Haha, yes! It may sound unfamiliar right now, but in a few years the world will know that ostrich meat is the healthiest red meat, most delicious red meat, and environmentally sustainable lean red meat one can eat. Just give it a try. If you don’t like it, we’ll be totally floored (and you’ll probably be the first), but we’ll give you your money back, including shipping. Seriously.
The quick answer is that the reason for ostrich’s failure in the US in the 1990s didn’t have anything to do with the intrinsic value of the species/product or it’s potential to become a superior source of animal protein. The industry collapsed because there has been no reliable value chain and no one did the hard work to get the logistics right. Arguably the most critical link of the value chain is the development of consumer end markets, which hasn’t happened until now. That is, no one was turning ostriches into consumer products (packaged meats) at scale in the 1990s. Many people got very excited about the potential market for ostrich but this excitement reached such a fervor that, instead of harvesting ostriches and selling them for meat, ostriches were sold as breeding stock to new ostrich farmers until this “Breeder market” — but not the meat market (because no entrepreneur ever stepped forward to create it) — became saturated to the point of collapse. AOF has built an entirely vertically integrated operation from the ground up, which allows us to control the quality and safety of our products throughout our entire value chain, and now that we've made these investments, we're not going anywhere :)
Please click here to visit our VISION page to learn more.
Yes, ostrich meat is a lean red meat, virtually fat-free and has more iron and less cholesterol than any other red meat – beef, bison, duck, etc. And at American Ostrich Farms, we never, EVER use antibiotics, hormones, steroids, or anything else unnatural. Ostrich is an amazing option for consumers who have had to give up red meat for a number of health reasons like high cholesterol or digestibility challenges. Ostrich is 97% lean, affording it incredible nutrient density. It's also so gentle on our stomachs that many of our customers report they can eat more ostrich meat, and less well-cooked, than any other red meat because it is so much easier to digest. This is why we got into ostrich in the first place—we just feel amazing after eating it.
It might sound weird, but it’s more red than the reddest red meat out there. While ostrich is, of course, a bird, it’s nutritionally most similar to elk, venison, bison, or a lean beef tenderloin filet. Like beef, it’s high in myoglobin, a protein that turns red when exposed to oxygen. Thanks to that, it’s almost indistinguishable from extremely high-quality beef or bison in color, texture, and taste.
Ostrich meat doesn't taste like any other bird, and is most often compared to premium beef, bison, elk, or venison. While taste can be very subjective - depending on who you ask - most agree that ostrich has a mild/light, slightly sweet, buttery taste that is never gamey, and very similar to beef or bison. The best part is you can use it in any recipes you’d normally use with other red meats and you’ll have a winning alternative with ostrich.
Most people wouldn't be able to distinguish ostrich from a high quality filet mignon. But you don't have to take our word for it - the test kitchen chefs and food writers at Food52 couldn't tell the difference!
Ostrich provides a number of health benefits you won’t find occurring together in any other meat. It’s naturally lean (less than 5% fat, although by taste you wouldn’t realize it) and is higher in iron and lower in calories and cholesterol than other red meats. All interior muscle cuts on an ostrich are similar to the most lean, tender cuts on beef or bison.
Also, due to the lower fat content of ostrich, it cooks more quickly (on average, a third less time than beef) and importantly, doesn't cook down like other red meats — so, your ostrich steaks, burgers and filets don’t shrink!
Pretty much exactly how you cook any other red meat. Ostrich is extremely lean (95-97% fat-free, depending on the cut), and can be substituted into any recipe that calls for red meat, like beef. Just make sure you don’t overcook it. Due to its lower fat content, ostrich cooks more quickly (on average, 1/3 less time than beef) and importantly, doesn't cook down like other red meats — so, your ostrich steaks, burgers and filets don’t shrink!
Like other lean red meats, you’ll want to use a marinade or rub (for filets) or lightly baste with olive oil (for burgers), so the meat doesn't stick to your grill. We think cooking to medium-rare is best. All it takes is a little salt and pepper to bring out the bold, juicy, mouth-watering flavors. When we can find the time, our family loves to use a sous vide to consistently cook the meat through and then put on that delicious, crusty, seared exterior that we expect from well-seasoned, fantastic-tasting red meat.
