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Old 02-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #11
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Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing acceptance in our society for this type of thing. As long as long as people are willing to tolerate factory produced, substandard, chemical-enhanced food products, they will always be around. If you want to avoid them, the best thing you can do is educate yourself and find out what alternatives are available in your area.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:58 AM   #12
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alarming news, terrible to hear! zilmax, is this the price we are going to be paying in order to keep mcdonald's dollar menu afloat?
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #13
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If one chooses to feed on Beef McNuggets or the other fast food forms, one will certainly be dealing with this problem. Similarly, if one buys and cooks with this faked up beef, you will then find that beef has all the rich flavor of the mutant chicken featured in most groceries. It's already the reality that beef is routinely uninteresting.

But good, natural beef is available almost everywhere, because small growers are responding to the demand. Prices are still generally quite high, but I find that it's not higher than commercialized beef that has only technically qualified as Prime. The price for well farmed beef, chicken, and other meat can be brought down. We users of meat will decide the issue by patronizing the right producers and refusing to buy the mass commercial product. It is guaranteed that, when enough customers refuse to buy and make their choices known, big grocers will become big buyers of righteous meats.

It's not hopeless at all. My grocer, a very large corporate operation with a great many stores dominating a large region, is becoming more conscious and conscientious about buying natural and local every year. They still have a long way to go in some areas. Their chicken offerings are poor stuff, and the only turkeys they carried last year couldn't possibly have walked on their stringy, meatless legs.

It's something of a nuisance to trek to the farmers market to buy real meat, but I don't eat so much meat these days. But I let my big grocer, the one that is in many ways good, know that I will not buy their chicken or turkey until they stock proper products. But the good news is that, with some effort and expense, I can now eat almost exclusively from local sources of gently grown vegetables and naturally raised meat. That's a huge change from a very few years ago.
When we still lived in Colorado, we had quit buying beef in the grocery stores years ago. We bought on the hoof from friends out in northeastern Colorado who raised and sold 25 or 30 head of yearling Herefords each year. Once you have eaten beef raised naturally (with no additives or antibiotics except what is actually needed for a healthy animal), you will find that grocery store beef tastes more like processed sawdust. It's also an advantage to get it custom cut and packaged to your specifications. Makes for virtually zero waste. And the price for the last one we got about 3 years ago was about $2.60 per pound after packing. The best tasting beef you can get for less than the grocery store price of high fat hamburger.

Down here on the island we have no real choice in what we buy. Beef comes in frozen, mostly from the US, and it is what it is. I'd say that 90% of the beef we do eat now is ground chuck, and that is almost always used in various preparations which would disguise any loss of natural flavour.

However, we just don't eat much beef here. Bahamian raised pork (and occasionally wild pork) and chicken is readily available, lots of fresh caught fish (wahoo, grouper, dorado or mahi-mahi, and snapper are common). We had some wonderful wahoo fillets last week (I bought a 3 pound hunk for $15), and almost always can just go out and find some kind of good fresh or fresh frozen local fish.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:25 AM   #14
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Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing acceptance in our society for this type of thing. As long as long as people are willing to tolerate factory produced, substandard, chemical-enhanced food products, they will always be around. If you want to avoid them, the best thing you can do is educate yourself and find out what alternatives are available in your area.
Well, I think there's a substantial acceptance of what the producers send out, and, people being generally dumb (half of them are below average intelligence), they will often buy the big, fat standard looking meat package. But I don't think it's a growing acceptance. Few complained of the Butterball turkey and juvenile chicken with breasts large enough for two feed a family.

But the trend is to refuse to accept, and the proper sort of producers have appeared to serve the aware minority that didn't exist at all only a few years ago. We have the power here, to inform the stores, to make others aware so they can see the difference, and to patronize the producers so they can grow and be joined by others.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:58 AM   #15
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My sister and I bought a cow together and got the meat from the butcher. It was the best beef I've had in a long time. The chuck roasts were so tender and flavorful. I hardly ever cooked chuck roasts before because they were always so tough and bland even with the onions and carrots added. I tend to avoid grocery store beef since then. I found a supplier for my ground beef. I'm searching for one for my other beef cuts.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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Well, I think there's a substantial acceptance of what the producers send out, and, people being generally dumb (half of them are below average intelligence), they will often buy the big, fat standard looking meat package. But I don't think it's a growing acceptance. Few complained of the Butterball turkey and juvenile chicken with breasts large enough for two feed a family.

But the trend is to refuse to accept, and the proper sort of producers have appeared to serve the aware minority that didn't exist at all only a few years ago. We have the power here, to inform the stores, to make others aware so they can see the difference, and to patronize the producers so they can grow and be joined by others.
A lot of the problem lies in education. Ninety-nine percent of my groceries are bought with food stamps. But I do read labels and make a concerted effort to keep chemcals out of my system. I also read articles on foods that may be harmful to me. So in my own little world, I let others know what I am doing. I let them know I am a label reader and try to avoid chemicals. I let them know that I have felt a big difference in the way I feel and how my health has improved as a result. I also let them know that I cook from scratch.

Because chemical free foods cost more than what is offered to me I am not able to fill up one and a half carriages with groceries bought with food stamps. Free range Black Angus beef cost one dollar or more per pound than what is in the rest of the meat section. I pay more for that bunch of organic carrots than I do for the ones in the bag. And I get fewer carrots. I will occasionally buy a can of Spam. I will buy foods like that because it reminds me of my childhood. A place I like to visit every so often.

My meat market (which is not my grocery supermarket) often will sell a bag of two chickens on sale. They are the scrawniest chickens you ever saw. But they are labeled free range. And very tasty. Not as much meat, but that is not why I buy them. When I buy a bag of legs, I can't help wonder how the dang chickens were able to stand up. Not much meat there. Comparing the legs to the whole chickens in the bag, you can see they came from free range chickens also. The same with chicken breasts.

Have I converted anyone? I think so. If anything, I have made a lot of folks aware of label reading. And that is the start of the education process. Letting our meat manager know what we are looking for, letting our friends and others know that there is something better out there. Putting our food dollar where it will make a difference.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #17
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Practices like this are why I stopped eating all the processed meat we have in America. Wild-caught, non-apex predator seafood only please.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #18
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alarming news, terrible to hear! zilmax, is this the price we are going to be paying in order to keep mcdonald's dollar menu afloat?
Pretty much, because you can not make a "real" hamburger for $1. =/ Profit margins > our nation's health.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing acceptance in our society for this type of thing. As long as long as people are willing to tolerate factory produced, substandard, chemical-enhanced food products, they will always be around. If you want to avoid them, the best thing you can do is educate yourself and find out what alternatives are available in your area.
Totally agree!

I eat organic and grass fed meats for that reason. I've changed in the past year, so that now all of the produce I purchase is organic/certified organic. Sometimes it bugs me, if I have a particular recipe in mind and the only option is not organic. But, I just change my recipe to suit what organic items I can acquire.

Organic foods have so much flavor, and color, and the texture is so much better overall =0)
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #20
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Well, I will continue to eat it occasionally only because of its affordability. I also support local farmers, which I am lucky enough to have many around here, by having local beef and pork in my freezer. I do know the difference and choose my recipes accordingly. I have also had some pretty crappy naturaly raised beef.

I don't think the health risk is any greater than if I ate organic beef and lived and exercised in the city, where the air quality will probably be a worse health risk than commercially raised meat is to me out in the country. Life is full of compromise and trade offs. Leaner beef is something I can work with and is healthier than fatty beef, so in another way it is better. I guess it is all about having a well balanced lifestyle...
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