***FedEx and USW Meats offices will be closed Monday, May 30th in observance of Memorial Day. Any orders placed now will be held until shipping resumes on Tuesday, May 31st. Thank you and happy Memorial Day weekend!***

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FAQs: About U.S. Wellness Meats

 

Where are your farms located?

Our four founding cattle farms are located in the northeast corner of Missouri and western Illinois, alongside the Mississippi River. The Wood farm is near Canton, Missouri; the Leeser Farm is in Taylor, Missouri; the Suter farm is near Wyaconda, Missouri; and the Crum farm is near Virginia, Illinois. A few other small partner farms throughout the US supply us with cattle throughout the year. We also source from a farm run by personal friends of ours in picturesque Tasmania.  This island is the ideal place for grazing animals as they have a temperate climate that allows for grazing year round, and no hormones or GMOs are even allowed on the island. Any cuts sourced from Tasmania will be labeled as such on the website in the individual product descriptions. Both our Midwest and Tasmania cattle are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. Our other products come from our co-operative of family farms around the country. To learn more about each of the family farm providers, please click here. And here is a link to more information on our partner farms. 

Are you certified organic? Why not?

All U.S. Wellness Meats cattle pastures and animals have been maintained with organic principles in mind since 2000. Unfortunately, the state of Missouri dropped a state-run organic-certification program and turned it over to a private certifier several years ago. The private certifier wanted 3% of the gross income of the preceding year to maintain the license. We politely said no, and felt if Thomas Jefferson were still alive he would concur. Sadly, greed has infiltrated a noble cause. 50% of the Missouri organic producers have let their certification lapse since this situation was created by the Missouri legislature.

 Does U.S. Wellness Meats adhere to sustainable farming practices?

Yes. With a 30 to 45-day rest period between grazing, we increase the density of existing plants in ourcattle pastures and allow for the re-introduction of new native plants. As a result, all of our grassland is deeply rooted, and this better root structure and thicker sod enables the landscape to catch and hold nearly all of the rain that hits it, resulting in virtually no soil erosion or flooding. Finally, this sustainable eco-system is a natural carbon recycler: the carbon our animals produce is reused by our plant life for further growth.

Do you offer wholesale or affiliate programs?

Yes, we offer both. As an affiliate, you can earn commissions based off sales from your website. As a wholesale customer, you can save by buying in bulk. For more information on both programs, visit our website.

 

FAQs: About Our Meat

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Do you feed antibiotics or hormones?

No, none of our animals are fed antibiotics or growth hormones throughout the course of their lives.

 Are the cattle finished with grain?

Never. From the moment our animals are weaned from their mothers, they consume high quality forage for the rest of their lives. Not only is grain-finish counter to the values of grass-fed farming, but a change to a starchy grain diet can undo omega 6:3 ratios and CLA values in 30 days.

 What do cattle eat in the winter?

The onset of winter doesn't mean the end of grazing for our animals—there is still stock-piled forage that they consume until it is harvested or snow is an issue. When snow makes grazing impossible, we feed our animals our own hay, which is pasture grass that is harvested and stored when dry. Baleage, fresh pasture grass that is cut at optimal freshness, stored and vacuum packaged while moist, allows for nearly green grass in January. During harsh weather, we supplement with a starch-free grass plant protein for added energy and protein. We never use grain (starch) as it will ruin excellent lipid chemistry.

 Where are the cattle harvested? Is it humane?

The animals are tended as humanely as possible up to point of slaughter to minimize stress. The process is done as quickly as possible to eliminate animal trauma or suffering. And we are sticklers about cleanliness: We demand a steam-cleaned facility for the slaughter process in order to eliminate all risk of cross contamination with grain-fed animals, and we are committed to a strict adhere to the USDA's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards. In over a decade with our current abattoir, we have yet to see any evidence of adrenaline-rush damage (an immediate stress indicator) in the meat tissue after slaughter. And in keeping with our tradition of supporting outstanding family businesses, our facility is family-owned with six members of the same family involved in overseeing daily operations.

