Seattle start-up crowdsources meat-buying before the slaughter

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   March 3, 2016 at 12:27 PM

A photo posted by Crowd Cow (@crowdcow) on

SEATTLE, March 3 (UPI) -- A Seattle start-up is taking locally sourced food to the next level by allowing customers to purchase cuts of beef from cows that have yet to be slaughtered.

The company, CrowdCow.com, allows users to choose specific cuts of beef from specific cows that come from specific ranchers with each animal divided into about 50 shares.

The company said no cows are slaughtered until all 50 shares have been sold, ensuring none of the beef goes to waste.

The founders said their company offers a solution for customers who want the finest and freshest meat, but don't want to make the huge purchases required by most cattle ranchers.

"We are literally buying a cow and every share that we portion out came from that animal," company co-founder Joe Heitzeberg told KOMO-TV.

Heitzeberg said he and co-founder Ethan Lowry were inspired by other crowdsourcing businesses.

"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."

Heitzeberg said it takes about 50-60 purchasers to buy up an entire cow, but it usually only takes a couple hours for all shares of the animal to be sold on the company's website.

"So you claim your share, rally your friends, tip the cow and become a steak holder," Heitzeberg said. "The puns are endless."

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