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Old 04-26-2010, 03:30 PM   #21
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The meat must be inspected by the USDA to be resold. This type of regulation is what keeps Mad Cow disease out of the country.

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Old 04-26-2010, 03:38 PM   #22
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The meat must be inspected by the USDA to be resold. This type of regulation is what keeps Mad Cow disease out of the country.
I agree. There are feed lots in my part of the world and there are small local producers as well. The smaller farmer can sell to anyone and those cuts do appear on local menus. Restaurants buy directly from these farmers and that's legal. But as I understand it, local producers have their facilities inspected as a matter of course.
Meat processing facilities are also inspected and regulated. There are both federal and state regulations that govern meat sales. I found this was very useful; http://www.extension.org/pages/Meat_Inspection
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:47 AM   #23
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Roast leg of lamb (no more than 5 lbs.) well seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic--rubbed down with a paste of good olive oil, fresh lemon juice and 2 tsp. ground cinnamon and carefully cooked to rare or medium rare---just heavenly.
Slices of fresh garlic inserted in slits in the leg even better.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:52 AM   #24
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Lamb has got more expensive here, most of the large supermarkets sell New Zealand lamb so we've got to pay transport etc, I don't know why they don't plug our own sheep, Welsh lamb is gorgeous
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:10 AM   #25
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I've noticed in So. Calif. Albertsons has recently gone from selling lamb for stew in plastic wrapped foam trays to fully shrinkwrapped printed packaged bags. It's still from the US. This lamb is easier to trim the fat from, but has lost something in texture. It's like cutting thru liver sorta. Not that bad, but that's how I describe it. Not as flavorful too. It seems a previous poster may be on to something about "finishing off" with more corn feed. That would explain it well. They've gone a bit too far "finishing off." NZ lamb is a bit too gamey tasting to me. So...I'm somewhat dissapointed with the lamb being sold today at my main surpermarkets. So.Calif. doesn't have many mom and pop butcher shops anymore, if they do...too many flies.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:20 AM   #26
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I'm someone that didn't grow up eating much lamb. Sometimes I can find lamb to be a bit strong for my tastes. I remember getting chops with a lamb reduction at a restaurant once. The chop was great, but the concentrated lamb stock gave me visions of a wool sweater dragged through the mud!

Of course gyro style lamb-loaf is always a welcomed street food with tzatziki and pita.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #27
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D'ya know, I have no idea where the lamb I buy lived when it was alive. I assume local, but that's a big assumption and I'll ask. The farmers here do lamb, veal, and pork (I'm in a small town in the rural IL/WI/IA tri-state area, so fresh meat and milk are all around me). So much of the national brands for dairy and meat products are actually local here. It never occurred to me to ask. And, yes, we do have a restaurant that features foods by local purveyors; lamb, pork, beef, cheese, veggies. Hmmm. Haven't been there for awhile, guess I'm due to make that dinner tonight!

But the lack of flavor in lamb is not one that I've only noticed here, but often in the many places in this country where I've bought it. I liked the bit of gaminess in the flavor, that was the point of eating it rather than beef. I think all of our lamb when we lived in Hawaii was NZ (it was marked as such). The lamb I buy here, and the veal, are not marked as to where it was raised. Some of the beef is. And I know exactly who I'll ask (one of the employees of my local Piggly-Wiggly raises lambs .... why have I not asked him?). And yes, I feel most meat reflects the diet of the animal when it was alive. If you've ever had venison that lived out west, ranging for itself, and venison that came from a deer that would eat from the corners of farmers' fields in Virgina, or ones that were farm raised for their meat (here), you'd really, really, really know that they are what they eat!
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:40 AM   #28
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I thought it was now law that meat packaging had to carry the origin of the meat. However, with "feedlot" meat, the provenance is probably hard to tell. The meat may be raised in one place, and trucked to another for "finishing" and slaughter.

Claire, if I lived where you live, I feel sure I would be sourcing local farmers for meat. Half of my family were farmers from Central Illinois who raised animals for market before the "feedlot" days.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:44 PM   #29
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My lamb memory doesn't go back more than a couple of years, but until very recently I described lamb as "overpriced pork".
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:00 PM   #30
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My lamb memory doesn't go back more than a couple of years, but until very recently I described lamb as "overpriced pork".

What happened 'very recently' to change that?
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