OT: beef

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What the heck has happened?
I was recently in a supermarket here in central Florida and was perusing the beef section (I'm seldom in a market). The selection was awful...although labeled "choice" the meat didn't look like choice. (BTW, the sign declaring it to be choice said it could come from the US, Canada or Mexico. Huh?) The number/types of cuts was paltry; even the quantity available was paltry. Most especially, there was *no* sirloin.
Now, flat bone sirloin happens to be my favorite cut of steak. There was a guy stocking the section so I asked if I could have one cut. He tells me that the market (Publix) gets *NO* bone in meat and if they did there was no one there that would know how to cut it. Since then I have checked other markets...none get bone in meat, just cryo packs.
Is that true elsewhere or just where I live?
What has happened to markets that got actual sides of beef and would cut to order on request?
How long has it been since you saw a packaged piece of beef with the nice purple USDA stamp on it?
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dadiOH
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Just you, dude. Well...at least it's not a problem around here. While I don't buy beef in the supermarket, both the Hannaford and Price Choppers around here have a "butcher" section where they will cut bone-in beef to order. I buy my beef from a small market which has been around for 50+ years. More than half of the space is taken up by a real butcher shop, where you can get anything you want, from fresh rabbits to whole ribeyes. I can get a whole boneless ribeye for $5-$6 a pound, and boneless chicken breasts for $1.59-$1.99 a pound. The supermarkets, even WalMart, charge nearly twice that, and their packaged beef is cut into pathetic less-than-an-inch slices. It's because all the meat and poultry come from local sources, so there's little transportation cost.
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h wrote:

I am green with envy. Not to mention hungry :)
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dadiOH
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giant eagle appears to be carrying more pre packaged meats coming from a factory somewhere like all the meat from wall mart.
recently i noticed little bone in meat, which i prefer i think it tastes better, and the dogs love the bones....
the grocery industrry is changing before you know it all the meat will be coming from china
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Dunno... Green, beef, and hungry don't go very well together.
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wrote:

The problem started many years ago (1996) when the USDA upgraded all beef one notch. Choice became prime, Select became Choice etc. I have noticed that at Publix they don't seem to grade the meat at all. I see mixed cuts in the same case at the same time. Sometimes when they are having the rib steak sale they will have a few pieces that could be called prime, right next to some I would call dog food. The trick is knowing what you are looking at. I agree about the flat bone sirloin. They are cutting the meat in a way that the flat bone ("I" bone) has gone away. In my opinion, the grade change makes most "sirloin" too tough to eat.
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h wrote:

Last night I was having a conversation with my current squeeze. She was going on about a dish made of various boiled vegetables plus Tofu (for the protein).
I held her with my glittering eye and said: "Vegetables are not food. Vegetables are what food eats."
(chin drop goes here)
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I have no idea of what "flat bone sirloin" is. I only know that: a) How a cow is cut up and what the pieces are called varies by country and or local custom. b) There may a be a somewhat good but hypocritical reason not to sell bone-in meat: Mad cow disease is a disease of the nervous sytem, and many bones (especially vertebrae) are enriched in this (as are organs).
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Best regards
Han
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Han wrote:

By "bone-in" I mean a shop buying whole or half carcasses and cutting same into the various cuts. The problem with doing that are the various less than popular cuts - shank, plate, etc. - that the shop must also sell; many used to go into the hamburger made by the shop. Cuts from bone-in meat may or may not actually contain bone depending on what the butcher wants.
As far as I can see, the only advantage of cryo packs - which also contain bone, depending on cut - is to the butcher: they no longer have to peddle the less desireable cuts and can concentrate on a selected few high profit ones. They gain, we lose.
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dadiOH
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Last time I saw that was 1963 when I worked after school at Joseph's Market. It has been downhill since.

