Grass Fed Cattle Company Ruminates on a Way to Eat Better Meat

Abby Andrusko, co-founder of The Grass Fed Cattle Co. in Edina, MN, is telling me the story of when she and her husband (and business partner) Marcus decided to give up industrially produced meat for good. "We were with a group in the boundary waters [Marcus and Abby also run a mission-driven company called Boundary Waters Experience], and the food we'd brought [from a major, national food discounter] was tasteless and fatty - definitely not healthy, and we didn't feel good about it. Marcus and I decided then and there that we were done with that kind of meat." On July 4, 2008, the couple decided to punish their families and friends one last time, cooking and eating every last bit of "the bad stuff" in a tribute to our country that was every bit as American as apple pie and fireworks. All the meat was eaten, and - fortunately - nobody got sick. An idea was born.

Abby is passionate about grass fed beef, especially when it's purchased directly from the farmers. She says that when consumers eat humanely produced grass fed beef, "It's a win-win-win, better for the farmer, for the people who eat it, for their health, and for their kids." Abby and Marcus are committed to working with small farms within 150 miles of the Twin Cities, a distance they feel allows them to work closely with their farmer-partners, and also to maintain a steady supply of product.

In truth, what impresses me most about The Grass Fed Cattle Co. (GFCC) isn't their views about animal husbandry, knowing their farmers, or omega-3 fatty acids; it's how they combine their passion with marketing smarts and customer focus. For example, to meet the needs of potential customers who lack the freezer space to store their beef in bulk, The Grass Fed Cattle Co. offers what they call a Beef CSA, allowing customers to buy a quarter or eighth of a cow and pick it up in two or three packages over the course of the year from their Edina location (they'll store the rest until you're ready).

The company has also recently launched a Cow Pooling program, which allows people to gather their own families, friends, and neighbors to purchase an entire cow in quarters and/or eighths. According to the GFCC website, each participant in the program saves between 25% - 30% by buying in bulk, and cow pool organizers also receive a "special appreciation gift."

As awareness of - and demand for - better food increases, it's exciting to see entrepreneurs like Abby and Marcus look for opportunities to expand the market for quality products we can feel good about. For more information about GFCC pricing and options, visit

Header image by Kate NG Sommers.

Lee Zukor is the founder of Simple, Good, and Tasty. E-mail him at or follow him on Twitter.