I’ve long sought a reliable place to buy high-quality and affordable organic meat online.
So far, I’ve ordered from U.S. Wellness Meats, White Oak Pastures, Crowd Cow, Cooks Venture and ButcherBox.
In this review of popular organic meat delivery services, I’ll compare each based on their quality, selection and cost.
Out of these three:
- Crowd Cow offers the best combination of cost, quality and selection (see my in-depth Crowd Cow review).
- White Oak Pastures offers the highest overall quality.
- U.S. Wellness Meats has the best overall selection.
Here’s a look at the five services individually.
Best Overall: Crowd Cow
Summary: Fantastic quality with a good overall selection. Has some unique products, such as American and Japanese Wagyu beef. Ordering their family packs will save you about 30% off the prices listed below.
My Experience: 10+ orders.
Here’s one of my orders, listed from most expensive product to least expensive product:
- Labor of Love for $125.00. This includes six steaks, two packs of thick-cut bacon, two pounds of ground beef, and one of Crowd Cow’s gourmet salt tins.
- Whole Chicken Family Pack for $80.00.
- Chicken Breast Family Pack for $42.50.
- Ground Beef Family Pack for $37.50.
- Premium Ground Beef (X2) — this was free due to a new member special.
Crowd Cow sources their meat from high-end small family farms and co-ops. In terms of quality, each of their cuts was everything I hoped for.
Ever since watching Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat, we’d been wanting to try the Buttermilk Chicken recipe in the show.
And with Crowd Cow’s free-range organic chicken, it was absolutely phenomenal. The steaks — we used a sous vide to get the temperature just right — were also great.
The delivery was an experience in and of itself. Upon arrival, the meat was frozen solid thanks to the accompanying dry ice. This is to be expected, of course — although not all five companies met that food safety benchmark (more on this later in the review). What was unique, however, was the packaging.
Like all the other services I tested, the cardboard shipping box was recyclable. But the cooler inside of the cardboard box was also 100% compostable. In fact, when we took it out into our backyard and let the hose run over it, it simply disintegrated into this:
That might not seem like a big deal, but discarding traditional styrofoam can be a pain depending on the rules where you live. We typically stash the styrofoam boxes in our basement until we have a few built up, then drive 15 minutes to the nearest recycling center to get rid of them.
You can learn even more about my experience with the company in my full Crowd Cow review.
Crowd Cow Pricing
With Crowd Cow, you can order à la carte or become a member. As the membership (which is free to create and can be canceled at any time) gets you a 5% discount, I joined before making my first purchase. New members also get two free pounds of 100% grass-fed beef.
As you can see from my order (listed above), I went heavy with the family packs, as that’s where a lot of the value was. The 100% grass-fed ground beef value pack provided us six pounds at $37.50, with the 5% member discount bringing it to less than $6 per pound.
Crowd Cow’s quality is top-notch, though not necessarily the absolute best available. However, the combination of high quality and relatively low pricing has made it my default option. I typically make a monthly order for just above the minimum required for free shipping ($99), then choose a number of add-ons, as we like to change things up.
Crowd Cow Pros:
- Very high-quality products.
- Good overall selection of products.
- Offers a variety of free-range poultry selections.
- Eco-friendly packaging that’s 100% recyclable and compostable.
- Sources meat from small farms, family farms and co-ops.
- Modern, easy to use website.
- “Family packs” allow you to lower your costs.
Crowd Cow Cons:
- The meat comes from a variety of farms, so consistency is a concern.
Crowd Cow Cost Comparison:
|Product||Price Per Pound|
|Whole Organic Chicken||$5.70|
Best Pork Products: White Oak Pastures
Summary: Very high quality with above-average selection. Incredible pork products. The biggest downside is the cost, which runs higher on average than Crowd Cow and U.S. Wellness.
My Experience: We’ve now ordered from White Oak Pastures three times. What’s unique, and what drew me to White Oak Pastures, is that they’re a regenerative farm. That means their farming practices actually reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
White Oak’s hormone-free, heritage-breed pork products are among the best I’ve ever had. Their bacon and pork chops were just phenomenal. They also have a mix of ground beef and bacon, called Beecon, which not only tasted great but was fun to serve to some family members that were over (although at $15 per pound, it’s an expensive novelty).
As with U.S. Wellness Meats (discussed below), White Oak’s packaging consists of a recyclable cardboard box and a styrofoam cooler.
