Mr. Keith, This is waaaaaay off topic but since your a cattleman, I’ll ask you. What the hell happened to our beef? It seems as if I haven’t had a real, decent steak since the late 70’s/ early 80’s. They have no flavor. Feed? Steroids? Cloning? I’ve been curious for quite some time.
That’s those petroleum powered steaks. Try a woodgas steak, it’s got plenty of… fiber.
Kidding aside, it’s really the way food in general has gone over the last 50-75 years. Industrial beef has some awful awful ingredients they’re eating. Most never see grass.
Find a farmer and buy a side of beef directly (hopefully one you can see walking around a pasture). You’ll find that flavor you’re missing.
Aye to that.
I’ve been eating pure “cheap” grass fed beef from one side or the other of the family. Just had fresh beef liver two days ago. (Was one of three pay the Taxes slaughtered cows) These cows Never see feed lot conditions, Never see any commercial feed, or even bought out hay. Just what on thier own places hay can be put up on their own property annually. Bad hay year you have make a herd reduction BEFORE they all would suffer in the non-grazing capable months later. I/we went out of the cow business 2003-05 'cause “that lazy son-in-law” (me) stopped being willing to handle the haying, fencing and management of the cows. Not exactly true: the old in-town property that was the majority of the less rocky, tillable, hayable, got Town Nanny declared in 2001 after a one year battle as “NO More grazing of Livestock within the Town Limits”. We and three other families then lost the abilty then for early Spring and post haying harvest grazing management. Hay fields then year by year biased to weeds. We would have then had to resort to much bought out BigAgChem rewarding herbicide spraying. Lots more bought out BigOil/Investor rewarded diesel for the extra tractor work needed.
No self-made hay then the costs of buying out hay tumbles the whole thing into a loss endeavor. Forces you then to work out more, work more overtime for the Man, somewhere. Feeding even more Ceasar taxes into the Beast.
Hmmm. Sorry. At times my extreme bitterness over the investor driven shortsighted non-sustainable forced “March into the Grand Glorious Future” of more builder/beaver/investor houses sometimes bubbles through. The other three families one by one sold out loosing their generations Rural souls to the now “easy money”.
By the way nothing beats WHOLE old cow ground beef if you use the whole cow. Nothing has that depth of burst in your mouth flavor.
We actually tease Moderns with gift packages of family grass beef and our eggs. Just spreading the ethic as we can for that one in a thousand.
The rest Keep your Damned plastic lifesyles, foods and fuels.
This is where talked of Return-On-Investment always falls flat.
How do you factor in the values of flavors, health, and the benifits or being out active DO ing things in the real world? You can not.
How can you ever establish a dollar value on personal Freedom Independence? It is an insult to those paid the prices for this in bloods, sweats and tears to even try.
99.999% of Plastic modern people will never understand to be willing to experience any of this.
I still will say for alomost anyone able to read this here now that we chose our lots in life. Pretty? Shiny? You the fish who always bites and get eaten up? Lost. Souless. Same-same, bling-bling bland?
Or real earth down and dirty, with lots of flavor and lots of character?
What do you choose??
Do a YouTube search for “Joel Salatin” or “Salad Bar Beef” and you’ll find the answer to the beef problem.
Hello Jim ,
I feel somewhat like a hypocrite , I raise them but don’t eat them. It has been over 15 years that I put a beef in the freezer and it was out of the pasture with no feed. With the price of the cattle being $150-$175 a pound on the hoof I just can’t afford it.
We do have deer , turkey and chickens in the freezer.
The cattle only have grass and hay here.
Steve, regarding old cows…we had a blind cow that lived here for 17 years (it was a twin, and the mother took the second calf and left the first one for the fire ants.) Turned into a pet, but kept producing calves, so we kept her with the herd. Dear wife would have no part of selling her at the auction, so we sold her to a friend for $75, with the condition that we have no part in the loading or corralling or hauling. They had the whole cow turned into hamburger, and said it was the best meat they ever ate. (I’m certain it was the leanest.)
