What is the store’s mission?
Co-located with the practice of Dr. Allie Mendelson, Essential Health’s Natural Foods store only sells products consistent with our nutritional counseling programs. It is available to our patients as well as to the general public.
We wish our store to be a valued resource to our patients and customers by sourcing highest quality food products at lowest available prices. In order to accomplish this, we offer purchasing through a co-op style pre-order program.
The centerpiece of our store is the grass-fed meat program. We have secured supply relationships with some of the leading grass-fed ranches across the country and receive direct shipments via truck. This keeps prices as low as possible.
Is there a minimum order quantity or membership fee?
At this time there is no minimum quantity nor is there any membership fee.
What products do you sell?
The centerpiece of the program 100% grass fed and pastured meats, a product difficult for many to find at a reasonable price. Essential Health has worked to secure direct relationships with leading ranches and passes along the savings.
Where does this wonderful meat come from?
Our primary beef and pork partner is Rain Crow Ranch, owned and operated by the Whisnant family out in the rolling pastureland of the Ozark Hills in Missouri. They own and oversee every aspect of raising the animals and use a local processing facility under their supervision. All the beef is 100% grass-fed/grass-finished, “beyond organic”, not only following organic practices but achieving Level 4 on the Global Animal Partnership rating. For the pork they raise heritage-breed animals that are naturally pastured. We also get whole chickens from RCR which are pastured and raised organically.
You can learn more about their products and animal handling procedures at www.raincrowranch.com
Our primary chicken parts and lamb supplier is US Wellness Meats, which markets products from a group of small farms following their strict organic and pasture-raised standards. You can learn more about them at www.grasslandbeef.com/
We have other partnerships as well which we will soon be announcing.
How is the meat packaged?
All products are frozen at the point of production to maximize freshness and arrive at TFC in portioned vacuum-sealed bags. That “fresh, never frozen” ground beef at your supermarket may be easily at least 7-10 days old by the time you buy it. “Frozen at the farm” is the freshest and most delicious way to distribute meat.
Tip: you can quickly defrost any of the vacuum sealed items by immersing in a tub of water.
What is in the prepared meat items?
All the beef prepared items – hot dogs, summer sausage, snack sticks, etc — are made with the 100% grass-fed beef, contain no added sugar, MSG, nitrates, preservatives or any additives. Just the meat and spices
All the prepared pork items – bacon, sausages — are as additive-free as the beef. Some pork items have limited amount of sugar as part of the curing or brining process, but a negligible amount remains in the finished product which will be indicated on the product details in the store. For these products there will be zero to one grams of residual sugars in the final product.
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.
How do deposits and payments work?
We require at least a 50% deposit to place your order. You may pay in full if it’s more convenient by clicking on each product to see it’s detail and toggling the deposit to “pay in full”.
Some items are sold by weight and the final price would be determined once delivered and weighed at TFC. Your final balance will be adjusted up or down accordingly
Do you accept food stamps and EBT cards?
Yes we do, however it can not be processed via the online store since 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 to leave a deposit.
Is the deposit refundable? What if I can’t pick up my package?
Once your order is placed we purchase the meat from the supplier and therefore deposits are not refundable. Orders not picked up during the pick-up period where no special arrangements have been made are deemed forfeited, but we will first make attempt to reach you.
What if I have questions?
Please submit all questions about the products, ordering, payments, or using the web site to Michael Gay at [email protected] or call him at 860-269-3228 ext 1005.