This truLOCAL review post contains affiliate links and we were given a sample. If you make a purchase we may be compensated. All opinions are our own.
By Alison Chew
truLOCAL connects you to locally and sustainably-sourced, high-quality meat and seafood free from antibiotics and added hormones through partnerships with local farms and suppliers in the USA and Canada. Supporting local businesses is important to truLOCAL as is providing full transparency on where the meat and seafood you order is sourced. Read on for our full truLOCAL review.
High-quality meat and seafood free of antibiotics and added hormones!
Fully customizable boxes!
Free shipping to the United States and Canada
What We Don’t Like
Subscription-only (but you can easily skip or cancel at any time!)
A limited number of seafood options for my area in the US (but a lot more if you are in Canada!)
Dry ice packaging and individual packaging damaged during transit (read on for details)
We were super excited to try truLOCAL as we’ve been thinking about using a meat and/or seafood delivery service but weren’t sure if it was worth it and if the quality is that different from what we can buy at our local Whole Foods. Whole Foods, if you don’t know, is a high-end grocery store owned by Amazon that carries natural and organic foods including sustainably sourced meat and seafood. We already know that truLOCAL is more convenient than going to a grocery store, but how will it stack up on quality, selection, and cost.
With truLOCAL you have 2 subscription box sizes to choose from and both come with free shipping. Don’t get scared off by the subscription, it’s super easy to pause, skip, or cancel and there are no fees for canceling. The Small Box is $125 with up to 18 individual portions and a starting cost per serving of $6.94. The Regular Box is $249 with up to 40 individual servings and a starting cost per serving of $6.22.
Since each box is fully customizable, the number of portions per box varies upon your meat and seafood selections. truLOCAL uses a point system giving each product a point value. The Small Box has a total point value of 9 and the Regular Box has a point value of 20.
In our $249 Regular Box, worth 20 points, we ordered:
1 lb of bacon (1 pt)
2 x 1 lb of wild-caught shrimp (2 pts each pound; 4 pts total)
3 x 3.5 oz pieces of wild-caught Pacific rockfish (1 pt each piece; 3 pts total)
2 x 14 oz grass-fed/grass-finished strip steaks (3 pts)
2 x 32 oz baby back ribs (2 pts each pound; 4 pts total)
3 packages of 2 x 6 oz boneless/skinless chicken breasts (1 pt each pack; 3 pts total)
This comes out to over 40 servings at around $6 per serving! For our family of three, this is enough protein for 13 – 14 meals. When comparing the cost of our truLOCAL order with a similar order at Whole Foods we found two things: the selection at Whole Foods was not exactly the same and therefore hard to compare and Whole Foods was less expensive, by around $40, when comparing “similar” products. With that said the quality and taste of the truLOCAL strip steak and the wild-caught shrimp were far superior to anything that we have bought from Whole Foods and could easily make up for the difference in price. You are also paying for the convenience of not having to leave your home.
One thing to note, if you are shopping at a regular grocery store like Safeway, Acme, Giant, etc. and comparing cost, it’s unfair to compare truLOCAL with mass-produced, conventionally sourced, non-organic meat and seafood as the quality is not the same. That would be like comparing a Honda to a Ferrari, both are cars sure, but they are not in the same class when it comes to quality.
Next up, selection. You can see the menu below for the products and associated point values to get an idea of how much each box holds as well as the selection offered by truLOCAL.
The truLOCAL product selection will vary depending on your location. They ship to both Canada and the United States. We are in Pennsylvania (US) and have the selection below. I was surprised by the selection offered by truLOCAL and the fact that they offer both meat and seafood options in the US and also offer non-GMO fruits and vegetables in Canada. Though for us, their seafood options were limited to scallops, shrimp, salmon, and snapper, which I’m sure most people would know and enjoy, but we like black cod, halibut, and ahi tuna as well.
In Canada, they offer a larger selection of both meat and seafood. We hope they are bringing that to the US! In addition, we would love to see more ground beef varieties with a lower fat ratio in the US (they offer them in Canada) as my husband is watching his weight and prefers 93/7 ground beef over 80/20.
Comparing the truLOCAL selection to other online meat delivery services we found that they have a similar, if not better, selection to those with a focus on locally-sourced meat and seafood. The US menu is below and you can view the Canadian menu here.
truLOCAL Review: Taste
Finally, let’s talk about taste. Everything arrives flash-frozen and individually packaged on dry ice so that it stays cold until you get home to unpack your box. We had an issue with our dry ice, it was still very cold, but it had come loose in the box and 1 of the shrimp packages had a hole. This is not a dealbreaker as everything was frozen, but you have to be careful handling dry ice.
Back to taste! Does grass-fed and grass-finished really make a difference in the taste of the beef? Aside from being more sustainable and better for the environment and the animals, the short answer is YES! I was skeptical, but when comparing the grass-fed and grass-finished strip steak specifically to grass-fed and grass-finished strip steak from Whole Foods we were surprised by how much more flavorful the truLOCAL steak was compared to, what we thought was high-end steak.
What is grass-fed and grass-finished exactly? According to truLOCAL, “Most cattle spend a majority of their lives eating grass on pasture, before being transferred to a feedlot to gain additional fat. Grass-fed, grass-finished cattle stay on the pasture, eating a diet of grass and hay, resulting in a unique texture and taste.” If you haven’t tried it, stop reading this post, and buy some 🙂
The bacon was delicious, how could it not be? It was thick and wide and very tasty with eggs for breakfast. The bacon, pork tenderloin, and ribs come from pigs who were raised on an all-vegetarian diet, are American Humane Certified, and like all truLOCAL products, never administered antibiotics or growth hormones. The ribs were excellent. We baked them low and slow in the oven for around 2 and a half hours before finishing them on the grill. They were tender and juicy. The burgers and chicken were great as well.
The shrimp were amazing! They were really big and perfect for our shrimp fajitas. Next to the strip steak, I was most surprised by the quality and taste of the shrimp. They were hands-down the best shrimp that I have ever had. These shrimp are wild-caught, deveined Argentine red shrimp that come from the Atlantic Ocean. A must try! We enjoyed the Pacific rockfish, a mild white fish, and found it much tastier than tilapia.
If you don’t have access to high-quality meat and seafood products at your local grocery store, don’t have a wide selection, or want something that is more convenient and fully customizable truLOCAL is right for you! We love that they take pride in working with local farmers in both the United States and Canada to source high-quality antibiotic and hormone-free meat and that you can taste the difference in every bite. And while the selection of seafood in the US isn’t as vast as in Canada and they had some packaging hiccups, we are confident that as truLOCAL grows so will their selection and packaging quality.
Give truLOCAL a try using an offer below and taste the difference for yourself!