Review: Grass Roots Farmers' Co-Op Meat Box
First, let me preface this with: Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative did let me try their service without charge. However, my review of this service is 100% authentic of my experience and thoughts about this company and what they provide.
So what is Grass Roots?
Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative is a meat box subscription service that only uses pasture-raised, farmer-sourced meats. They are founded upon high ethical and quality standards when it comes to the core of their company: the meat. How do they do this? By ensuring their animals are raised by farmers in micro broods and herds, which encourages a higher quality of life for their animals! Raising animals in this kind of way not only allows them to have a good life through varied diet and lot of exercise, but it makes their meat much more flavorful! As well, they pay their farmers fair, living-wage prices.
To ensure you know where your meat is coming from (i.e. that it's really farmer raised!), Grass Roots is testing out a platform Provenance, whose blockchain-backed platform will allow Grass Roots to make their products (and their sourcing) more transparent. Blockchain is a relatively new technology that allows for public verification of information. So basically, the goal is for you to be able to scan the Grass Roots meat packages with your smartphone and see the journey from farm to hauler to butcher to packaging to shipping to plate. However, you can still learn a lot about your meat just from reading Grass Roots' product labels!
How does it work?
Grass Roots is a meat box subscription service that allows you to hand pick any assortment of meats (aka 100% customizable) or choose from one of their hand-picked boxes. Then, on a 30-day basis, your meat box will auto-send directly to you (free shipping for boxes over $75). You’ll receive an email reminder about this 10 days before your renewal date, and also 1 day before. However, you can always cancel or hold your next shipment.
For this service, you're able to pick from a wide variety of grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, forested pork, and pasture-raised turkey. Grass Roots has everything from your basics like chicken breast & ground beef to unique finds like mesquite lime sausages & bone broth kits. As mentioned above, if the wide selection is too hard of a decision, you can always go with their hand-picked boxes, which have various assortments of meats based on your preferences. Since these products are cream-of-the-crop quality and raised with care, they are priced at a premium.
The Grass Roots Experience
For my Grass Roots box, I ordered a custom box filled with an assortment of all four of the meats - turkey, beef, chicken, and pork. The online ordering processes was very simple and user friendly from start to finish. However, I did run into a snag with the payment (totally my fault) and their team was extremely responsive and quick to take care of me (extra kudos for customer experience).
After placing my online order, I was able to track my box online and it arrived on the date promised. The meats came in a box surrounded by dry ice to ensure it stayed frozen. As I worked my way through cooking and eating each of the meats I ordered, I was continually impressed with the quality of these Grass Roots meats. For a more in-depth breakdown of the pros and cons of my experience, see below!
- Product Quality: All the meats tasted high quality which is important, but even more so I felt good about eating the products because I knew that the meat was ethically sourced. Thus, not only did I enjoy the high-quality taste, but I really enjoyed the high-quality ethics behind the meats.
- The Wide Selection: Amazing. So many different cuts of meats, as well as unique meats like flavored sausages! This truly blew me away and I had a lot of fun picking out my meats.
- Seamless Delivery Process: Seriously, Grass Roots makes it so easy to order and the shipment process was very transparent. I put the meats in my online cart, I check out with and know my delivery date, they send an email when the order ships with a tracking code, I track my order and it arrives on time. Simple! It was also easy to see how to pause my subscription and manage anything related to my account.
- Customer Experience: As mentioned above, I messed up my the payment on my order (and again, totally my fault) and the Grass Roots team was so quick and sweet about helping me out. This experience conveyed to me that not only do they care about the quality of their products and the animals that contribute to those products, but they also give equal care to their customers.
- Cost: My main con for Grass Roots is that the price is high, but I understand why this is. They work really hard to raise quality animals and support local farmers through this. Quality raised animals are obviously going to be more expensive to raise, as those animals have more land to roam, higher quality food, and get more attention than less-responsibly raised animals. Because of this, you will pay a premium for this meat. At Costco, a pound of chicken breast is about $2.50, whereas a pound of Grass Roots Coop chicken breast will cost you almost $13.00. Like I said, it's expensive but I get it and I think Grass Roots Coop does a great job of explaining why the price point is so high (and it makes sense!).
- Some Limited Product Availability: As you can imagine, some stock on some items is limited. For example, I went to place my order and had planned on ordering the filet but it was sold out by the time I went to place my order. Not a deal breaker by any means, but just something to note.
The Verdict: Would I order Grass Roots again?
I'll say it... I fell in love with this company and their service. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a sucker for a company with a strong social mission and Grass Roots has just that! Furthermore, I love their efforts with blockchain tracking to make their products more transparent. I also found the online ordering process to be so easy to use and absolutely loved their huge meat selection. After trying the products, I was impressed again with the obviously high quality meat.
So yes, I would absolutely use Grass Roots Farmer Cooperative again and it has my seal of approval! Not only will you love the meat, but you'll feel good eating it.