For more tips, we include a full-color flyers with every customer’s first few orders to further introduce (or re-introduce!) them to ostrich and AOF, and we have an online recipe section to provide some additional inspiration: click here for ostrich recipes from our very own Chef Mark!
You can cook ostrich however you want, from raw (ostrich carpaccio is amazing) to well done. Just like beef, our favorite cooking temp is medium-rare, but we have many customers who prefer ostrich meat quite rare. Just make sure you’re following all the safe food-handling practices you’d normally follow with a rare (or raw) protein of any kind.
Consumers with allergies, weak stomachs, or IBS, often can’t comfortably eat other red meats like beef or bison, but they can eat ostrich and feel great afterward. In fact, this is how our founder, Alexander McCoy, first discovered ostrich. He was training for a long-distance Ironman triathlon and found that most proteins were upsetting his stomach and inhibiting his training, performance, and overall gut health. He started incorporating ostrich into his diet and noticed dramatic improvements, literally overnight!
YES! One group of consumers that are particularly excited about ostrich meat are those with "Alpha-Gal Syndrome", which is an allergy to red meat from mammals, like beef & bison. According to the Mayo Clinic, people get this allergy after a bite from a Lone Star tick, which is particularly common in the southeastern US. What the Mayo Clinic does not tell you, however, is that non-mammalian red meats are totally fine to eat, and folks will not have allergic reactions after eating ostrich!
“The industry” is a label that doesn’t yet carry much weight, because it continues to be characterized by small, economically unsustainable farms. Economic viability requires a certain scale of operations and reliable channels through which to sell consumer-ready product. As part of our efforts to develop the industry as a whole, our Founder, Alex McCoy, currently serves as the president of the American Ostrich Association (the national trade association) and while progress is being made, we're starting from a very small base and it will take time for the industry to mature into a staple American protein. We're working hard and will get there one day!
One thing that is underappreciated about ostriches is that they are extremely difficult to raise - more difficult than any other livestock, to be sure. There has been virtually no research done, and certainly no universally agreed-upon best practices established, to improve our ability to humanely raise ostriches in large numbers. Our priorities are the welfare of our birds and the quality of the products we produce from them. It requires a lot of hard work, the cost of which needs to be reflected in our product costs if we are to be able to invest in the growth of the industry.
While there are certainly less expensive red meats, we believe you get what you pay for with animal protein. We go to great lengths to create what we think is the highest quality red meat in the world. Our goal is to price competitively with other premium red meats, like premium beef, bison, or lamb - and in fact, our products are significantly less expensive than premium red meats from other high quality independent producers.
This is something that grocers and savvy protein consumers have known for some time, but habits are slow to change. Frozen meat is FAR fresher and safer than meat that has never been frozen! Our ostrich is harvested and then quickly flash frozen. Frozen meat stays as fresh as the moment it was packaged at peak freshness and is never exposed to oxygen and potentially harmful airborne pathogens. Whereas meat that is merely refrigerated degrades quickly and is a sponge for contaminants, freezing meats at peak freshness ensures they lose virtually none of their nutritional value right up to the moment you’re ready to eat.
The other problem with refrigerated meat is cold chain logistics. Grocery shoppers never really know where their ‘fresh’ meat has been, who has handled it, at what temperature, and how long it’s been since that animal was harvested. This has always been pretty concerning to us, so we are committed to flash freezing our meat at peak freshness in a sterile environment so we can be assured that meat arrives on your doorstep as fresh as it was at the moment of harvest. FROZEN IS THE NEW FRESH!
Everything in moderation! For those folks whose doctors recommend a diet of reduced saturated fat, ostrich is an excellent alternative to beef because we can continue to enjoy that cravable red meat taste we love, just without the additional calories or that "food coma" feeling we get after eating a big meal of traditional red meats.
Ostrich meat doesn't need the fat to produce a big flavor on your palette. Ostrich has a bold, cravable beef-like flavor yet is 95-97% lean! If you feel like we do while eating ostrich (and after!), you'll never miss the fat.
Ostrich meat is safer than probably any other animal protein you can find. Ostrich is a red meat that doesn’t carry the higher pathogen loads as do white meats like chicken and turkey. Beyond that, ostrich carcasses are split in half and air-chilled, and since an ostrich is much smaller—physically—than a cow or buffalo, the meat chills down to a safe temperature MUCH faster, which kills any potential harmful bacteria much more quickly and thoroughly that with any other red (or white!) meats.
