out into grass fed as demand began to grow.  They still offer corn fed cows, as some of their customers prefer the taste of cows fed this way.

I bought a couple of steaks and a roast to sample, and left Neal with the promise that I would be back soon to buy a quarter grass fed cow, left the beautiful countryside and headed back to suburbia and home.

After meeting Neal today at the barn where he keeps his many, many deep freezes, I handed over my cow money in exchange for around 80 pounds of beef in boxes.  

And this is what my $619 bought in yummy, heart-healthy, saturated fattiness, which is now happily awaiting consumption in my upright freezer:

36 pounds of Ground Beef
1 Arm Roast
1 Rump Roast
2 Chuck Roasts
1 Sirloin Tip Roast
5 Ribeye Steaks
1 Flank Steak
5 New York Strip Steaks
2 Filet Mignons
3 Top Sirloin Steaks
1 Brisket
5.34 pounds of Stew Meat
7.15 pounds of Soup Bones

Neal tells me that this should last my husband and me around a year.  We'll see!  In the meantime, I see that there is enough room left in my freezer for some pastured pork and chicken.  I need to start browsing the interwebs!

By the way, if anyone who lives near me is interested in purchasing some beef from Sawyer Beef, I will be returning to that area every two weeks or so and I would be glad to pick some up for you!

Visit the Sawyer Beef website and Facebook Page.

To read more about the benefits of grass fed beef, click here.


  1. HI, Becca. I'm trying to grass-fed these days, too. I'm using a supplier int he panhandle and most of his lesser expensive cuts like ground, chuck, brisket and sirloin run $5.80-$6.00; the nicer steaks and roasts run $8.00-$12.00. He also handles goat, lamb pork and eggs. I'm very happy with his meats. I'm just learning how to cook them so they will get tender. :) Good luck with the JUDDD and IF. I tried both for 4 months each, but felt too deprived on down days and non-eating periods, so I stopped. Need my food spaced more evenly in the day and every single day to be a happy person that is pleasant to be around, if you know what I mean. :)

    1. We'll see how long I last, Peggy!

      We have not eaten any of our new cow yet. I think I have an ebook on how to cook it so it doesn't come out tough.

  2. I'm finding low temp, longer, slower cooking, seared and braised with moisture (or covered with foil), or marinated (when grilling)have proven to yield the most tender results. And even then, it's not always tender. I haven't bought a full quarter cow yet, as I'm not sure my freezer could handle that much at one time. :)

    1. I have an e-book somewhere that tells how to cook grass fed without it being tough. So far, we have only eaten a steak and it was pretty good and not tough.

      I guess I am not concerned that the meat be super tender. It still tastes good when it is not as tender, and I am getting the health benefits.

  3. Hi there Rebecca! I'm a huge fan of yours through Jimmy Moore! :) While I wasn't terribly specific this summer in tracking, I am a reversed Type II due to the HF/LC WOL and the work of the late, great Dr. Atkins. I love your blogspot, Rebecca and I hope to lose b/w 20-30 lbs. doing some heavy tracking. Wish me luck! :) Sincerely, Mary

    1. Hi, Mary! Sorry to take so long to answer. This somehow got lost in my email. I do wish you all the best in your quest for better health! Feel free to comment now and then and let me know how you are doing!