Are your meats aged?
  • Beef is aged. Aging is critical to a tender, flavorful beef product. Meat is cut into sub-primal cuts and aged for an average of 30 days before it is cut into retail portions. Wet aging allows for the breakdown of collagen, essential to infusing fat through the meat. In order to ensure freshness, wet aging is done in a vacuum package to improve meat safety.
  • Fats (tallow, lard, and duck fat) are not aged, but rather the fat is frozen and rendered as needed. 
  • Organ meats are not aged; organ meats are delicate, and need to packaged quickly after harvest.
  • Pork is not aged, but it is chilled ~5 days prior to fabrication.
  • Bison is not aged since it is so lean to begin with and intramuscular fat is needed to age meats. Bison hangs for ~48 hours to chill the carcass before fabrication.
  • Lamb is not aged; it is chilled for ~48 hours prior to fabrication.
  • Chicken, Turkey, and Rabbit is not aged; it is frozen immediately after harvest and fabrication.
  • Seafood is not aged; the frozen seafood selections are processed and frozen immediately after the initiation of harvest.
What is a "primal" and a "sub-primal"?

There are nine primary cuts of beef in a harvested animal, and these are known as "primal." You can learn more about each primal cut here. It is possible to cut each of these primal into smaller "sub-primal" cuts. For example, a short loin is sub-primal of the loin primal. A tenderloin and a striploin are also sub-primals of the loin primal. You can save significant money on our meat by ordering a primal, and cutting it into retail cuts at home.

How can I learn about the different cuts of meat?

Please visit our "Learn Your Cuts" page.

What is the difference between "fresh chilled beef" and regular products?

Most U.S. Wellness Meats products are stored and shipped frozen, but a small selection of “fresh chilled beef” has never been frozen and will arrive at your door fresh and cool to the touch. Like our regular beef products, it is forage-fed and aged for optimal tenderness and flavor. Please note, fresh chilled beef ships the third Wednesday of every month and arrives separate from frozen products. Please note the shipping schedule listed in the web store. For more information, visit our Fresh Chilled Blog.

Why will some vacuum ground beef packages show color differences?

U.S. Wellness Meats uses cryovac vacuum packaging on bulk burger and patties in order to guarantee that our packaging is the safest possible. Vacuum-sealing ground beef packages will often remove some oxygen from the beef itself, this can result in varying surface color on all four sides of the package. This is an appearance issue only and will not result in taste or flavor concerns. US Wellness has never ever used food dye to mask the dull color of vacuum sealed ground beef.

Are the "processed" products (sausage, hot dogs, pre-cooked products, etc.) also made from grass-fed beef?

Yes. All beef products on our site are made with 100% U.S. Wellness Meats grass-fed beef.

How do I find out the ingredients in any prepared product?

Ingredients are listed on the individual product page. Click "details" to read the full product description. Feel free to contact our office with any specific questions or concerns.

 What is pemmican and how does it fit into my diet?

Centuries ago, the Native Americans of the Great Plains developed pemmican as a means of preserving fat and protein. Pemmican was a blend of tallow (40%), air-dried jerky (60%), and seasonal berries and raw honey, if available. With dried berries acting as a natural preservative and added energy from honey, pemmican was—and still is—a wonder food. U.S. Wellness Meats pemmican is:

  • A super snack bar, best opened when frozen for ease of opening;
  • Ready to consume after 15-20 minutes at room temperature;
  • A delicious and healthful addition to scrambled eggs, green beans or meat loaf.

 Why does the pemmican have to be frozen?

Pemmican is made from beef jerky that is dried, but not to the point of being shelf-stable. For this reason, our pemmican is perishable and must be stored in the freezer. To learn more about our pemmican, check out this pemmican blog page.

 How long can U.S. Wellness Meats products be stored in the refrigerator? Freezer?