We are completely vertically integrated—from breeding, to egg collection and incubation, hatching, rearing, harvesting, and packaging. Our animals are cared for by our well-trained & caring in-house staff and our meats don’t leave our sight until they are shipped to our customers. This might sound normal, but in the meat industry, it’s almost unheard of. This is one of the many reasons we’re in this business, it’s time someone did it right. We go above and beyond to ensure every package we ship meets the highest possible standards we set for ourselves.
Portion-cutting filet cuts is a a challenge of all small producers. A few ounces are within our margin of error, and we expect the weight of a customer's entire order to average out either exactly as ordered, or to the customer's advantage. It is extremely difficult for small processing facilities to be accurate to within more than a few ounces, high or low.
Our processing and packaging is all done by hand, at a relatively small scale, with animals that are not completely uniform as they are with large producers. Unlike factory farmed and mass produced animals, the size of our birds at harvest varies greatly because we allow them to grow naturally, at the own pace, and do not genetically modify or "enhance" them in any way. As such, it's quite common that the package weights may not match customer invoices exactly. The good news is that this usually means we have to send customers a little extra meat in order to achieve our obligation to fulfill the convenient minimum weight increments advertised.
Producing one pound of ostrich requires dramatically less water, feed, and land, and creates far less greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Beef cattle, in particular, are one of the leading causes of several forms of environmental destruction worldwide. Ostrich leaves a fraction of the environmental footprint of beef, by using 1/3 the fresh water, 1/50 the land, and emitting less than 1/10 the greenhouse gases per pound produced.
One main way is by expanding our product line beyond ostrich meat to make use of virtually every part of the animal to create value-added products that consumers love. We offer all-natural moisturizing oils and soaps, eggshells and feathers for crafts & decoration, all-American ostrich leather products, and a branded line of ultra-premium pet foods.
Unfortunately, by law, we are not permitted to conduct retail sales on our farm premises. We do offer limited product pickups at our Kuna, Idaho farm for large orders ($300+) that would otherwise require some expensive shipping. To take advantage of this and request an in-person pickup, please leave a note with your order and we’ll follow up with you to arrange a time for your visit.
We would love to receive visits from our passionate and curious customers, but we are a hard-working, family-owned and operated farm and don’t have the staff or required Idaho state permitting right now. Please click here to sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to know when that changes.
Since our founding in 2013, we have been constantly trialing and reformulating and trailing and reformulating to continually push the boundaries of the healthiest, most environmentally responsible feed choices possible. By far the largest ingredients in our ostrich feeds are locally-sourced alfalfa & barley, and we do not feed soy to our growing birds. They are also antibiotic, hormone, and growth stimulant free.
While our operation is not yet certified USDA Organic, we go very far BEYOND USDA Organic guidelines in just about every way you can imagine... starting with responsible feed sourcing and animal welfare, about which the USDA Organic Program says virtually nothing. We are fortunate to be located in Idaho's fertile Snake River Plain and are pleased to source our feed from and support local farmers. Sourcing local feed isn't just good for American Workers - it's great for the environment, too! When feeds are trucked across the country, the negative environmental impacts of transporting all that feed is staggering. We are very thankful to be able to avoid a high carbon footprint while simultaneously supporting local farmers.
THE SUMMARY: All non-frozen orders are shipped within 1 business day of being placed and frozen orders are shipped ONLY on Mondays (and sometimes Tuesdays) to ensure they arrive at your doorstep in advance of the coming weekend. The order cutoff for each week's perishable deliveries is typically 8pm Mountain Time Sunday evenings. When Monday is a federal holiday, the cutoff shifts to Monday evening, and shipments go out on Tuesday. All shipments include tracking numbers, we'll let you know when your package is expected to arrive, and we'll also ping you upon delivery to make sure you receive it.
THE DETAILS: As we endeavor to be as transparent as possible in everything that we do (consumers need to know where their food comes from!) and to prepare our customers to receive perishable shipments in a timely manner, our customers will receive at least four (4) post-order emails from us.
