You've Got Choices
Deciding where to shop for your food is an integral part of keeping you and your family healthy and thriving! We're lucky to have numerous options for buying beef.Here are some things to consider when buying beef at a local grocery store or at a local farm or farmer's market.
Buying at a Local Grocer
In most areas of Virginia, the easiest and most convenient place to purchase beef is at a supermarket. They have a variety of hours, are usually closely located to residential neighborhoods, and don't close seasonally or due to bad weather.
Buying at a grocery store means you have options. All retail beef is labeled. The USDA grading system is used to determine marbling and to give you an indication of the quality. You can learn more about grades here.
Meeting the person behind the meat counter is always a great idea. They can give extra information about labels and different cuts. Trying a new recipe? They can give you tips for it to be a delicious meal to help you and your family thrive.
Grocery stores can purchase large orders of beef and get a lower price. This allows you to have options for a variety of cuts at a great price per pound.
From stepping outside to shop in an open-air farmer's market, to working one-on-one with the person who raises the animals, it can be a new, unique experience to purchase beef through a non-traditional venue.
Buying directly from a farmer/rancher or at a farmer's market means you have options. Beef can be grass-fed, grain-fed, natural or organic – all you need to do is ask! Take the opportunity to ask how your beef was raised.
It can be fun to build a relationship with someone in the agriculture community. Since agriculture makes up only 2% of the population, you can gain a unique perspective to how much hard work and dedication goes into raising all beef, regardless of where it's sold.
One thing to be aware of when purchasing direct is the price difference. Prices may be higher at a farmer's market due to seasonality and cost of production. However, buying a ‘side' or a larger purchase can be more cost effective.
Keep in Mind
Make sure you know your preference in beef flavor. Different types of beef taste differently – grass-fed beef has a unique flavor from grain-fed beef. Cooking tendencies vary, so check out some options for cooking different types of beef! You can feel confident that regardless of where you purchase, beef is an excellent source of protein and nourishment. All cattle are grass-fed for most of their lifetime, all beef is minimally processed, and is nutritious with 10 essential nutrients in every bite.
Local Beef Directory
Where to Buy Local Virginia Beef
We've assembled a local beef directory to buy beef directly from beef producers. If you're interested, check out our list of local regional providers below.