The primary reason I’ve ranked White Oak Pastures #2 on this list is their prices, which tend to run higher overall. As an example, their bacon starts at $19.99 per pound, compared to $11.40 for Crowd Cow’s “All Natural Heritage Bacon.” Considering that bacon is a staple food in our home, that’s a significant difference that adds up quickly.
White Oak does offer easy delivery bundles, which can help drive the cost down. However, these bundles tend to include higher-priced cuts of meat. So, while you can save a bit compared to going à la carte, your cost per meal tends to still be higher as you’re eating high-end cuts.
They do offer an occasional sale, which you can learn about by signing up for their newsletter.
White Oak Pastures Pros:
- White Oak Pastures is a true regenerative farm.
- The best quality pork I’ve ever had.
- Good overall selection of products.
- Occasional sales and bundled products can help you lower the costs.
White Oak Pastures Cons:
- Prices run higher on average, especially for pork products.
- Styrofoam packaging.
White Oak Pastures Cost Comparison:
|Product||Price Per Pound|
|Whole Organic Chicken||$6.88|
Third Overall: U.S. Wellness Meats
Summary: A combination of great quality with the best selection of options. Their prices tend to run a little higher. However, sign up for their mailing list to get an occasional coupon code for up to 20% off.
My Experience: I’ve ordered from U.S. Wellness Meats, also known as Grassland Beef, around a dozen times over the past few years. I’ve rarely been disappointed in the quality. It’s not as high as White Oak Pastures, but it’s still really good.
They also offer the largest selection of products out of each of the services I’ve tried, including a number of cuts that would be hard to find in most local grocery stores, such as sugar-free liverwurst made from 100% grass-fed beef (which was quite good) and fun-to-try products like pork rinds.
While we aim to keep our cost per meal low by buying the cheaper items on the list, we’ll typically include one or two nice cuts per order.
On a number of occasions we’ve ordered the ribeye, and on Christmas we served the pork tenderloin. Both were as good as one can imagine, and we would order them again.
The meat has always come frozen solid. They use a styrofoam cooler and dry ice to keep the meat cold, and while it serves its purpose of keeping the goods frozen, styrofoam is not exactly environmentally friendly. And as I noted previously, it can be a pain to get rid of.
If you sign up for their mailing list, there’s an occasional “20% off your entire order” coupon code. In the past, whenever I’ve seen this come in, I place a larger order.
Combining a coupon code with some of their bundle-order products can save you a lot of money. However, their bulk offerings tend to be BULK — e.g., you need to order 25 pounds of grass-fed beef to get the best deal. As such, you’ll likely need a deep freezer to take advantage of the best-possible savings here.
U.S. Wellness Meats Pros:
- Very high quality products.
- The largest selection of products available.
- The precooked cuts (such as the shredded pork) and prepared meals (such as the beef stew) are great for easy dinners.
- They often have coupon codes that save you up to 20%.
U.S. Wellness Meats Cons:
- Styrofoam packaging.
- Outdated website.
- Prices are slightly higher than Crowd Cow’s.
U.S. Wellness Meats Cost Comparison:
|Product||Price Per Pound|
|Whole Organic Chicken||$6.88|
|Grass-Fed Beef (75%)||$8.99|
Summary: I enjoyed the quality. However, twice the meat in the delivery was above a safe temperature for consumption. As such, we had to throw away a large percentage of our order (which was refunded).
My Experience: I wanted to like ButcherBox. But on two of our three orders, our meat was entirely thawed upon arrival. We took the temperature of the meat to check if it was safe to eat, and ended up having to throw a lot of it out.
ButcherBox uses a 100% recyclable cooler, combined with two-day shipping through FedEx. However, this combination was not enough to keep our order in a frozen-solid state upon arrival.
One plus was that ButcherBox’s customer service was great. On a weekend, soon after my order came, I hopped on a chat and sent them a few pics; they immediately issued replacements, which did arrive frozen solid.
The meat we did consume from that first order was very good. Not in the same league as White Oak Pastures, but tasty nonetheless.
As it’s a membership service with no à la carte option, the pricing is a bit sporadic. You can choose between a monthly custom box, an all-beef box, or a curated box with a mix of beef, pork, and/or chicken.
Boxes start at $129 a month, with each containing between eight and 11 pounds of meat.
