At the historic Fernandina Beach farmer’s market we found an organic meat vendor, www.jdbeef.com. I’ve actually written a couple of short articles about beef in the past, including a short piece introducing the difference between grass fed and grass finished cattle. And before I ever even heard of organic beef I wrote What to Look for When Buying Beef where I explained the differences in Prime, Choice and Select cuts you’ll find in the grocery store.
With this amateur knowledge about beef, my family thought it would be a great experiment to have a blind, taste testing challenge for dinner where we would each declare which meat we liked the best and which variety we thought each one might be.
We purchased one pound of grass fed, grass finished beef at the Amelia Island Market Place from JD’s Beef. We also purchased one pound of grass fed, grain finished beef from JD’s.
Both of these packages were from free range, Angus cattle with no steroids, no hormones, and no antibiotics.
Then, we purchased one pound of top of the line ground chuck from our local Publix grocery store.
My husband acted as our chef, so he was the only one who knew which meat sample was prepared and then where each was plated for the contest to begin.
Grass fed, grass finished beef was very good, but not the tastiest as it was very lean. Our chef said the grass finished was also the hardest one to cook. This beef patty kept trying to fall apart as it was cooked on the grill.
The grass fed, grain finished beef won the contest, hands down, in taste as well as cook-ability.
You could taste the grocery store beef’s chemicals. To me, it tasted like bleach smells; you could literally taste the additives, antibiotics, preservatives… or something in the store bought meat.
Surprisingly, the price of the two organic beef varieties, were closer to the cost of the ground chuck than we expected. When we compared the price of the organic beef at the farmer’s market to the price of organic beef at the neighborhood grocery store, I was very surprised to notice the farmer’s market vendor’s beef was less expensive.
Overall, it was amazing how different the organic beef tasted compared to the store bought meat… and for the difference in price, I don’t know why I would ever buy our ground beef from anyone other than an organic farmer.
For more information visit the website of JD Beef, at www.jdbeef.com.