Ray, South Central Texas
I ate grass feed Beef last night from our pasture. We sale some bulls to a lady that does and has all the processing done. She then sales the Beef at farmers markets and to restaurants in Charlotte. If any of you can buy local I thank that your food quality well go up in most cases. Hay season is here Wayne, and we’re about to get real busy.
In a previous semi-career I did a fair amount of meat cutting on exclusively grass-fed cows. The “mama cows” would always feel slimy and the fat was almost egg-yolk yellow, and we would turn the whole thing into hamburger. Aside from the handling displeasure by the employees, we never had any customer complaints about the meat. I ate a few tenderloin steaks from a mama cow and they were as good as anything I ever had.
As far as the grass-fed/feedlot argument goes, here’s the Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_feeding ) comment:
“A study by Cornell University has determined that grass-fed animals have as much as 80% less of [E. coli 0157:H7] in their guts than their grain-fed counterparts, though this reduction can be achieved by switching an animal to grass only a few days prior to slaughter. Also, the amount of E. coli they do have is much less likely to survive our first-line defense against infection: stomach acid. This is because feeding grain to cattle makes their normally pH-neutral digestive tract abnormally acidic; over time, the pathogenic E. coli becomes acid-resistant. If humans ingest this acid-resistant E. coli via grain-feed beef, a large number of them may survive past the stomach, causing an infection.”
I’m envious of all you. Yeah, I thought about hitting up some farms my next trip up to Vernon.
Forgot to share some photo’s from my last trip up to my property. The whole region was flooding. The pond was quite full. Glad I brought my canoe. I got lucky, just barely.
I believe he meant 1.50 - 1.75 per lb.
just by coincidence, I was up at my parents place last weekend and got about 100 pound of meat from one of the cows they had slaughtered the week before. I do this every 2 to 3 years, just as it comes along. My parents and my brother kept a quarter of that cow, and my parents-in-law and my wife and myself split another quarter (all rough numbers here). The other half stays for sale at the butcher’s.
We do this, because this way we know exactly how our meat was raised and fed. If you buy meat at the grocery store, you don’t know that, but you can tell: If you put their steak in the pan and fry it, it will shrink by 50 % (or close to that, there are of course big differences in meat quality…)
If we put “our” meat in the pan, there is hardly any shrinkage that is noticeable.
The art of modern/industrial butchery or slaughterhouse is to convert water to a firm and cuttable or sliceable “matter”, thus boosting the profits (selling water for the price of meat…).
When heated up in pot or pan, the water will dissolve/evaporate and what stays is just the little portion of meat and the stuff that was used to solidify the water in the first place. And the latter is certainly not suitable to maintain your health!
Therefore, my wife and I decided to eat less meat and to better spend a little more on higher quality meat and also to get meat from well-known sources (as from my parents’ farm).
They do this with ice-cream, too. Here in Germany, ice-cream is one of the few, if not the only solid food item that is sold by volume, not weight or mass. This is because they manage to even make thin air cuttable and sliceable and firm. And they improve their ability to foam up the ice cream year for year. Compared to my younger days, a litre of ice cream weighs less than 50% of what it used to weigh back then! They don’t even have to spend the (little) money for the water. Air is free!
The only other ones, that are able to make money from thin air, are the banks on our planet - but we’ll better not get into that…
EDIT: Just to chime in on the pricing issue: I pay a little short of 300 USDollars, if I convert it. That is for a little less than 100 lb, so I am pretty close to 3 USD / lb. That would be the prize for slaughtering and cutting up the meat. Very close to Chris’ numbers, actually.
And another reason for not buying the “cheap” meat: The slaughterhouse definitely do earn more money with the “other” stuff, that is not the meat you end up buying as meat (“slaughterhouse waste”, is that correct?). The big corporatist food trusts buy this stuff and put it in all kinds of Fast-Food or convenience-food (a really nice name for the crap they put in, isn’t it?).
They even “glue together” the mechanically recovered meat to make us believe it is a real steak! This all became public roughly ten years ago, when there were a couple of Mad-Cow-disease-incidents in Europe. Beef prices went rock bottom instantly, and my dad was glad and happy he had not gotten rid of his pigs as he had planned for a decade already (and now has done a couple years ago…too much work for an old man).
