Bringing the Butcher to Your Door: This CSA Box Is for Carnivores

AgLocal’s curated subscription boxes deliver ethically sourced meat.

(Photo: Facebook)

May 3, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

A carnivore-friendly cousin may soon accompany the weekly arrival of the CSA vegetable box. Yes, meat lovers, San Francisco–based AgLocal has come up with a CSA box that’s chock-full of high-quality meats ethically sourced from sustainable, regional farms.

Founded in 2011, the company is determined to empower meat eaters to make better choices. “We want everyone to eat healthier, help local food businesses grow, and bring awareness to the tremendous value local meat producers have in the community,” says AgLocal’s Facebook page.

The company’s website says it only sources meat from “farms that implement responsible ranching practices concerning animal diet, medical treatment and animal well-being.” It’s determined to give a signal boost to those independent farms by negotiating fair market prices with them and increasing demand for their responsibly produced agricultural products.

That all sounds good, but what do you get in the meat CSA box? Well, it depends on what you feel like eating. Four themes are sure to appeal to carnivores of all stripes.

According to the website, the Family Style box features four to six servings of chuck roast, whole chicken, bacon, ground turkey, and ground beef. The Grill Master includes enough brisket, steaks, kebabs, and ground beef to, as the website says, ensure “that you maintain your reign as neighborhood pit boss.”

There’s also a Fit and Lean box of cuts that the site says are “great for beefing up and slimming down.” For the truly adventurous spirit, there’s the Farmer’s Pick, which has unusual cuts such as goat cubes and bits of offal.

No matter which theme you choose, a one-box (six-pound) monthly subscription will cost $85. For $150, twelve pounds of meat is yours for the eating. That’s significantly more than you’ll spend at your local grocery store, where you can purchase about 15 pounds of ground beef for $85.

On the AgLocal blog the company writes that it hears plenty of people saying they’d “purchase more ‘good meat’ if it was not so expensive.” Instead, says the blog, the discussion “should not be around why good meat is so expensive, but rather why conventionally raised meat is so cheap.”

“Looking at the raising practices, cost structure, and end product, it makes no sense to equally compare grass-fed and grain-fed beef,” writes AgLocal. “It would be like comparing a new Porsche to a used 1980 Rabbit. Both may get you from point A to point B, but one of the choices will certainly cost you more trips to the mechanic.”

Essentially, as will be said till the cows come home, you are what you eat. If you’re into eating these cuts, the subscription starts shipping on May 19 for Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state residents. The company has plans to expand to the Midwest by the end of the year.