I have been a long time advocate of Community Shared Agriculture and love the idea of supporting local farmers and eating as sustainably as possible. But did you know that in addition to fruit and vegetable farm shares, Philadelphia has an innovative meat-sharing program?
Philly CowShare connects communities of responsible farmers and butchers with urban communities who simply want to eat well. A CowShare is a bundle of beef that includes cuts from across the cow. The beef from each cow the business buys gets divided into equal shares by weight and type of cut. When you buy a CowShare, you are sharing the bounty from the cow with others. Each CowShare bundle includes steaks, roasts, cubed beef, chipsteak, ground beef, beef patties, and soup bones. Every cut is individually packaged, vacuum-sealed and frozen. The beef is packed in recyclable, cardboard boxes and is delivered by refrigerated trucks. At 2 lbs a week, an Eighth CowShare will last about 6 months.
All my CrossFit friends on the Paleo diet are a huge fan of this business. But you don’t have to be a massive meat eater to see the benefits of this program. In fact, Philly Cow Share challenges the consumer to eat meat more mindfully. Eat healthy meat, eat less meat, and eat all the cuts from the animals and not just the high-end steaks. Using the whole animal reduces waste and returns more money to the farmer and butcher. PCS makes sure the farmer and butcher are paid fairly and the animals are raised in accordance with their nature and in harmony with the land. Eating locally, sustainably-raised beef is better for the animals, the farmers, the planet, and taste!
And eating sustainably will actually save you money! All cuts of meat cost $9.50/lb individually or $8.20/lb with a group. That includes top line cuts like porterhouse and T-bone which would cost you up to $30 a pound at Whole Foods!
Our share included Delmonico cut steaks which are boneless rib eyes. Fortunately it’s grilling season and any grass-fed beef on the barbeque needs nothing more than salt and pepper.
We also received burgers, ribs, and chip steak which all cooked up beautifully on the grill, though for the more adventurous chefs there are plenty of recommendations for different cooking styles. I’m even thinking of Philly Cow Share as an extremely unique wedding gift for a pair of Paleo friends. What could be more useful for the first six months of marital life than always having something for dinner?
Disclosure: This company gave me a sample for review. Regardless, my opinions are honest. See my full disclosure here.