Online Store FAQs

What makes us special?
By securing direct relationships with leading small-scale ranches, we offer an unmatched wide selection for 100% grass-fed beef and GMO/drug-free pasture-raised chicken, pork and more, at best available prices
This is real pasture-raised meat from small farms, not a tiny outdoor pen attached to a giant animal confinement building for a large producer who calls it “pasture raised”.
Is there a minimum order quantity or membership fee?
How does the online order process work?
Orders placed online by 10 a.m. will be ready the same day by 3 p.m. at our 74 Park Road, West Hartford location.
Many items are sold by weight and therefore the prices you see on the site are estimated. We’ll know your exact total when your box is packaged and you can pay the balance based on the pickup method you select:
In-store Pickup: Come anytime after 3 p.m. or following days. Pay balance at front desk.
Curbside: Come anytime after 3 p.m. or following days. Call 860-269-3228 x2 when you’re out front and we can take final payment over the phone, or can swipe your card curbside.
Delivery: We will call you or email you an invoice for final balance prior to delivery.  In order to manage your best delivery time of perishable items, we recommend Uber package delivery within our normal store hours.
Where does this wonderful meat come from?
We work with many farms in CT, Atlantic Coast and the Midwest who meet our specifications. These farms own and oversee every aspect of raising the animals and use a local humanely managed processing facility. All the beef is 100% grass-fed/grass-finished. Pork is heritage-breed animals that are naturally pastured.  Chickens are organically-raised and kept on pasture for natural foraging and healthy/happy birds
All our farm partners follow organic practices, though they typically don’t obtain USDA Organic certification, which is a multi-year, expensive and tedious process for a small producer.
You can see our growing list of Farm Partners.
How is the meat packaged?
All products are frozen at the point of production to maximize freshness and arrive at Essential Health in portioned vacuum-sealed bags.  (That “fresh, never frozen” ground beef at your supermarket may be a week old by the time you buy it.)  “Frozen at the farm” is the ideal way to distribute meat.
Tip: you can quickly defrost any of the vacuum sealed items in time for cooking by immersing in a pot of room temp water.
What is the best way to cook grass fed beef?
Because of its lower fat content than the industrialized corn-fed feedlot cattle, grass fed beef will benefit by following certain cooking techniques.  Here is a good list of tips (PDF).  The steaks are delicious as-is, but we recommend using a Jaccard Tenderizer (here on Amazon) to take it to the next level.
Where does the raw milk come from?
The raw milk is from our partners at Baldwin Brook Farm, Canterbury CT and is available on pre-order in glass or plastic 1/2 gallon bottles. When you order glass bottles, the price includes a $3.00 deposit for bottle (refunded when you return the bottle to our store.) The milk is not a same-day available item. Order by Saturday, and it’s ready by Tuesday. The farm typically delivers by 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Do you accept food stamps, EBT and Apple Pay?
Yes we do, in the store. By law you must present card in person and enter your PIN.  If you wish to place an order with your EBT card please visit during our store hours. In the store, we also accept Apple Pay, checks, and cash.
What if I have questions?
Please submit all questions about the products, ordering, payments, or using the web site to Kat Alva at kat@EssentialHealthCT or call her at 860-269-3228, x2.