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Meat Report
Old 07-02-2009, 09:16 AM   #1
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Meat Report

I've become convinced that if you eat a lot of meat, it's worthwhile to get grass fed when it isn't outrageously expensive. When my family was still home almost all our beef and lamb was grass fed from local farmers. That isn't so easy for me to arrange now, so I was very pleased to find that Trader Joe now sells fresh unfrozen 85/15 grass fed organic ground beef for $5.99/ #in one pound packs.

I know this is more than the typical supermarket hamburger, but around here even that is often $4.49 to $4.99. And this Trader Joe stuff is much tastier. And it is much less expensive and handier too in case you are ordering grass fed burger by mail.

I usually don't make patties, but some sort of stir fry with whatever vegetable I happen to have around.

When I do make patties I've started using my meat thermometer. At 160 burgers are still a bit pink pink and very moist and juicy.

Ha
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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All I buy these days in the way of meat is grass fed and locally raised. Jamison Farm lamb comes from a place very near where I live, and I also get frozen chickens and beef from organic farmers who sell to nearby farm markets. I only consume animal protein a couple of times a week in any case because I just feel better,less sluggish, with a diet that is more plant based. I eat anything when I am at someone else's home or when I dine out of course.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:46 PM   #3
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Boy do things run in cycles. I remember in the 1970's local DeKalb Illinois folks explaining to me how corn fed beef was more expensive but tasted soooo much better. See the marbling!
I suppose that is like those ads a generation earlier were doctors recommended filter cigarets for health.
Now Kobe beef is another thing, I guess anything goes better with beer.
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:15 PM   #4
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Boy do things run in cycles. I remember in the 1970's local DeKalb Illinois folks explaining to me how corn fed beef was more expensive but tasted soooo much better.
That's CORN COUNTRY, what do you expect them to say? heh, heh, I've heard the same thing my whole life, growing up not too far from DeKalb.

I'd like to try some side-by-side, to see what I think. I seem to recall a food podcast, and the guy did a blind test and could not tell.

I think the best test is one I've heard called a "triangle test". Give the taster three samples, randomly chosen two of one type, one of the other. Step one is - can you identify the "different one" - if not, stop there. Step two - which do you prefer?

Now, if a decent sample of people can tell the diff and pick a favorite (or at least describe the differences accurately) with some degree of significance, you are on to something.

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Old 07-02-2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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I don't think this TJ grass fed beef is better tasting because it is grass fed, but perhaps more that it isn't full of bone hunks and varius garbage that is found in supermarket, non-premium hamburger.

I guess the health aspects are open to one's own interpretation of whatever evidence there is.

Ha
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:33 PM   #6
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Hmmm... might have to give that TJ's stuff a try. The 90% and 96% lean good stuff at superwalmart is close to $4 anyway. And the 80% lean stuff they sell in tubes is a good bit cheaper but the quality and taste just aren't there.
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:34 PM   #7
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I don't think this TJ grass fed beef is better tasting because it is grass fed, but perhaps more that it isn't full of bone hunks and varius garbage that is found in supermarket, non-premium hamburger.
That is probably the key. Ground up good meat vs. ground up "everything that's left after the good meat is sliced up or ground up".
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:35 PM   #8
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Hmmm... might have to give that TJ's stuff a try.
I just wish TJ's would come out here. We used to shop there a lot when we lived in California. Miss it.
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:44 PM   #9
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I just wish TJ's would come out here. We used to shop there a lot when we lived in California. Miss it.
I have to drive 25 minutes to the one near my parents' house right now. But the new one about a mile or two from my house opens in November, so I am just biding my time and only go to TJ's once a quarter or so. I never was into the gourmet higher quality foods until I went to TJ's. Nice to get good quality stuff for similar prices to walmart in many cases.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:00 PM   #10
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Grass-fed is much better for you, and the animals themselves. I'll offer another plug for Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Great read and very compelling.

Glad to hear that they are pushing pastured beef at TJs--that is wonderful and gives me hope that CAFOs will someday be a thing of the past, with their antibiotic-loaded cows living in misery and filth awaiting slaughter.

I will enjoy my own pastured pork from Caw Caw Creek this weekend!
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:11 PM   #11
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I am hoping they will start carrying pasture-fed chickens...
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:14 PM   #12
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I'm hoping they will start carrying beef that is into self-immolation. Hmmm... burgers that cook themselves.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:22 PM   #13
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Grass-fed is much better for you, and the animals themselves. I'll offer another plug for Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Great read and very compelling.
Can you refresh my memory on that? My son has my copy of OD.

Did Pollan give any evidence that grass fed was healthier for the humans (I know he gave reasons why it was better for the animals)? I can't recall. I seem to remember that some people claim the fat is more lower saturated fat, or something?

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Old 07-02-2009, 03:35 PM   #14
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Only one I know of is that grass fed beef has a much higher percentage of omega-3 in relation to omega-6 while grain/corn fed beef has a much higher percentage of omega-6 in relation to omega-3. Same with butter.

Grassfed beef overall has much less fat than grain/corn fed beef (beef gets tough fast when cooked even a little too long). I wouldn't especially consider this a good thing though, but I know many would...
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:06 PM   #15
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We are able to get grass fed beef for $4.50 a pound ground, $9.99 a pound for ribeye and $6.00 for eye of round roast, at our local CSA. We are sold on the earthy taste and how much faster it cooks.
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:26 PM   #16
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I've tried grass-fed rib-eyes a couple times from a steer my sis raised on their friend's place. Maybe it was a weedy pasture...I don't know why, but the stuff was horrible. I may try some commercially grown stuff sometime down the road, but if it tastes like my sis's, it will be the last time. We had a goat for milk when I was a kid, and when she was allowed to eat anything she ate weeds which created horrible tasting milk. When we let her have alfalfa, it was a bit better, but still pretty "goaty". That'ss why I thought the taste may have something to do with the type of grasses fed to the animal.

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Old 07-02-2009, 05:56 PM   #17
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I can't get grass fed beef here, but I do buy my meat from a mom-n-pop (3 generations of an Italian family) place that makes their own ground beef and sausages.
They do the meat cutting themselves. I've seen the whole cow sides delivered. Their cutting area is wide open for all to see.
I have never had a chunk of bone or gristle in the ground meat I buy there. Less water and fat comes out when cooking. There is never blood or liquid in the packages from sitting too long.
And get this...they are cheaper than the local grocery chains.
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:56 PM   #18
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For ground beef I just buy bulk and slice for the freezer, since I'm allowed a juvenile snicker over the word "meat chub" on my receipt. That alone is worth the occasional bit of bone.

You want a good read look up the ingredients of potted meat food product, specifically the parts that from what I can discern consist of spraying high pressure water at chicken carcass against a grate to reclaim meat. It disturbs me because I love vienna sausages and they are right next to the legendary potted meat food product.

I'm not sure if the potted meat is grass fed though.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:26 AM   #19
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Buffalo meat apparently has less fat than even chicken, but you notice that it's less juicy when, for example, you cook buffalo burgers. I got this tip from someone but haven't tried it yet:

Mix crumbled blue cheese into the meat before grilling. It melts inside the burgers, and adds flavor and juiciness.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:46 AM   #20
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Their cutting area is wide open for all to see.
That's the only way I'd buy meat from a small independent.
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