800 m run
3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
A post from Jim:
We have all heard Jon say “What you do outside of here, effects what you can do in here”, or in other words, garbage in-garbage out. You guessed it, that nagging component to all of our progress, nutrition. I am by no means an expert nor have I even begun to figure it all out, but one thing that I have learned is that buying meat in bulk is a great start.
Not just because you are going get a freezer full of wonderful grass-fed meat at lower than store prices but when you have meat at home, you are going to cook at home. And cooking at home leads to eating healthier. Very often it is difficult to adhere to the Paleo diet when eating out (all the temptation and choices) but at home no one is bringing us bread, there is no dessert menu or endless supply of chips. We can choose to keep our home a diet sanctuary, a home base from which to grow our nutritional goals. Having a steady supply of grass-fed naturally raised meat reinforces all of this.
Throughout the past year Dollie and I have been turned on to buying meat in bulk from a friend. As a result we have purchased pastured pork, grass-fed beef, and now grass-fed bison, all raised locally, and in excess of 50lbs with each purchase. At first it may seem unnerving committing to such a large purchase, “Am I going to eat all of this? Will it go bad? What am I going to do with a Pork Butt?”. These questions are all valid but I think that you will find once you take an active interest in where your meat is coming from and make a conscious effort to consume meat free of hormones, chemical additives and grain, you will not look back.
I recently purchased a ¼ Bison with a friend of mine, and split it. This translates to roughly 45llbs of meat each. Most meat purchased in bulk comes vacuum wrapped, although some producers opt for the butcher paper wrap. I have not noticed a difference in the quality of meat provided, although it is nice to be able to see the meat in clear packaging.
The pictures provided shows my half which cost me $312, in three separate piles. When purchasing meat in bulk, either beef or bison, one can roughly expect 33% steaks, 33% roasts and stew meat and 33% ground meat. “But Jim, I don’t want ‘stew meat’ I want all steaks.” Yeah, me too, but unfortunately cow and buffalo don’t produce only steaks. The ground and roasts come with it, but remember you are getting all of this meat at the same price; ground, roast or steaks. Bison steaks in the store can be more than $15lb and chuck $9lb, all the meat pictured was $7lb.
Purchasing direct from the producer cuts out the store, allows us to support our local commerce and gives us an identity to the source of our nutrition. Something lost in today’s supermarket. The bison meat pictured was purchased through www.mhbsion.com (Notice the raw meat picture is less marbled than regular grain-fed beef, typical of bison meat, which results in a lower fat content but with the same amount of protein.)
Now having cuts of meat that you are unfamiliar with can be intimidating and believe me I have tried to trade away the pork butt because I still have not stepped up and committed to cooking it. But that is changing, and I find myself looking up recipes, asking more questions and finding flavorful meals made at home that I never knew could exist.
To get started, you will need some freezer space but you do not have to have commit to a large, expensive chest style freezer. Cruise craigslist and check yard sales, you will find something. Even your regular fridge freezer could be a good start with a little rearranging. “But Jim, I can’t buy 40-100lbs of meat, is there something smaller?”. Most producers have smaller packages but you will pay more since they tend to be only select cuts of meat. To tap into the best price and get a smaller quantity, you’re gonna have to split the order. And who better than your fellow Cross-fitters? As a gym community we could easily organize some meat purchases if you are interested. Start the conversation here, and perhaps we can get a list growing at the box. I would be more than happy to organize it.
This topic goes far beyond what I have posted here, and believe me the possibilities are endless. My friend who has turned me onto all this is already making his own lard, smoking his own bacon and utilizing the other parts of the animal to provide a better overall diet for his dogs. All things I hope to explore and hopefully share with you in the future.