Saturday, June 7, 2014

Where I shop in San Diego County to buy grass-fed beef and bison - help me add to my list!

I had a great question from a reader, Jen (waving hello) who is new to San Diego County from the mid-west . I moved here from Indiana 20 years ago myself and none of the grocery chains are the same. Farmer's Markets run all year in San Diego. And, if you were used to gardening in the Mid-west, the planting seasons are often different, too. A whole new world! Welcome to San Diego, Jen!

I realize a lot of people travel to San Diego and stay beach side in places with kitchenette's, so I thought I'd do a nice long list of places I shop, near the coast in San Diego. It's like we are on vacation here most days... so fortunate! Pssss: San Diego public service announcement to visitors- drive in the slow lanes- the two on the right, until you're more comfortable with the speed on I-5. Thanks! If traffic is jammed, most main west bound roads lead to the beach. Just saying... :)  Getting back to business...

Here is Jen's question: "I moved to the San Diego area back in October from the Midwest and am trying to find a good source for grass fed meat; in particular bison"

 Bison sources in San Diego:

1. Costco: ground bison , refrigerator section, Sold in packs of two, total of 2.5 pounds for $16.99 each. So $6.80/per pound

 2. Ralph's: Great Range bison steaks. Individually packaged, refrigerator section. About $11-13/per pound depending on the cut.

I've also seen bison at the following places Sprouts, Whole Foods (La Jolla and Encintas), Costco in the freezer section as patties. I use bison more as ground meat. For awhile, Costco carried bison steak filets. It was fantastic! I've not seen any of those for a year or so.

Grass-fed Beef in San Diego:
 I've been on a mission to find the grass-fed beef. I would love to buy a portion of beef, but could probably only have the freezer space for 1/8 of a cow or so.

Here's the order in which I buy grass-fed beef. Different sources yield a different flavor based on the grass, type of cow, etc. For ground beef, I always pay more for grass fed ( I notice that I feel so much better after I eat grass-fed). For steaks for fajitas or beef stew, I buy lean cuts of USDA grade high quality meat at Costco. I've got to face it. My budget will allow for grass-fed ground beef, but until I find a small enough share of a cow, I just go with lower priced, lean meats at Costco.

Grass-fed ground beef- San Diego Area
1. Trader Joe's -refrigerator section, $ 6.99 per pound
2. Trader Joe's - frozen $5-6, per pound (some of it is not local)
3. Sprouts- refrigerator section, $6-7 per pound (some of it is not local)
4. Sprouts- freezer section $6-7 per pound
5. Leucadia Farmers Market: A local farmer (I'll update with name soon..) $10/pound
6. Solana Beach Farmers Market: Da-Le Ranch. $10/pound. Nice variety of steak cuts $17-20.

Places I'd like to try this summer:
1. Primal Pastures- Temecula, CA with delivery service available
2. Cook Pig Ranch- Julian, CA- follow this local family on instagram for instant happiness
3. Possibly a meat CSA.

Okay, feel free to help Jen (and me) try some new grass-fed beef in San Diego County or ideas for shopping elsewhere.

 Eating quality grass-fed beef has helped me feel better than I ever have in my whole entire life. So glad I broke free of the low-fat teachings of the 1980's-2012 and updated my diet to one that supports my health. The saturated fat profile and the nutrient dense contents has made weight maintenance easier and a whole lot more flavorful. I have no doubt I have the gentic profile that allows for saturated, well sourced protein sources.  Glad to honor that! I must honor that for good weight maintenance  and health outcomes.

Ground Bison in a Beach House meal- great fuel for coastal living!

What's working now:
1. Buying and cooking grass-fed beef, bison, and other quality protein
2. Eliminating junk and processed foods (think snack bars) and putting the $$ to good protein.
3. Basic knowledge of how my body feels after I eat, genetics and saturated fat, listening to my bodies feed back, thinking about where my relatives came from and what they were likely eating.

What didn't work in the past:
1. Avoiding beef and cooking with fake soy meat, dry chicken breasts.
2. Using my grocery $$ to buy packaged food products and snacks.
3. Being so afraid of the red meat, saturated fat message. It didn't work well for me. 


  1. If you want to go out for a burger, Burger Lounge is great. They get all their grass-fed beef from a farm in Kansas. Best burger I ever had; even the salad was exceptionally good. They have gluten-free buns, too.

    1. Thanks Lori! So true. There are several Burger Lounges in coastal San Diego county. Also Pure Burger is right next to a Trader Joe's not far from Palomar Air Port. So, so fortunate to have good faster food here in SD!

  2. Oh how lucky we are here - all meat is still grass fed. I have a supplier who I deal with directly and he makes really happy grass fed beef. He's just won the New Zealand Beef and Lamb award for the best steak!!

    1. Lynda, I think of you EVERY time I'm buying meat in Costco (large warehouse store). I think it's super cool that your beef supplier won the award. Yum! Grass-fed beef is my most favorite protein. :) Enjoy the bounty. Another reason NZ is awesome!

  3. Where I am here in Canada I hadn't seen bison in a store until last week. The same store had wild boar bacon. I'm definitely going back to get some of both :)

    1. Suzanne, I've never tried wild boar. One of these days. Let us know how you like it. I've seen it on menus at nicer restaurants.

  4. What a great looking plate of food ....

    All the best Jan

  5. Lucky you all around. I cannot get any of this where I live and can't afford it either. That said I do eat chicken and eggs everyday and lots of vegetables, some berries. I eat lo carb under 65gm/day. Some protein powder ( J Robb) and skim + water a few times a week. :) There's always a way to eat better and feel better too
    Thanks so much for your 'what works/not' ..I read all of them!