(originally published 4/16/18)
Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative is a farmer-owned, sustainable livestock cooperative and delivery service for small-batch chicken, beef and pork. All meats are grass fed, hormone free, pasture raised, and GMO free. The company reached out to us and asked if we would like to try a box and share our thoughts with all of you, and they also offered to provide a free box that we'll be giving away to one of our readers - see the details at the bottom of this post. But first, let's talk about this company and what they are all about.
What’s better about “pasture-raised?” Grass Roots animals consume a varied diet and get lots of exercise, resulting in a more flavorful meat. The chickens scratch and hunt insects, the pigs root for grubs and acorns in Ozark forest (called “forested pork”), the cows munch on a variety of fresh grasses and never eat grain. The animals are rotated daily to enhance the land and restore valuable nutrients to the soil.
The meat from Grass Roots animals is healthier because they are never given hormones, antibiotics, or other additives. The product is considered “better than organic,” because organic certification can still allow for unsanitary factory-farmed conditions. Even “free range” chickens usually live their entire lives indoors, with a tiny access door to the outdoors that is rarely used. This does not happen in Grass Root farms and you can read more here: https://grassrootscoop.com/aboutsustainable-farming-coop/practices/
By scanning the label on each package of meat, you'll gain access to all the information about the animal - the name of the farm and the size of the batch, the size of the pasture it had access to, the name and date of where/when it was processed and how many other animals were processed in the same batch. Grass Roots is the only company in the world that does this kind of tracking for 100% of their products.
You can order meats from Grass Roots by placing individual box orders or you can set up a subscription for recurring deliveries of your favorites.
How does the subscription work? Your order is set to renew every 30 days. You’ll receive an email reminder about this 10 days before your renewal date, and also 1 day before.
This is what I saw when I opened the box. There was a sample of some organic steak rub and an info card about the packaging in the box. Everything used is 100% biodegradable and can be composted, recycled, dissolved in water, or burned.
How does shipping work? Grass Roots ships to all 48 states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. Shipping is free for orders $75 or above. For orders below $75, a shipping rate based on your region will apply.
Under the first insulated layer was some padding created with crumpled brown paper.
Under the paper I found some chunks of dry ice enclosed in a bag.
And under the dry ice was this nice reusable thermal tote!!
Inside the tote I found the meat that I ordered.
I may have been just as excited about the tote as I was about the meat!
Everything arrived ROCK solid frozen. It's understandable to be a bit concerned when being shipped such a perishable and temperature-sensitive product and I was impressed by the care that was taken to ensure everything arrived perfectly frozen. The packaging was truly first class.
Here's everything I ordered (these prices reflect 2018 pricing)
12oz Bacon - $12.06
2.5lbs Beef Chuck Roast - $15.24
16oz Chicken Tenders - $11.93
16oz Ground Italian Sausage - $7.97
16oz Mesquite Lime Sausages - $9.13
8 Mild Sausage Links - $8.55
40oz Pork Spare Ribs - $22.50
16oz Skirt Steak - $10.37
Order Total: $97.75
We tried the mild sausage links first by simply cooking them in a pan on the stove and eating them alongside a pancake breakfast. They were delicious and mild enough for my young kiddos to enjoy as well.
Next I used the chicken tenders in a healthy one skillet meal made from riced cauliflower, carrots, and onion. The tenders were well-trimmed and didn't have that creepy grisly white tendon that you'll sometimes see on this type of chicken cut.
The bacon was incredible! The slices were so thick and they crisped up perfectly. My bacon-loving toddler had no complaints about me making a classic Southern treat meal of biscuits and country gravy made from the leftover drippings from the bacon.
The mesquite lime sausages were positively begging to be cooked with some sauteed peppers and onions - that's a meal all on its own, mmm...
The ground Italian sausage got piled with some sauce, cheese, and onions onto a crispy cauliflower crust for a weeknight pizza meal. The sausage was exploding with flavor and made for a totally fantastic pizza. I bet it would make a killer spaghetti sauce as well, mmm.
Requisite cheese pull.
I still have the ribs, chuck roast, and skirt steak in my freezer waiting to be used, but from what we've already tried, we're pleased with every single facet of our experience with Grass Roots. The packaging is top notch, the customer service is responsive and friendly, the website is easy to use, and the prices are what you would expect from a company with such a high quality product and that holds itself to a strong and commendable set of practices.