A Seattle startup known as Crowd Cow uses crowdfunding to connect consumers to fresh, locally-sourced meat in a sustainable way.
With Crowd Cow, customers can pick specific cuts of meat and can choose the kind of cow and the local rancher.
Cows are divided up into about 50 shares, and it is only when all shares have been purchased that the cow is butchered, packaged, and shipped, according to KOMO News.
On average, all shares are sold within a couple hours, according to co-founder Joe Heitzeberg. He says, “We are literally buying a cow and every share that we portion out came from that animal.” The Guardian reports that in addition to popular cuts of meat, the cow’s heart, tongue, and bones are on offer.
“When you go to the grocery store, it's typically mystery meat, you have no idea where it came from,” said Heitzeberg. “Whereas we think it should be marketed, sold and experienced like a microbrew or like wine.”
Farmers are also getting on board with Crowd Cow’s concept. Becky Weed, owner of Harlow Cattle Company, says, “A crowd of people buying a cow, that's awesome... It allows people like me to have sustainable agriculture in the local area.”