Best Organic Beef Brands for Your Prime Rib Dinner

Beef termed “organic” is generally defined that way by the producer, based on the company’s own agricultural practices. If purchasing truly organic beef matters to you, it’s important to research individual brands first before visiting your local grocery store or butcher.

Why Eat Organic Meat Youtube Video

What is “Organic” Anyway?

Anytime a new nutritional trend arises, marketing messages from various food producers can often be garbled, inaccurate, or outright lies. The organic food movement has not been immune to misleading customers, mostly because a central authority hasn’t established a hard and fast definition of what organic beef is and how it is produced. Organically grown vegetables are less contentious because the animal rights, quality of feed, and antibiotics elements are removed from the equation.

We found a good working definition of organic beef on LiveStrong.com – Organic Beef vs. Natural Beef:

Organic beef must be certified by the USDA to meet stringent standards. The cows must be born and raised on certified organic pasture and fed only certified organic grain and grass. They can never receive any antibiotics or hormones, and they must have unrestricted access to the outdoors. These guidelines are subject to third-party verification and certification must be renewed annually.

That’s all well and good, but the problem is MOST organic beef is sourced from Uruguay. Uruguay’s vast ranching landscape and cheap labor makes it possible to raise free-range cattle humanely and safely. Many of these ranches are owned and operated by American companies, which generally slaughter the meat in Uruguay and then transport it to the United States aboard refrigerated cargo ships. Most people find this acceptable since the beef itself was procured from organic agricultural practices, while others take issue with the nearly 8,000 mile journey it travels to get on supermarket shelves. Cargo ships aren’t exactly environmentally friendly. Plus, there’s a chance the quality of the beef could be compromised during transit.

Best Organic Cookbooks:

There are some free range cattle ranches in the United States. Beef from these ranches tends to be more expensive compared its Uruguayan counterparts, because labor costs more in the USA. Also, most of these ranches are small operations that can’t compete against “feed lot” – or factory farmed – beef companies that can undercut them in the pricing wars. You’ll spend the least on non-organic beef, including “natural” beef, because some liberties can be taken by the producer to minimize costs.

Use the following checklist when assessing whether or not a beef brand is truly organic:

  1. The cows were fed organic grain and/or grass, none of which were genetically modified
  2. The cows were raised on a free range ranch, opposed to a factory style feedlot
  3. The cows were NOT given antibiotics, hormones, or other unnatural treatments
  4. The brand’s claim to be “organic” is corroborated by a third party, ie. the USDA
  5. Optional: The cows were raised locally in the United States and transit time from slaughterhouse to supermarket was minimal

Now that you have a good feel for what truly organic beef is, we’ll list a few major supermarkets and meat brands that offer it for sale.

Note: Please double check this list on your own before purchasing any meat at the store. Many companies will change their production, labeling, or feed policies without notice to the public. You might have to visit each meat producer’s website on your own and/or find a third party that can vouch for the quality of a particular company’s product.

  • Organic Valley and Organic Prairie – These top brands produce organic beef, pork, milk, eggs, butter, and cheese. The company behind these brands harnesses the power of more than 1,500 organic farmers across the United States. Food from the Valley or Prairie might cost more, but most consumers agree their reputation for selling truly organic food is strong.
  • Applegate Farms – Another organic heavy-hitter, Applegate sells organic beef, sausage, bacon, cold cuts, and cheeses. Applegate’s meats – including its hot dogs – are gluten free, perfect for those restricted by Celiac Disease and other dietary needs. Applegate also leads a strong charge to provide schools with healthy foods, and supports “Cooking Up Chefs”, a competition for high school age students with hopes to be professional chefs.
  • Frontier National Products and Simply Organic – This leading brand produces organic canned foods, vegetables, sauces, and other cooking essentials. Check out their expansive product line for truly organic ways to compliment your prime rib preparation with outstanding ingredients.

Leading supermarket chains include:

  • Whole Foods
  • Chase Foods, The “Allergy Free Food Market”
  • Grassroots Natural Market
  • Native Sun Natural Food Market

Important Note on Organic Supermarkets:

The organic supermarket business is still growing and expanding throughout the country. Some major brands have strong presences in major cities, while organic food lovers in less populated suburban or rural areas might be able to find organics at their local Farmers’ market or a locally owned and operated supermarket. Supporting Farmers’ Markets is a great way to keep the local economy strong and encourage nearby farmers to produce quality, nutritious foods.

Prime Rib Nutrition Facts – How Healthy is Prime Rib?

Prime Rib tastes great and is very filling, but is it healthy?

