A couple of weeks ago, my family was privileged to be able to go on a tour of the Ranch Foods Direct processing center here in Colorado Springs. I’ve heard a lot about Ranch Foods’ beef from Bill, and was so excited to hear more about just why it is so great. You can tour their facility, too – keep reading!
We spent about an hour with Bill and Mike Callicrate, the rancher behind the Callicrate beef that Ranch Foods Direct sells. We toured the processing area, learned about the aging of beef, why they feel organic is an overused or abused term, why their beef isn’t “grass-fed” and why it’s better that way, how to look at the marbling in a steak and tell what kind of quality it is… and so much more.
It was very informative, and if you are at all interested in their beef or any other kind of beef, you need to go on this tour (see below)! I hope to write more about beef in the Behind The Label Of Your Food Series, but here’s what I know so far.
Ranch Foods Direct’s beef tastes better. A lot better. I’ll admit: I know that organic vegetables are probably better for you than non-organic, but in general, I don’t taste the difference. It’s hard for me to spend two to three times as much money on something that tastes exactly the same.
However, we bought both some ground beef and some of “Echo’s Eggs” from Ranch Foods, and the difference in flavor was amazing. The beef tasted really, really beefy, and had a depth of flavor I haven’t tasted for a long time.
Echo’s Eggs come from chickens that are raised outdoors, eating bugs and grass like chickens were intended to eat, and supplemented with wild bird food. You could tell the chickens were just stronger: the eggs were more flavorful, the whites were thicker, and the yolks were a very rich yellow color.
I probably can’t afford to buy eggs at $4 a dozen every week. And, I’ll still buy beef on sale at other stores (though a 20-lb box of ground chuck is $3/lb, which is really not that much more than the average price of normal ground beef).
But after talking to Ranch Foods Direct about the difference, and tasting the food for myself, I’m a whole lot more motivated to buy better beef as we’re able.
Tour The Ranch Foods Processing Center
Ranch Foods Direct has agreed to give two tours to Springs Bargains readers next Monday, November 1st. The first tour is at 10 AM and the second is at 1 PM. If you are at all interested in learning about the meat you’re eating, you need to go on this tour!
Because the processing plant is pretty small, each group is limited to ten people. It’s not set up to accomodate very young children, so please make other arrangments for kids under six (unless they are young enough to be carried/held for about an hour).
Please limit your group size to three people so that we can accomodate everyone who wants to do a tour. If you are not able to attend one of these tours, you can call Ranch Foods and set up a tour sometime yourself.
Sign up for the tour below – you must sign up to go on of these tours! If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here to view the form.
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.