Local Meat Buying Guide

Image:Buying_Guide_feature.jpgBuying the Whole Animal for dummies.

Beef and Pork Whole Animal Buying Guide


This consumer-oriented guide, created by Iowa State University’s Small Meat Processors Working Group, explains buying pork and beef as whole animals (or portions thereof) directly from local producers. Common retail pork and beef cuts are explained with color photos by primal. This guide brings all the necessary pieces together in one easy-to-use resource. Free PDF available online. Hardcopies available in color and B&W.

Sample page of common cuts from the beef chuck primal


Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: The values and costs of buying meat directly from producers
  • Livestock and Meat Marketing Terms
  • Storage and Shelf Life Recommendations
  • Safe Meat Handling and Cooking
  • Beef Aging
  • Understanding Meat Inspection
  • Making Sense of Weighty Issues: Live Weight vs. Hanging Weight vs. Finished Cut Weight
  • Beef Cuts by Primal
  • Pork Cuts by Primal

Questions? Contact:
Arion Thiboumery
Iowa State University
Ames, IA
(515) 294-2882

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