Big Factory vs Organic Beef

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mrdecoy1, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. mrdecoy1

    mrdecoy1

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    Is there that noticeable of a difference in taste?
     
  2. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I believe so.

    I've bought organic meat exclusively for over 20 years.  I DO eat processed, non-organic meats when I've dined with friends.  I can tell the difference.
     
  3. iceman

    iceman

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    I've never noticed any taste differences. Texture, oh yeah, grass-fed the most. I don't care for grass-fed toughness. I do very much notice the price difference though. 
     
  4. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I'm not sure I can tell the taste difference between CFO beef and Organic every time. There's just so much marketing that gets involved. Organic covers a broad range of product. With free range grass fed beef there is a noticeable taste difference to me. Tenderness has a lot more to do with the grade of the meat but of course even a prime steak can be tough if it's not butchered properly or well prepared.

    Dave
     
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Big factory = high volume.  Best grades from big factory are skimmed off and sold at a premium, but only to "select vendors".

    When I was a kid, my dad and his friends would buy a calf--live from the farmer.  Farmer kept it for the summer, and around October our "Group" would drop in, slaughter and portion.  Everyone got a quarter side.  One of the guys was a Safeway butcher, and back then, in the '70's, Safeway actually brought in whole sides.  

    Wish I could do that now.....
     
  6. deltadude

    deltadude

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    In the 80s I used to buy half and quarter cows or steers that was range raised, going in with someone. Feeding a family of 5 it made sense, that was in S Calif before we moved to N.Calif. After moving we joined Costco in early 90s the price and quality of their meat made sense to us, since then we have only bought 1 quarter and 1 half cow/steer range raised, over the last 19 years. I didn't really notice much of a difference. I have grown as a cook and pay attention now more than I did in the past, so I might be able to taste a difference but NOT sure.

    I do know that on the rare occasion that I have had a Morton's or Ruth's Chris steak, I can tell the difference, they cook GREAT Steaks!
     
  7. iceman

    iceman

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    Tenderness has nothing to do at all for me with the grade of meat. I am a professional. I know what the differences of grade are, and I know what to expect. I don't like grass-fed beef because to me, any grade is tougher than what it should be in my general expectations. 
     
  8. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Talking about going in with others to buy a quarter beef sure brings back memories. I remember my parents doing that when I was a kid. I'd be paying top dollar at Whole Foods to get meat like that today. Whole Foods does have good prices here for Grass fed burger in bulk. That's the only ground meat I buy any more. I've been grinding my own for several years at home and Pink slime or what ever it is doesn't make me want to change any time soon.

    Dave
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    You don't think grading has anything to do with marbeling, and that marbeling has anything to do with tenderness?
     
  10. iceman

    iceman

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    My point was that I know grades of meat and I know tenderness. Nothing was said/included about marbling, but I know about that too. What I said was that "I DON'T LIKE GRASS-FED BEEF". If it's "prime", I think it's tough for prime. If it's "choice", I think it's tough for choice. If it's "ABC123", I think it's tough in comparison to the same cut of corn-fed or corn-finished beef. "I DON'T LIKE GRASS-FED BEEF".   Was I any more clear that time? 
     
  11. maryb

    maryb

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    I can tell with the partially grass fed and finished for 2 months on grain beef I buy from a local farmer. Better flavor, more tender, and more healthy. Being butchered locally in a cleaner environment means rare hamburger isn't a risk too.
     
  12. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Iceman, I curious, are you implying that there are separate grading standards for grass fed and grain fed beef?

    Or are you saying that grading standards do not take into account "tenderness" when assigning grades?

    Beef tenderness is dependent upon numerous factors, starting with breed, growing cycle, including weaning, supplements (i,e, salts, minerals, molasses etc.), grass, alfalfa, grain, pasture or range (there IS a difference!), locale (1 acre/animal unit in Missouri or 100 acres/AU in Nevada/California?), and fattening (corn, grain, silage, cottonseed cake, or a multitude of other feed products.

    For the uninformed, there are many ways to raise beef, including among others:
    • Pasture raised (<1 acre/AU), salt and mineral supplements only, no grain finish
    • Pasture raised (<1 acre/AU), salt and mineral supplements only, 2-3 month grain finish (what most "organic beef" is)
    • Pasture raised (<1 acre/AU), salt and mineral supplements only, 4-6 month grain finish (still can be organic if all the inputs are organic)
    • Range raised (>1 acre/AU), salt supplement, no grain finish (very rare, even for "grass-fed")
    • Range raised (>1 acre/AU), salt supplement, 1-2 months grain finish
    • Range raised (>1 acre/AU), salt supplement, 4-6 months grain finish (probably the most common beef production practice)
    Nothing in the above list differentiates "big factory" from "organic".

    Organic, by definition, refers to the inputs, feed, etc., and specifies that all inputs meet the definition of organic. Organic beef may be grass-fed, pasture fed, range fed, grain finished, grain fattened, or raised in a pan and fed beer, as long as it meets the organic standards.

    "Big Factory", at least to me, refers to a processing, distribution system that takes live animals and converts them into meat products.

    Just like a computer, GIGO rules, garbage in, garbage out.