Storage time varies from product to product. On average, we say three to seven days in the refrigerator, and up to several years in the freezer as long as the vacuum seal holds.


FAQs: About Our Other Products

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Which dairy products are pasteurized and which are not?

All of our raw cheeses are grass-fed, raw, un-pasteurized, and of superior quality. Butter is pasteurized at the lowest temperatures allowed by state law for 30 minutes and not homogenized.

Is your butter "raw"? Homogenized? Cultured?

Please see above. It is illegal for us to sell raw butter.

Is the butter frozen? Is the cheese frozen?

Butter ships frozen; however, it can be stored in the refrigerator but freezing will extend shelf life. Cheese is fresh and ships fresh. Cheese will store for a month in the refrigerator. Cheeses can be frozen and will have minimal texture changes after thawing. Gouda freezes the best and cheddar may be a bit crumbly after thawing; however, flavor will not change significantly.

What are nutraceuticals? How can I learn more about them?

U.S. Wellness Meats’ nutraceuticals are concentrated vitamin and mineral supplements designed to enhance your daily diet. Learn more by visiting the specific product pages

 

FAQs: Health and Safety

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What is the best way to thaw my order from U.S. Wellness Meats?

It is best to thaw meat using the refrigerator. With this method, a one-pound package will thaw in approximately 20 to 24 hours. We do not recommend thawing meat in the microwave; however, if you must, select the lowest power setting to avoid cooking (rather than defrosting) the meat. Check the meat frequently to monitor thawing. Occasionally, pinholes can occur in the tumultuous first hour or two of transit at minus 10 degrees. We always suggest thawing products on a plate in the refrigerator to catch any packages that have developed leaks in transit.

How should I cook my order?

Cook ground beef until no pink remains, or until the meat temperature registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Slow-cooking methods that retain moisture work well on lean, red meat. Braising is recommended for roasts and low heat is ideal for steaks. Steaks should be prepared to a minimum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (rare) to a maximum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (medium) for the most tenderness and flavor.

What is CLA?

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is fatty acid that is produced naturally in the bodies of grass-fed animals and is found in their meat and milk. Grass-fed cattle are likely to have two to three times the amount of CLA as grain-fed animals, and this nutritional value is passed on to you when you eat grass-fed meat. Research shows that a diet rich in CLA can help reduce a person's risk of cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.

 

FAQs: Shipping Information

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Where does U.S. Wellness Meats ship?

All 50 states. Due to customs issues, we are unable to ship internationally.

Do you ship to Canada?

Unfortunately not. Due to rule changes by Canadian Customs in December 2007, our access to Canada has been closed. The cost for paper work is the deal killer — it now requires the same paper trail for a 10 kilo box as a full semi truckload. We suggest speaking to your local elected officials about NAFTA and new customs rules. Some alternate websites we suggest are: www.eatwild.com and www.localharvest.org

Is there a shipping weight minimum?

All orders must weigh at least 7 pounds total. Products that ship separately such as South Carolina Chicken bundles, BBQ Sauce, and cookbooks do not count towards the 7 pound weight minimum. You may learn more about our order minimums here.

Is there a purchase minimum?

A $75 minimum order is required. If your order weighs more than 7 lbs, but costs less than $75, it does not meet our minimum order requirements. We have build the cost of shipping into our products; the price listed online includes FedEx shipping. The only additional charges are sales tax for Missouri residents.

Why is a handling fee added when shipping is advertised as free?

The U.S. Wellness Meats handling fee covers the labor expense of the person filling your order on the day of shipping. Keep in mind this person is working for you in a very cold environment of minus 10 degrees! We do our best to limit the expense by making it a flat fee, which means it is a minimal percentage of the overall cost of larger orders. Shipping charges have been included in the cost of meat since we started our company. 

How is my meat packaged?