The first email, an “order confirmation”, will be sent immediately when you place your order. All non-perishable orders are shipped within 1 business day and frozen (meat) orders are shipped on Mondays and Tuesdays to ensure they arrive at your doorstep well in advance of the weekend. The order cutoff for each week's perishable deliveries is 9pm Mountain Time Sunday evening, so if you order after this time it will likely ship the following Monday (7 days later). We are a small, family-run operation and do not yet have the resources to ship perishable orders more than 1-2 days per week and appreciate your understanding.
The second email, “Your Order Is On It’s Way”, will be sent the morning that our in-house team fulfills your order and the indicated shipping carrier is in route to pick up your order from our farm. This email will contain a tracking number so you can follow the progress of your shipment.
A third email, “Out For Delivery”, is sent the morning that your package is out for delivery. We remind you of your tracking number again so you can receive custom notifications about its delivery status and a reminder that if the order is perishable to please do your best to collect it as soon as possible upon receipt of the final email.
A fourth and final email, “Shipment Delivered”, will be sent within minutes of your order's successful delivery. When you get this final email but your order has been delivered, please contact us as soon as possible and we will get to work to figure out what happened and make it right. If we are not notified about shipment delivery failures on the same day it occurs, our options for resolving the issue with UPS, FedEx, or USPS decrease quickly.
The meats that arrive on your doorstep were flash frozen immediately after harvest and remained 100% airtight and in a state of deep freeze until shipment, at which time they are carefully packaged with sufficient dry ice and renewable insulation to maintain our very high standards of food safety during shipment.
We calculate the amount of dry ice and insulation to use in every package based on the shipping address, shipping service, and the weather likely to be experienced in route while your package is inside a truck or airplane. While we strive to ensure every order arrives fully frozen, carrier delays do happen. The important thing to remember is that upon arrival, as long as the meat is still cold to the touch, it is perfectly safe and appropriate to put right into your freezer to thaw and cook on a future date.
We are constantly working to improve our shipping protocols and while we are confident that our methods, while certainly not perfect, represent an extremely safe and responsible way to get protein to your family. That said, mistakes do happen. If you are unsatisfied with the condition of your ostrich meat upon arrival, please contact us immediately and we will remedy the situation to your satisfaction.
Staying true to our commitment, all of our packaging is curbside recyclable. In addition to easily recyclable (or upcyclable/repurposeable) corrugated boxes, we are thrilled to partner with other innovative, eco-minded companies so that our packing tape and insulation are 100% recyclable as well! In fact, the insulation we use to keep your shipments chilled is made from recycled plastic bottles :) If you know of any packaging materials that are more environmentally friendly than that, we would seriously LOVE to hear from you.
Although online merchants like Amazon go out of their way to make shipping seem free, unfortunately, it just isn’t. However, the good news for our customers is that not only do we not make a dime on the fee we charge to ship your orders, it actually costs us significantly more than we charge on almost every order - not to mention when you spend $175+ and get free shipping! While incredibly convenient and safer for the consumer, it's just a fact of life that shipping perishable products isn't cheap or easy, and even withstanding the significantly discounted shipping rates we've negotiated with the carriers, we subsidize this cost for our customers to ensure that the shipping fee you pay is a mere fraction of what you'd pay if you went to the post office or UPS/FedEx Store and tried to ship this stuff yourself.
Yes, non-perishable goods only at this time. While our primary focus is shipping frozen ostrich meat within the US, we do ship non-perishable orders to Canada and Mexico. If you are outside of those two countries and would like to order our products, please drop us a note and let us know. We're constantly updating and improving our shipping policies to better address our customers' needs and bring shipping costs lower and we'd love to hear from you.
All you have to do is pay for S&H and we'll send you one of our popular free stickers. If you want more than one, please order some of our other products and we'll hook you up. Just add to cart along with your order. We mail all the stickers ourselves, direct from the farm, and kindly ask that folks help us get the stickers (and all our other products!) to them so we can focus on what we do best – raising the healthiest, most delicious, most sustainable red meat in the world.
Ostrich oil can help wounds heal faster, aids in normalization of tissue, prevents and reduces scars and stretch-marks, reduces itching & redness, soothes sunburn, and promotes scalp, hair, and joint health. Ostrich oil is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (does not clog pores), which makes it a highly effective moisturizer for people who suffer from skin problems such as acne or rosacea.