    Beef grading is not mandatory, it is strictly voluntary

    To the best of my knowledge, anyone may label any beef whatever they desire unless they wish to use the strictly voluntary U.S.D.A. grading standards, then they must comply with the U.S.D.A. standards.

    For me, anyone who dismisses an entire category of food based on a single factor is demonstrating their lack of understanding and, possibly, knowledge.
     
  13. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Happy to see everyone getting along. I raise my own beef on pasture and then send the cows off to be finished over the winter months. The problem I see with Pasture raised beef is, it is to lean, and in some cases tastes like the pasture. I send my cows out to get a feeding of corn and grain to get some fat. The cows gain about 100 lbs a month when we start this process. I send the cows out to finish at about 1000lbs and send them to be processed at about 1500lbs.............This method gives me great marbling in the meat, great steaks and roasts, I make all the hamburger out of the Chuck...............ChefBillyB
     
  14. davehriver

    davehriver

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    Grass fed beef is very lean hence tough.  I use it alot and  have to add some fat, canola oil, to make a burger out of the ground meat.  The flavor of grass fed is very good and it works well for any thing cooked low and slow.  Grass fed beef is very high in omega 3 fatty acids also.
     
  15. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Pretty sure the GFB burger I am getting is 85/15.

    Dave
     
  16. eastshores

    eastshores

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    I bought in with friends on two black angus. The idea was we couldn't eat a whole cow in a reasonable time, so by splitting 50/50 and keeping the other in pasture it worked out well. Ours were grass fed but they also received a small amount of "sweet feed" and hay. We finished them for 2-3 weeks on a pure sweet feed and hay diet.

    What I noticed about flavor even between the two of them, there was a marked difference in the depth of flavor for the cow that we kept at pasture for 2+ years. The first one we slaughtered left me thinking we had made a mistake because there was nothing special about the flavor, but oh boy, that second cow.. it brought back the memories of how deep and full the flavor of beef can be.
     
  17. foodpump

    foodpump

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    As much as I hold your nose to the doo-doo under the couch,  you just won't save yourself.  You've had ample opportunity to explain the above statement, but won't.

    Look, if you haven't figured it out yet, you've got your head so far up your azz that your tongue thinks it's a foreskin. Everyone else figured it out a looong time ago when you were on your wine-glass thingee.   C'mon man, admit it, you're a fraud, couldn't cook your way out of a soggy Sysco carton.

    Why do I always hafta de-frock the fraudsters?
     
  18. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Um, ladies and gents, unless it is a real unusual situation, I do not believe anybody raises a "cow" for meat, maybe for hamburger or processed beef but not meat!

    Beef in the market comes primarily from 20-30 month old steers (castrated males), the females (heifers, they don't become cows until they have their second calf), are raised as replacements for the cows that produce the steers.

    If you ARE eating cow, it IS tough and stringy.

    That's what cramming a four year education into nine years taught me /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/laser.gifB.S. Agricultural Engineering, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

    And IceMan, when you win the lotto, at least 100 million so it is worth my while, I'll make you a bet on a taste test between grass-fed and grain-fed, you will lose!
     
  19. mrdecoy1

    mrdecoy1

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    My thread stirring up the pot here. I'm just a newb to all this stuff. Bottom line guys now...should I pay the extra dough for pure organic will I taste the difference or not? or is it more in the skill of the cook? is it the aging process or commercial kitchen grills vs my little Weber? I have a Steak House that I frequent that makes the most amazing Rib Eye, seered and crusty outside is that more about skill or quality meat??... thanks
     
  20. iceman

    iceman

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    LOL. Again, and still. 

    foodpump ... I think you should stay on your meds. It's much safer that way. I hope you have assistants close by you when you use sharp things. I've said this a number of times before, I guess I need to say it again now. "READING IS FUNDAMENTAL". You should read entire posts and think about what was being said in it's entirety. I was saying that I understand what the tenderness of a grade of meat should be. I didn't say that tenderness had nothing to do with the grade. I said that "FOR ME", grass-fed beef, whatever the grade was, is not as pleasing as corn-fed or corn-finished beef. 

    I apologize if you took my wisecrack that "... the Canucks  are a bunch of cheap-shot whiney cry-baby pansy sissys." as being insulting. I was speaking of these Canucks in particular, and not the Canadian population as a whole. 

    [​IMG]

    Pete ... How exactly can you tell me, or make any statement about MY opinion? Do or can people tell others what they are or should be thinking? Was I wrong all the times in the past that I've had grass-fed steaks that I didn't enjoy? Was the problem actually with my mouth and not the meat? Could you, in the future, produce for me a grass-fed steak that I would enjoy? Sure. That is completely possible. I don't think however, that you could change what I've already experienced in the past. I choose not to gamble. "He who gambles lives in shambles."   

    MrDecoy1 ... I think your best answer would just come from buying two(2) steaks, treat them the same way, cook them up and eat them, side by side. Quality meat does make a lot of difference; so does the skill in prepping and cooking. Steakhouse guys cook a lot of steaks. That's their job, they need to be good at it. People at home can cook steaks out on their grills really well too. It aint'e rocket surgery. There are a number of threads here on grilling that will help you if you look. I've found it a fun time looking stuff up from old threads. You might have fun too.