The Art Of The Grind
by Darol Dickinson1
Do consumers buy ground beef right -- or wrong? There are some tricks in the trade that involve world trickery-entrepreneurship and also simple home town wisdom.
This is a chunk of fat. Fat is whitish-pink. A prime-grade beef with many months on grain feed may yield over a half barrel of fat trim during process. Fat is costly to buy on the hoof, but hard to dispose of.
This is beef process trim. It is not steak. It isn't ribs. It is just garden variety scrap meat. This product will go into sausage, pet food, hot dog wieners, be disposed of, or rendered into lubricant products. It is a very low value commodity.
When animal fat is heated it will flow into a disposal system, but if the pipe is cool there is a tendency to cake and clog-up the flow system. Animal fat is costly to grow and even more expensive to get rid of. The oily-nature doesn't allow it to blend with water or other liquids.
The world food business has many ideas of how to get rid of fat. (The USA is a major producer of animal fat due to the abundance of corn and other grains.) This is an idea to scam the consumer by placing a blended mix with high percentage fat in a package with a photo of lean ground beef.
The buyer doesn't know the fat content until they open the package and notice the light pink color. The label may say 80/20, but the consumer has no way to verify the integrity of the claim.
This is a tricky marketing technique. The consumer thinks this is a large oval portion of grind, yet when they take the center band off, it is two small patties. Just a little deception to increase sales.
This is very popular chicanery to fluff the grind up as it comes from the grinder to appear a bigger amount of meat, yet it is fluffy with the worm-shape design, filled with air. The buyer thinks they are getting more than they actually receive. Notice light pink color.
Organic is good, yet always much higher priced than other products due to the excessive government enforcements on organic producers. However, organic can allow the fat trim, kidney fat and excessive fat to be added to the product and still be organic. Organic may not be lean, and it can be a grain fed organic product. Fat and lean are easy to see. Lean muscle is a dark rich red-purplish color, fat is whiter and light pink. The buyer can see the difference no matter what the label may falsely allege.
This simple marketing ploy packs medium quality grind on a bright white Styrofoam display making the grind appear darker or more lean. Muscle is more valuable than fat.
Over 20% of beef consumed in the USA is imported from countries with less sanitary process inspections than the USA. It is estimated this year that 60% of all burgers served by fast food facilities is imported product. This is a process allowed by the US Department of Agriculture whereby low value lean trim is frozen and transported to the USA then blended with heavy USA fat trim. The result is very low cost and attractive for public schools, hospitals, colleges, rehabs and facilities that serve large numbers of meals with a low budget. This product is promoted as "Packaged and distributed in the USA" but never discloses it is a product of Africa or Brazil.
This is a one pound vacu-pack of Longhorns Head To Tail ranch store grass-fed grind. It tests from 95 to 97% lean. It is a product, not of scrap meat, but the whole steer grinding all the steaks, roasts and quality cuts. Fat trim is removed for pet food. This product is bred, raised, processed and distributed in Ohio, USA.
At this point, can you see the difference in very fatty meat and lean meat. Lean is the dark rich color -- big difference! And, all LHTT beef is USDA or OHIO state inspected during the whole preparation process.
This is another healthy product of LHTT -- heat and server roast beef. Notice the country of origin? We are proud of our great country and not ashamed of this large colorful statement of USA. If one has to hunt fine print which says "packaged and distributed in the USA" you are getting, most likely, part, or all, imported low-value product.
Do the test above. Know what you are buying, then visit the Longhorns Head To Tail ranch store at 35000 Muskrat Rd, Barnesville, OH 43713. Don't let the Namibians and Brazilians blow smoke up your tablecloth!
1 - Darol Dickinson - Longhorns Head To Tail, LLC; 35000 Muskrat Rd., Barnesville, OH 43713, 740 758-5050, www.head2tail.com