After four weeks of wet aging, the beef is vacuum packed in state-of-the-art cryovac vacuum packaging. This airless environment ensures high quality and a long shelf life in your freezer. Meat will arrive at your door in well-insulated styrofoam shipping containers.

 When will my order be shipped?

 

Day Order Placed Estimated Shipping Date
Monday Tuesday or Wednesday
Tuesday Wednesday
Wednesday before 10AM CST Wednesday
Wednesday after 10AM CST Monday
Thursday Monday
Friday Monday
Saturday Monday
Sunday Monday or Tuesday

Fresh chilled (never frozen) beef ships separately from frozen meat. Fresh beef usually ships the third Wednesday of each month (as designated by the schedule in the product description on our website). If you have any questions about the shipment date of your fresh chilled beef order, please call our customer service team at (877) 383-0051 during regular business hours (M-F 8:30-4:30 CST).

What shipping method do you use?

FedEx is our current exclusive carrier. We are unable to ship via UPS.

When will I receive my order?

We ship Monday-Wednesday every week and ship via FedEx Ground or Express service based on your zip code. We ship on Thursdays as needed due to high order volume or holidays. Deliveries are expected to arrive within three days from the time of shipping. You will receive a tracking number from FedEx after the order ships so you will know estimated delivery date. If you ever have special shipping requests, please contact customer service prior to ordering to ensure we are able to accomodate your needs.

How can I change my personal info/billing address/shipping address?

Click here to change customer profile information. Enter your username and password and then make any necessary changes.

How should I dispose of the Styrofoam cooler? Do you have a recycling program for the Styrofoam containers?

U.S. Wellness Meats has explored both an ideal return policy for Styrofoam coolers and a new product with similar insulating properties. To date, we have not yet found a product with insulating properties that match those of Styrofoam yet that are also environmentally friendly. Currently, we suggest contacting local Meals On Wheels, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or similar organizations to determine if they could make good use of these superior coolers. For more styrofoam reuse and recycling ideas, visit our Go Green Blog.

 

FAQs: Your Order

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 How do I order?

Follow our easy online process. You can also call our toll free number (877) 383-0051 for live assistance.

When will my order be shipped?

 

Day Order Placed Estimated Shipping Date
Monday Tuesday or Wednesday
Tuesday Wednesday
Wednesday before 10AM CST Wednesday
Wednesday after 10AM CST Monday
Thursday Monday
Friday Monday
Saturday Monday
Sunday Monday or Tuesday

We ship Monday-Wednesday every week and ship via FedEx Ground or Express service based on your zip code. We ship on Thursdays as needed due to high order volume or holidays. Deliveries are expected to arrive within three days from the time of shipping. You will receive a tracking number from FedEx after the order ships so you will know estimated delivery date. If you ever have special shipping requests, please contact customer service prior to ordering to ensure we are able to accomodate your needs.

Fresh chilled (never frozen) beef ships separately from frozen meat. Fresh beef usually ships every third Wednesday (as designated by the schedule in the product description on our website). If you have any questions about the shipment date of your fresh chilled beef order, please call customer service at (877) 383-0051.

When will I receive my order?

We ship Monday-Wednesday every week and ship via FedEx Ground or Express service based on your zip code. Deliveries are expected to arrive within three days from when we ship. Packages normally deliver Tuesday-Friday. Occasionally, packages will deliver on Saturdays due to holidays or FedEx workload. We are unable to deliver on Sundays or Mondays due to FedEx's schedule. You will receive a tracking number from FedEx after the order ships which will display the estimated delivery date and allow you to monitor delivery progress.

 How can I change my personal info/billing address/shipping address?

Click here to change customer profile information. Enter your username and password and then make any necessary changes.

 How are credits issued?

In the event that we must issue a credit, it will be issued as either a store credit or a credit to the credit card used for the purchase, unless otherwise requested.

 How much freezer space will I need?

One cubic foot of freezer space will hold approximately 22 to 28 lbs. of beef.

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