well, as for BSE(mad-cow), you can take precautions by only buying beef that is labeled "grass fed"... these cows are fed a species appropriate vegetarian diet. grass fed beef is actually better for you because it contains much higher levels of omega-3, not to mention much higher levels of vitamins A and E. myself, i buy only grass-fed beef. for burgers, i like a higher fat content... i usually buy 85 or 90% lean for burgers, 95% lean for everything else.
do supermakets such as giant & safeway carry this? i dont recall seeing it anywhere.
hmmm, i dont think so. we have safeway here and they sure dont carry it. i buy my meat from one of several local butchers, or from Whole Foods (health food store). Trader Joes is a good place to look if you have one of those, my Trader Joes carries two different kinds of grass fed beef.