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Daily Archives: May 16, 2012

Public Opinion; Purposely Mislead to Run Amok…

What’s the difference between venison burger, ground by my own hand, with meat from a deer I shot, and the ground beef labeled “pink slime”?  I must confess before I answer this, that I fell into the trap myself – I bought the whole “pink slim” thing before I bothered reading up on it.  Oops.

Answer:  Nothing, other than the fact that the ground beef was treated by an anti-microbial disinfectant so I have a lesser chance of becoming ill by eating the ground beef.

When processing a deer, you use the good meat for steaks – the rest, the stuff that you have to work around the fat for, goes into the grinder for venison burger – along with a good bit of fat so it cooks well (I don’t mix mine with sausage – it’s all deer)…  Ground venison “burger” is the “salvage product” that can’t be cut up into steaks, but still has value as ground burger.

Now, here’s the best part for me:  I don’t give a crap about the ridiculous ramblings of the “peace through war with complaints based on half-truths” crowd, so my normal ground chuck has plummeted in price while lean ground beef has gone through the roof.  Gimme more CHUCK!

BUT there’s a down side:  “The hunt for a substitute has also has fueled a boom in U.S. imports, benefiting beef exporters in Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay, where cattle are grass-fed and tend to be less fat than their U.S. counterparts”.

We’re sending jobs over seas over this lunacy…  Which is actually pretty much par for the course.

Doh!  The market always finds a way.

By the way – in the original photo that ABC used to “illustrate” “Pink Slime” laced Ground Beef, you know the one that’s become so popular…  What type of meat was used in the photo?

Hint:  It is most definitely not beef.  That means “not cow”.

It gets better:

“Finding enough of a key ingredient – beef trimmings with relatively little fat – to make hamburger more appealing to a critical public has become difficult, say processors.

Here’s why: Each beef carcass produces, on average, 100 pounds (45 kg) or more of trimmings, analysts said. These trimmings are used to make ground beef.

But not all trimmings are the same. In U.S.-raised cattle, much of these trimmings have a 50-50 fat-to-meat ratio. Such fattier trimmings are then mixed with other, leaner cuts in order to balance out the fat and create a hamburger that satisfies the American palette.

In the past, much of the beef processing industry relied on importing leaner beef trimmings, known as the 90s in industry parlance, from Australia and elsewhere”.  [Just like I wrote earlier]…

Now anybody who knows anything about actually grilling burger knows that the really lean beef is hard to grill because it dries out when cooked past medium – the ground chuck can be cooked a lot more vigorously, retaining a decent flavor, thus reducing the chance of e-coli and other harmful bacteria surviving beyond the grill…

So, what does the complaint boil down t0 – really?  The objection is over using the meat that clings to fat in processing burger meat…  If you really read into this, it’s not even about the process of treating it with the antimicrobial because the fat that is now coming from overseas would have to go through the same process to be fit for human consumption.  The process has been used in the US for more than 40 years!  In fact, and this is the awesome part – the two whistle-blowers that started this don’t object to the process one bit – they just don’t like the fact that there are “connective tissues” mixed in with the meat…  Guess what’s in my venison burgers?  You guessed it.  You can’t make this up.

UPDATE:  And one other thing, all those yahoos who complain about waste – “we waste this, you waste that, blah, blah, blah”…  There’s a company innovative enoughto do something with that which used to be wasted for no good reason, and now they’re demonized for it…  SHEESH!

Life in the gutter

I was reading a post on one of my favorite blogs the other day and the author mentioned riding “in the gutter“.  This is one term that I’ve bumped into from time to time but never fully understood, nor did I bother to look it up as I figured sooner or later I’d figure it out on my own.  Life has a funny way of doing that to me.  I’m normally a solo cyclist, so wind and drafting only have any meaning once every other Tuesday.

Last night I got to learn what, specifically, the “gutter” is – but not in a good way – I was stuck in it for about three miles – one at 21 mph, one at 22 and one at 26 before I finally tapped out on mile 15.  There are times when riding in the gutter is a good thing, but when you’re just into cycling and not using said gutter for strategy, in pretty much is how it sounds – sucky.

First of all, last night was the first really nice Tuesday night I’ve had free to ride with the group – partly sunny and 78 degrees at the start – now that’s how I like it.  Unfortunately it was also quite breezy as well.  My warmup started directly into the wind and it was quite a rough one…  We got started promptly at 6 and headed straight into it.  Pace at right around 20 mph, which was pretty intense for the puller, but for anyone tucked in the draft, it was all kinds of easy.  I was about fifth back from the leader and found myself at the front pretty quickly.  I pulled until my more experienced counterpart (we ride a double pace-line) signaled that we were falling back.  I, however, didn’t fall all the way back – I’ve got this fear that I’ll be dropped so I tend to fall in if a gap opens up rather than starting all the way at the back and working back up.  This has happened more than once – but to guard against this in the first few miles is a little on the silly side – it is what it is.   I continued this pattern through the tenth mile, taking 4 or 5 pulls at the front in that time…  On that last pull, I could really feel my energy dip.  That time I dropped all the way to the back before working to the front again.  I should have done that from the start.

Just before mile 13, we hit the cross/head wind.  An echelon formed quickly and I didn’t sense what was going on quickly enough.  Generally with as many riders as we had, I’d have thought a second echelon would form (there had to be 30-40 of us last night) and that would have put me in a great spot for a mile pull followed by a little break.  That’s not what happened.  The second line never formed – I stuck with the group, but with little protection from the wind.  I was in the gutter.  I hung on for three miles, but I gave it everything I had to do that and I never found a spot to get in line.  Once I was done, I was completely gassed and I just drifted off the back.

I ended up latching on with a tandem and a couple of other guys and we made some pretty decent time together, between 21 and 25 mph once we formed up (2:25 min-2:52 min) – it took a couple of slow miles to get everyone in line and the rest of the ride was quite enjoyable.  Though disappointed again…  Ah well, I gave it my best and I still had a great time (and enjoyed an absolute feast afterwards).  I had really hoped I’d be able to improve enough in the last four rides to keep up.  Part of this is my own fault, of course – I insist on riding every day and I’m certain it is counter productive to some degree, because my leg muscles are always under stress – so then the question becomes, do I want to ride every day or keep up with the strongest guys in the group?

I’m Jim and I’m a cycle-holic.  It’s been 11 hours since my last ride…and I’ve only got 10 hours till my next!