Editorial Note 05/01/2015: Some readers have asked about nutritional values and carb counts. We initially quoted stats for prime rib only, NOT including sides. We will review this post for accuracy and regret any errors.

You’ve just sat down to dinner at a classic steakhouse. After having a garden salad and drinks, your waiter returns with a 10 oz cut of prime rib. Will your bathroom scale be complaining in the morning?

Basic Prime Rib Roast 10 oz Nutrional Facts

Calories 562 Sodium 395 mg
Total Fat 48 g Potassium 409 mg
Saturated 19 g Total Carbs 1 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 0 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 30 g
Cholesterol 113 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 3%
Vitamin C 1% Iron 0%

*Percent Daily VALUESare based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily VALUESmay be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Source: MyFitnessPal.com Prime Rib Nutritional Facts

Important: This information EXCLUDES rubs, sauces, condiments, or side dishes. This information is for rib alone. A rib prepared with a spicy rub might not increase any of the negative nutritional elements, but a rich Hollandaise Sauce dipping station will send fat and cholesterol numbers higher.

Before we get into specifics about actual numbers per nutritional element, please note the following:

  1. Diets are highly individual. One person’s poison is another’s salvation. Some people might need to eat high sodium meals, while others might have to pass. Consult your doctor to get the best diet recommendations based on your health profile.
  2. Preparation matters. Most simple cuts of prime rib are about equal in terms of fat, calories, and cholesterol. Prime rib that has been prepared with special rubs, sauces, or other condiments might be less healthy.
  3. Serving size matters. The more meat you eat, the more calories, cholesterol, and fats you will intake. Some chain restaurants list nutritional information near the front of their dining areas for health conscious eaters. Make sure the data they list on their chart matches the serving size on the menu. There’s a BIG difference between an 8 oz rib and a 12 oz rib nutritionally.

Next we’ll delve into the prime rib dishes of popular restaurants and their individual nutritional VALUES. This information might include any signature rubs applied to each restaurant’s respective rib. Also, note that some serving sizes will vary.

Outback Steakhouse 12 oz Prime Rib Nutrional Facts

Calories 626 Sodium 1152 mg
Total Fat 21 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 8 g Total Carbs 1 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 1 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 102 g
Cholesterol 208 mg    
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 0%

*Percent Daily VALUESare based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily VALUESmay be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Source: MyFitnessPal.com Outback Steakhouse Prime Rib Nutritional Facts

Texas Roadhouse 10 oz Prime Rib Nutritional Information

Calories 862 Sodium 156 mg
Total Fat 74 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 0 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 0 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 46 g
Cholesterol 201 mg    
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 0%

*Percent Daily VALUESare based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily VALUESmay be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Source: MyFitnessPal.com Texas Roadhouse Steakhouse Prime Rib Nutritional Facts

Ruth’s Cris 16 oz Ribeye Steak Nutritional Facts

Calories 1152 Sodium 156 mg
Total Fat 68 g Potassium 1600 mg
Saturated 26 g Total Carbs 0 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 0 g
Monounsaturated 18 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 128 g
Cholesterol 520 mg    
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 100%

*Percent Daily VALUESare based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily VALUESmay be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Source: MyFitnessPal.com Ruth’s Chris Ribeye Steak Nutritional Facts

Denny’s Prime Rib Philly Melt Sandwich Nutritional Information

Calories 670 Sodium 1770 mg
Total Fat 36 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 11 g Total Carbs 52 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 3 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 5 g
Trans 0 g Protein 35 g
Cholesterol 75 mg    
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 0%

*Percent Daily VALUESare based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily VALUESmay be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Source: MyFitnessPal.com Denny’s Prime Rib Philly Melt Sandwich Nutritional Facts

Large or small, on a sandwich or on a big dinner plate, a tasty restaurant-prepared Prime Rib can definitely clog the arteries. Again, our recommendation is to eat these high calorie, high fat meals as treats, perhaps consumed no more than once every 3 weeks.

If you’re in shape and exercise regularly, feel free to eat more prime rib more often. Note that it is a heavy meal, so give it a day to pass through your system before attempting an endurance training session.

Finally, what’s the best part of prime rib, nutritionally speaking? Protein. And lots of it. Those lifting weights on a regular basis will definitely benefit from a nice slab of prime rib every so often. Some of the preparations listed above exceed 20 grams of protein per serving, making it a savory way to bulk up.

All restaurant names, meal names, and sources cited are property of their respective companies. Please visit one of the restaurant’s websites for further nutritional information, or if you have questions about how meals are prepared.