In the era of farm-to-table dining, more and more people are looking to connect with the source of their food. One of the most direct ways to do this is by buying a whole cow. While it might seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it’s actually a straightforward process that offers numerous benefits. This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to buy a whole cow in Maryland, from finding a local farm to understanding the costs and benefits, and everything in between.
Step 1: Find a Local Farm
The first step in buying a whole cow is to find a local farm that raises and sells beef. In Maryland, one such farm is the Genuine Food Company. They are committed to sustainable farming practices, raising their cows on lush, green pastures. This not only results in happier and healthier cows but also leads to beef that is rich in flavor and nutrients. You can visit their website here to learn more about their farming practices and the products they offer.
Step 2: Understand the Costs
When buying a whole cow, you’re typically charged based on the hanging weight or dressed weight of the cow. This is the weight of the cow after it has been slaughtered and the non-edible parts have been removed. The cost per pound can vary depending on the farm and the specific breed of cow, but it’s generally more cost-effective than buying individual cuts of meat over time. Plus, when you buy a whole cow, you’re investing in a large supply of high-quality beef that can last you and your family for many months.
Step 3: Plan for Storage
A whole cow can yield a significant amount of meat—anywhere from 400 to 500 pounds. This means you’ll need to ensure you have enough freezer space to store it all. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need about one cubic foot of freezer space for every 30 to 35 pounds of beef. It’s also a good idea to organize your freezer in a way that allows you to easily access the different cuts of meat.
Step 4: Decide on the Cuts
One of the benefits of buying a whole cow is that you can customize the cuts of meat you receive. You can choose how you want your beef to be cut and packaged, from steaks and roasts to ground beef and bones for making bone broth. This allows you to tailor your order to your family’s eating habits and preferences. For example, if you love grilling, you might opt for more steaks. If you’re a fan of slow-cooked meals, you might request more roasts.
Here Are The Beef Cuts We Recommend
Steaks: We like cutting steaks into 3/4-1-inch thickness. If you decide you want a thicker steak and your beef processor allows it, keep in mind you’ll be getting fewer steaks. For example, if you order a quarter beef, you would usually get approximately 6-7 sirloin steaks if they’re 3/4 -1-inch thick. If you have them cut to 1 ½ -2 inches thick, you may only get 3-4 steaks. It’s the same weight of beef, but how you have it cut makes a big difference on the quantity of steaks.
Roasts: Arm, Chuck, Round, Rump cut into 3-4 pound roasts.
Ground Beef: Packaged in 1 pound packages
Short Ribs: You can stew it or grill it very quickly. Korean Short ribs are awesome.
Stew Meat and/or Kabob Meat: These cuts are typically the trimmings from the steaks.
Brisket:Cook it low and slow using different BBQ styles like Memphis or Texas style. Brisket is so good and there are lots of ways to cook brisket.
Soup Bones: We love soup bones. They make the best bone broth. We highly recommend them.
Organ meat: This is up to you, but we recommend it, especially liver.
Step 5: Place Your Order
Once you’ve done all the planning, it’s time to place your order. At Genuine Food Company, they strive to make the process as easy as possible. You can sign up for one of their Meat CSA packages, or purchase a quarter side of beef or a half pig or lamb. They also offer the option to pick up your order at the farm, giving you a chance to see where your food comes from.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Beef
Once your order is ready, all that’s left to do is enjoy your beef. With a freezer full of various cuts, you can experiment with different recipes and cooking methods. Whether you’re grilling steaks, slow-cooking a roast, or making homemade bone broth, you’ll be able to savor the superior taste of grass-fed beef. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly where your food came from and how it was raised.
Buying a whole cow is a great way to get high-quality, locally sourced beef at a more affordable price. Not only does it provide you with a variety of cuts to enjoy, but it also supports local farmers and promotes sustainable farming practices.
When you buy a whole cow, you’re not just making a purchase – you’re making an investment. An investment in your health, in local agriculture, and in a food system that values quality and sustainability over mass production.
Moreover, there’s something deeply satisfying about knowing exactly where your food comes from. It’s a connection that’s often lost in today’s fast-paced, convenience-oriented world. But when you buy a whole cow, you’re restoring that connection. You’re part of a cycle that starts with a seed, grows into a lush pasture, nourishes a cow, and ends up as a nourishing meal on your table.
So, why not give it a try? Head over to the Genuine Food Company’s website and start your journey to buying a whole cow today! You’ll be joining a community of conscious consumers who value quality, transparency, and taste. And who knows? You might just find that it’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Remember, buying a whole cow is not just a purchase. It’s a lifestyle choice, a statement, and a step towards a more sustainable and ethical way of living. So why wait? Take the leap and experience the benefits for yourself.