- Their pricing, although hard to break down, is right around that of Crowd Cows (the lowest on this list).
- They offer a number of deals that can save you a significant amount of money. For example, their “free grass-fed beef for life” promotion will provide you with a free pound of beef added to every order of $125 or more (as long as you stay a member).
- Eco-friendly packaging that’s 100% recyclable.
- My experience was poor overall, as the meat was thawed on two of three orders.
- Only a few different cuts of meat are available.
Cooks Venture Review
Summary: Cooks Venture specializes in pasture-raised chicken, although they recently added pasture-raised beef to their list of products and look to soon add pork, lamb and seafood. The quality has been excellent, but the prices are high — though there’s a way to save that I’ll explain below.
My Experience: We’ve ordered from Cooks Venture once. We purchased four whole chickens (3 to 4 pounds each) for a total cost of $60 using a coupon code that was available at the time.
The chickens came frozen solid, and also included a freezer bag:
The quality was excellent, but without a coupon code, the cost was fairly high at around $20 per chicken.
We frequently order produce and other perishable items from Imperfect Foods, which offers both a subscription service and à la carte options. (You can learn more about the service in my Imperfect Foods review). The company doesn’t have a very wide meat selection, but a consistent supplier has been Cooks Venture.
And for the last few months, Imperfect has had Cooks Venture products listed at discounts, including whole chickens for just $10.
Since we like the quality, we’ve really stocked up as of late with prices this low.
One note I’d say about Imperfect Foods is that they don’t ship in dried ice, so your chicken is likely to come thawed. That’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning on placing a bulk order, since you may not want to re-freeze it.
Cooks Venture Pros:
- Excellent quality for pasture-raised chicken.
- Shipped frozen solid.
Cooks Venture Cons:
- Limited selection.
- Above average prices if going direct, as opposed to ordering through Imperfect Foods.
Organic Meat Delivery Service FAQs
My choice for the best overall meat delivery service is Crowd Cow, based on their combination of price and quality. However, White Oak Pastures is a close runner up, and may be the right option if you’re primarily looking for heritage-breed pork products.
We’ve found Crowd Cow to offer the best combination of price and quality. If you have an unlimited budget, check out White Oak Pastures; it’s a few more dollars per pound, but absolute top-notch in terms of quality.
Crowd Cow has partnerships with four direct-to-consumer Japanese farms that sell Wagyu. This includes Kagoshima Farms, which recently won ”Best Overall” at the Wagyu Olympics. If you’re looking for an American farm that offers high end cuts, Snake River is a well-regarded supplier of American Wagyu.
Crowd Cow offers a large variety of sustainable seafood. Items include steelhead trout, sockeye salmon, wild Alaskan pacific cod, wild shrimp, organic mussels and more.
You can add also add seafood items to your order at Grassland Beef, who partners with Vital Choice, one of the largest distributors of sustainable seafood. However, they have a limited inventory compared to going direct to Vital Choice, offering fewer than five items.
There are many services that I haven’t gotten around to ordering from yet. Some of the most popular include Porter Road, Greensbury and Thrive Market. Another option is Vital Choice, which is a sustainable seafood delivery service offering options such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon and wild halibut. If you’ve tried any of these (or others) please be sure to share your experience in the comments section below!
Amazon Prime members have access to meat delivery from both Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh. I’ve never tried this, but a colleague told me that he’s found the service to be hit-or-miss, having repeatedly received low-quality cuts, having perishable packages left at the front door without notice, and having meat delivered at unsafe temperatures.
I tested Belcampo and wrote a full review of the service, but the company shut down its e-commerce operations in October 2021.
Final Thoughts on Ordering Organic, Grass-Fed Meat Online
If you’re interested in trying out organic meat delivery, I’d recommend giving Crowd Cow a shot first. Their prices are decent compared to other high-end organic meat delivery services, and their product quality is hard to beat.
White Oak Pastures’ pork products are worth trying at least once in your life; the prices are high, but the quality meat they deliver is worth it.
U.S. Wellness Meats has a vast selection that makes it a good option when you’re looking for a rare or unique cut. Sign up for the newsletter though, and wait for a coupon of at least 10%.
And yes — as you may have guessed from this review, my family and I prioritize eating free-range, non-GMO, organic foods. If you’ve ever tried to follow this type of diet, you know it’s not the cheapest way to shop.