Although I haven't taken the time to write about the subject of free range (or grassfed) meats -vs- grain fed (or barn kept) meats, I wanted to share our experience at Bentley's.
Jason and I have chosen to switch to grassfed/free range meats based on the research I have been doing. Basically, the grassfed meats are all natural, meaning no hormones, steroids, or antibiotics and they are fed grass, which is full of Omega 3 fats, instead of the harmful Omega 6 fats that grain fed animals have. Grassfed meat is also leaner and healthier. Anyways, I will write more about that later...
In our search to find better meats, we heard about a meat market in Winder that sells what we were looking for. Winder is only about 30 minutes from us and so we decided to head over there one evening and check it out. We had to leave around 5:00 though, because Bentley's closes at 6:30, and I wanted to have time enough to speak to the "meat man" and make sure I was getting what I was looking for. You know, you have to be careful these days, because packaging and advertising will deceive you. I don't know how many times I have looked at a label that said "all natural" on the front and then flipped it over to find out it wasn't exactly "all natural" at all!
We arrived at Bentley's around 5:30. It was in a little strip mall section on Main Street and smaller than I expected. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by an extremely friendly black gentleman, calling each person who walked through the door either "sister" or "brother" and he knew most of them by name as well. We were surprised to find it quite busy in our time there, mostly with repeat customers...which was a good sign!
We decided to choose a meat package, since I didn't have a menu plan. The one that best suited us (because of the size of our family) was the $99.99 package. The only issue was that we quit eating pork and there were quite a few pork products in the package. I spoke with the owner and he said it would be no problem to substitute with other meats.
The meats all looked really good, especially the ones that were seasoned or stuffed. There were several varieties of beef, pork, and chicken cuts, as well as a meatloaf mixture (already seasoned), stuffed bell peppers, and stuffed chicken breasts.
Here is what we ended up with for $99.99:
3 lb eye of round roast
3 lb chuck roast
3 lb bottom round roast
1 whole chicken
6 lb split chicken breast
8- 1/4 lb hamburger patties
6 lb ground chuck
3 lb meatloaf (preseasoned)
3 generously stuffed bell peppers
2 lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts
As we waited for the meat to be wrapped and labeled, we were entertained and encouraged the whole time by the sweet black gentleman. He was a pastor of a church in Lilburn and spent the majority of his time speaking on God's goodness and sharing God's Word with every single person who opened the door. Not only in English, but Spanish as well!!!
Once the meat was all packaged, we were surprised how much it actually turned out to be! Judging by the looks of it, we think it will last our family around 3 weeks! When we discussed what we usually spend on supermarket meat -vs- what we spent at Bentley's we feel that the price was about the same but the quality was obviously much higher.
As of today, we have eaten the stuffed bell peppers (yummy!!!) and one pkg of the ground chuck and we are extremely pleased with the taste and texture of both.
If you want to check it out for yourself, the address is 105 E. May St., Winder, Ga 30680 and the phone number is 678-963-9877