'Cow funding' becoming a trendy way to buy grass-fed beef

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Online sites offer a specific number of cuts of beef until the entire cow has been claimed, then it's butchered and sent overnight to the consumer in refrigerated packaging. (KABC)

Scott Thomas said he was concerned about the physical effects from eating factory-farmed beef, but like most consumers, he needs to watch his wallet.

"I have a problem with antibiotics in the beef," said Thomas.

Thomas found 'Crowd Cow,' an online "cow funding" site that offers the opportunity to choose cuts of meat you want from animals that are grass fed and raised in a humane environment.

Once all the cuts are claimed, your selection is sent overnight in proper packaging.

"We say you rally your friends. You tip the cow. And then we ship it out to you. So we're basically kickstarting cows," said CEO of Crowd Cow, Ethan Lowry.

Lowry, who also created the Urban Spoon website, is a serious carnivore who loves good food. And he knew there was a need for a way that consumers could buy fresh, local, grass-fed beef at decent prices.

"We're not trying to target something that beats Safeway prices, but better than Whole Foods," Lowry said.

Scott said he pays about $14 to $15 a pound.

Just like in grocery stores, prices for cow funding vary. Most of the cattle come from small farms where they're raised naturally in a pasture.

Lowry works with about 10 ranches from San Diego to central California, raising Waygu, Kobe and Angus beef.

The website shows how many cuts are available and their prices, which makes Thomas happy.

"You know where it's coming from. You know that they care," said Thomas.
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