I used to do some of the trimming. We sold regular ground meat at 49 a pound, but sold some to the sandwich shop across the street for their meatballs for 29. I don't remember prices, but imported boiled ham was 1.19 a pound. If Joe ran low on meat before the next delivery, he'd go pickup a hind quarter and put it in the trunk of the Imperial. It was about 45 minute drive to the packing house.

The real advantage is cost. They no longer pay to ship bones and fat thousands of miles and no longer have to collect the offal in the tallow trucks. Meat today is closer to factory made rather than farm raised.
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I caught a store doing that with pre cooked chicken, I reported it to the health department the practice ended. now they discount about to expire food to move it out called manager specials
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On Sun, 13 Jun 2010 09:28:04 -0700, Smitty Two

I caught Winn Dixie doing that with hamburger. They would wrap some brown nasty burger with fresh and put it back in the case. After a little back and forth with the corporate HQ, the meat manager was fired.
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Silly boy.
Welcome to the depressing, but insanely efficient, world of "agribiz" and capitalism in action. A real butcher is just overhead and outmoded. We now have armies of one-movement illegals whacking and hacking them sick slaughtered herd animals into cryopacs to meet that almighty bottom line and the customer's price point. Quit complaining and feel proud you can buy tasteless beef to combine with that tasteless bread and that tasteless lettuce and tasteless tomato for the ultimate tasteless hamburger, or whatever your non-tastes might be. What? You like flavorful meat? You don't want the cheapest price around? What are you? Some kinda TREASONOUS PINKO COMMIE!?
nb
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notbob wrote:

Uhhh...yeah. And something I can count on. When I eat out, if I order steak, I normally order top sirloin. It used to be a decent, predictable cut; nowadays it varies between OK and gawdawful.
I also like grain fed beef. I have no interest in "all natural, grass fed beef". Most especially when they want a premium price for it.
Then there is pork. The last decent pork chop I had was in Costa Rica more than a decade ago. Pork never had much intra-muscular fat but at least there was some on the exterior to give some flavor. Now the poor pigs are slaughterd so young there doesn't seem to be much of that. And what there is gets trimmed off due, they say, to customer demand. Did I miss the LOWER THE FAT riots when I was living abroad?

That works too :)

Yes if that equates OUTRAGED CONSUMER :)
You got it right about bread too.
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dadiOH
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On Sun, 13 Jun 2010 10:18:04 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

Around here we have local butchers who still do it the old fashion way.
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I live in Orlando. Winn Dixie has good meat, as does Costo.
I don't shop at overpriced Publix.
There are also several meat markets around here.
I sometimes go to Petty's http://www.pettysmeatmarket.com /
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Not that Petty's this one http://www.pettysmeats.com/meat/meats.htm
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Ron wrote:

I don't blame you and wish I could convince my wife not to. Around here - Polk County - Publix is close to being a demi-god due to having started here. Took me about two trips there when I first moved to Florida to figure out that they were over priced and their meat was a poor second to Winn-Dixie.

Thanks. I don't often get to Orlando but next time I'm there I'll check them out.
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Wow. Your food (i.e. meat, as mentioned above) prices (if typical for the USA?) are REALLY low!!!!!!!!!
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wrote:

If I buy a whole boneless ribeye (13-18lbs) from my butcher it's $5-$6/pound. And they'll cut it to order if you want (we prefer to cut it ourselves). At the supermarkets, even Wal-Mart, the "jumbo pack" which is about 3-4 lbs costs between $8-$12/pound. There's also a warehouse place (requires a yearly membership) that sells whole ribeyes in blister packs for about $9/pound. When I was in Italy last February I realized just how dirt cheap food is here in the USA. Of course, it helps that I live near (easy driving distance) several dairy farms, a poultry farm, and at least one beef/pork farm. I buy my stuff at the local butcher because they get theirs locally. I could save a few pennies driving directly to the poultry farm, but then there's gasoline cost to consider. I still drive out there (20 mile round trip) when I want a fresh turkey at Thanksgiving or if I need a bunch of fresh game hens for a medieval feast (that I get stuck doing every few years).
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