Although very similar to emu oil, ostrich oil – consisting of over 70% oleic acid and palmitic acid – has higher skin-permeability than emu oil. Ostrich oil's higher concentration of Omega fatty acids - specifically, Omega 3, allows it to better penetrate and hydrate the skin - enabling superior results. This superior delivery of nutrients deep into the skin is an essential property for any skincare product, and for this reason, many Japanese skincare companies have switched from adding emu to ostrich oil in their products to ensure that the nutrimental additives in any cosmetic product is able to effectively penetrate into the deeper skin layers.
Yes, 100% Pure Ostrich Oil appears "cloudy" because it is a "whole oil" that undergoes minimal processing, during which impurities are removed. The "cloudiness" is attributed to the natural fat solids - including the valuable Omega 3 fatty acid - that are so healthy for your skin, helping replenish the natural fat stores in your skin, which creates numerous different types of benefits.
"Clear" ostrich oil is one of two things: 1) fake; or 2) they have removed all the fat solids using a process called "winterization". If this is done, the producer has removed the most valuable and beneficial part of the oil - the saturated fat solids. It's those essential fats that do such a great job penetrating and hydrating skin.
Ostrich oil has a very faint smell that dissipates quickly after application. Ostrich oil's physical characteristics are virtually identical to emu oil, but ostrich oil has a great concentration of Omegas fatty acids - particularly the all-important Omega 3 - that our skin need to look and feel its best.
We do not sell whole, edible ostrich eggs. We go to great lengths to hatch every egg that is laid here at American Ostrich Farms. Our core business is the humane production of live ostriches, from which we produce a variety of value-added products, including premium red meats, pet foods, ultra-hydrating cosmetics, and more. In order for eating egg sales to be economical, we'd have to charge the equivalent of a live chick, which consumers most certainly would not want to pay - even for the opportunity to make the equivalent of a 24-chicken egg omelet(!).
However, we do sell empty ostrich eggshells for arts and crafts and decoration. These are eggs that were found to be infertile upon incubation, and thus, no embryo began to develop. We then use a diamond drill bit to create a hole on one end through which we remove the infertile yolk and egg white, and sterilize in a bleach bath before they can be shipped out.
No. We humanely produce sustainable livestock and put the welfare of our birds FIRST. We ask ourselves all the time - would I like this if I were an ostrich?
Please check out our VISION here to learn more about what we're all about.
We are laser-focused on humane commercial livestock production and neither sell nor recommend ostriches for pets ;)
A sustainable US ostrich industry requires great animal husbandry and great genetics. We have been working on a genetic improvement program since AOF's founding in 2013 and invite you to learn more here.
We will make any and every reasonable effort to ensure you are 100% satisfied with your order. We the take the quality and freshness of our products extremely seriously. As such, our AOF 100% Guarantee covers both the timely delivery and the condition of your items. If either are unsatisfactory, please email us about the problem and we will respond ASAP and determine the course of action to best rectify the situation, including the issuance of any refunds, if applicable. If the return request is due to no fault of AOF, we may request that the customer pay for return shipping. You will receive notification of any delay or cancellation of your order. FOR MEAT ORDERS, SPECIFICALLY: if your meat is confirmed by the common carrier as delivered in a timely manner to the address that was requested by the customer at checkout, please email us ASAP and we’ll do everything that we can. Please review the FAQ above, “Will my order arrive frozen? What if it thaws in transit?” Also, if you were expecting white meat or something that tastes like chicken, refunds are unlikely to be issued :)
You may be eligible to request a refund or replacement under our AOF 100% Guarantee if any of the following apply:
1. You have not received your package and three days have passed since the maximum estimated delivery date or the tracking shows a delivery confirmation, whichever is sooner;
2. You received an order that is different than expected; or
3. 1 business day has passed since your returned item was received by AOF.
For non-meat orders, you have 15 days from the date your order was delivered to request a refund or replacement under our AOF 100% Guarantee. Additionally, if you file a chargeback with your payment provider or bank, you will not be eligible for a refund under the AOF 100% Guarantee.
Yes! If you like other red meats but don’t like ostrich, we’ll be totally floored, but we’ll give you your money back.
We understand being hesitant to spend money on something you've never tasted, but don't let the fear of the unknown stop you from trying ostrich. We stand fully behind our product and are very confident you'll like it. In fact, we haven't had a single customer take us up on this guarantee. But, if someone ever truly doesn't like it, we'll refund their entire order, up to $100.
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