Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ground-beef or slaughter house trimmings?

A while ago, Gwen and I decided to change our food buying habits. Wherever possible now, we buy as close to the producer as we can and we select ethically grown products. We're not fanatics about a 100 mile diet. Life would not be worth living without tea, coffee, German Riesling, olive oil and other essentials.

The easiest change to make is the buying of meat. That's probably the most important change a family can make because factory techniques can be reprehensible. Examine this article from Michael Moss and the New York Times. An excerpt:
The frozen hamburgers that the Smiths ate, which were made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled “American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties.” Yet confidential grinding logs and other Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria.

Living on Vancouver's North Shore, we shop at 3P Natural & Exotic Meats or Sebastian & Co. Fine Organic Meats, both owner operated small stores with incredible commitment to safe and healthy products. Do you want to know which farmer grew the meat in your package? Just ask. It will have been prepared in-store, from one segment, from one animal, from one farm and that farm, probably family owned like these, is dedicated to the highest levels of husbandry. That is a fundamental requirement of being a supplier to Paul or Sebastian.

Does this cost a consumer more? Of course it does. But, when you factor in quality and lack of waste and shrinkage, the advantage changes. And, switching to ethical choices allows you to feel superior to the person you used to be.
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  1. Norman, we are forunate enough to have a similiar Meat Shop in the Comox Valley, not unlike the 2 that you have mentioned in Vancouver.
    In actual fact, I find the price less than the Supermarket Chains, and the Product, be it beef, pork, or chicken is mouth watering! Always.
    It makes me feel good to know appoximately where our meat comes from, and I LVE supporting our Local Farmers.
    Win, win all around!


  2. @ Gary L.

    Name the merchant. Ethical businesses deserve our support.

  3. I didn't think I should name the Buisness, because I didn't want to Post an unsolicited "plug" on your Site!
    However, I would be glad to! It's The Butcher Block, in Courtenay, and has been in a fairly small premise for many, many years. The Staff are an absolute hoot, and the Butchers will cheerfully "custom" tailor your request.
    We have often enquired at many of the Eateries in the Comox Valley, after having enjoyed a particularly fine meal, where they sourced thir meat from? The answer is most often the above. Cheers



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