Nevertheless, we do have roughly one big food scandal per year - and nothing changes! The last one (a couple weeks ago) was horse meat declared as beef in convenience lasagne of all those producers… I wouldn’t care. Horses have a nice and tasty meat and I have no problems eating it. This meat, however was from sick and ill animals (mostly from Romania) and someone saved the fees for the knacker’s yard and - quite the opposite - made some money by selling it…
I prefer to pay a little more and know what I’ve got…
Good Morning Henry,
Sorry I didn’t put the decimals in the numbers. Should have been $1.50-$1.75 per pound.
Sam, that sure explains my failures at marinating. Can’t sop up gravy with a wet biscuit.
there you go!
I also heard a couple years ago, that for the american market the meat would be “sweetened” with little doses of sugar. I figure, that would give a unique taste to it (which you surely would have to like to eat it…). But of course it would help bind the water as well…
“So they pay the producer $1.50 - $1.75 / lb for beef, then resell it for typically $4 - $5 /lb to consumers. Wow, all that energy and fuel to refrigerate and transport the product really adds up quickly! As expensive as that seems to us when we’re paying for it, I’d guess there probably isn’t that much profit margin in it for the local grocer?”
Henry, the middle man is taking most or all of the profit in the foodchain, but not on the raw meat. First it gets butchered, and that removes about half the weight via bones hide guts etc. Already you’re at $3 to $3.50. Once you pay for all the processing and shipping, raw beef is actually sold at or near cost. That’s not where they make their money.
Pre-packaged foods have extremely high markup relative to the food value inside. If you buy hot dogs, balogna, pre-cooked bacon, even deli meats, they’re way more expensive than the actual meat in them, at a tiny extra cost of processing. Then there’s frozen dinners, Hot Pockets, canned soup and anything else with a smidge of meat. This is where they make the real money, since basically all the grain/vegetable based parts of the dish are dirt cheap, the only cost that really matters is the meat. Next time you see a frozen dinner, estimate the pounds of meat, vs the price. You’ll be shocked.
Just hatched out 14 Muscovy ducklings on Monday. I can yield about 2-1/2 pounds of meat from a mature drake (we skin them rather than pluck - takes too long), and a hen is good for about 1-1/2 pounds. Takes 17-20 weeks to get to processing size, and all I have to do is give them feed, water and a place to lay their eggs. They do the rest. They’re naturally mute and can’t fly (at least not very far), so they don’t bother the neighbors. They’re pretty good foragers, don’t (usually) bother garden plants, and the water from their wading pool is excellent liquid fertilizer.
For someone who doesn’t have a lot of grazing land for larger animals, Muscovy ducks are the most cost-effective and self-sustaining source of animal protein I can think of. As far as the meat goes, it is not “poultry-ish” - we use it as a direct replacement for beef. Same color, same texture, and very similar flavor.
Yes. Yes. Yes. On the quailty of all of the information being put up here.
Let me clarify a few points.
Now I figure his beef, sawboards and even sold out firewood are Mr Waynes cash sales - sustainable “crops”. EVERYBODY has to pay thier Ceasar Taxes even apartment dwelling renters. Don’t pay your rent/lease (with all of the included taxes - plus a little more for the administation handling, interest on the LANDLORDS money tied up, etc) and out on the street, homeless you will be. As an actual property owner ( now the lord of your own land) DO NOT pay your Ceasar property taxes and out on the street, homeless you will be also - just takes a little longer to occure.
If you have any sense and really want to be Free and Independent You NEVER comsume your own cash crops/products!!
The remains of this old 120 acre family farm that we live on was built up from one acre by a very independnet minded and willed German immigrant woman root hogging locally on cloths washing & mending, eggs, milk, cream and later beef and hog sales over the course of 70 years of her 89? year life. He five girl children told stories of only years eating steamed whole oats ( dairy cow feed) with one egg every moring with just skimmed milk. The cream was for either direct cash sales or sold wholesale to the creamery. Any pork, having been skimmed milk fed, was for cash sales. Cheap to raise “rooter” chickens were for dinners - day after day after day. The dairy and beef cow WERE the main property tax money. Herd reduced twice a year early Spring and late Summer to match out with proprty tax payment cycles. ONLY some of the organ meat made it back onto the family table. She was able to decade by decade to penny save back and acquire more adjacent properties with each economic up and down cycle at default back taxes seized sales for pennies on the dollar from other people who had bought into which ever had been the latest “spin” wind-up causing poeple to think they were dollar-wise with “sure things”, "make money investments’’. Much of this occured in the newest Tech ventures like radio, defence industries, Nuclear energy, TV, different audio formats, ect.
She also put 4 of the 5 daughters through to collage degrees. Intelligence runs mostly in the genes with some nurture help along. Smart is learned - YOU control that. They hated her; her skin-flint ways; and only one ever came back into the valley much later after two husbands come and gone, to help her in her old age. Only my wifes mother stayed home and adoped her ways. Ha! Ha! These two penny pinching woman why we have the overmature, unmarketable big trees saved back. Even penny pinchers need to look up occasionally and see something has to be done with the accumulated dollars now and again. Only I am the only one now able to run a chainsaw up there without suffering a broom beating. My married in hunter/fishing Father-in-law was the one 1940-2005 who finally brought some fish and meats variety to the family table and some sensible lands management.
This same ethic of NOT consuming your own cash sales needed for unavoidable “they will only take Caesar coin” applies to everything unavoidable that you cannot do for yourself. (Ha! I usually say here even the best of Drug dealers and Pimps/Madams know and apply hands off the cash product as awake-up statement. Actually this is a true reality.)
The builder/beaver/investor building a big McMasion house to live-in and actually doing it is really eating his own cash crop. You: the tradesman buying into “scratch your back” “Bro” helping in what should have been your own family time just got played into this same web of self-deceit. He WILL sell it. Or repossession bank lose it down the road. Your Lifea Time will be gone, expended, building his fortune or his leveraged/broken limb bankruptcy. Cars the same. I began to figured that one out with the 3rd blown up engine R&R helping buddy on his pet GTO obsession back in 1969. Then later with a different buddy always having a “keeper” aquiered car needing my help that seemed to always be sold later for a profit.
As much as my Dentist likes the eggs I take to him he needs Caesar cash to pay his own overhead expenses.
I’ve put this into more non-rural examples so you’all reading can see the same principals always apply. Always have. Always will.
The best time in your Life? Right now. What did you do today? Tomorrow IS today. Yesterday, yesteryear IS your now. People were just as bright and intelligent back then as they are now and doing what they thought (or were convinced into thinking) was Best. YOU chose Best for who; Best for how many; Best for how long. Choose wisely. YOU will always be facing that person in the mirror with the results of your choices. No excuses accepted from your mirror judgement.
Alex those mucsovies are great for every reason you said. Thier eggs are also suprior for baking with.
Glad you said “generally not bother the garden”. We got ours 1997-99 “to clean out the slugs and garden pests”. Hmmm. That worked alright. But after the 2 generation they learned to eat thier wieght in unripe turning blueberries. By the 3rd generation the hens learned to fly out and back in circles. Got to become hazarous coming home and being whoosh! fly-by greeted. By the 5th genteation I could not keep them off the house porches in “fowl” weather. They were reallly “fouling” up the boards. That was it! Meat gone and now replaced with much dumber chickens. Muscovies generational learn and teach each others too damn well. Was a good observable life lesson in that for most criiters the intellect and wisdom is in the herd/pack/flock, aquiered and passed along. They ain’t so dumb after all. Smarter than most humans overall.
Another well explained “lifes lesson” I thank all of us can respect. Thank you Steve U. And by the way I would be the first to buy “Your book” If you ever desided to publish one.
" And by the way I would be the first to buy “Your book” If you ever desided to publish one."
You would have get up pretty early of the morning to be the first!