Think Hamburger Is A Cheap Meal? Think Again...... - Penny Lane Blog at - 240440

Penny Lane

Think Hamburger is a Cheap Meal? Think Again...... 
Jun. 20, 2011 12:13 am 
Updated: Jun. 28, 2011 12:04 pm
In elementary school I hated "word problems"
"Why do they make us do this stuff?"  I would squeal....
 "I don't care how fast the train is traveling or when Jenny will arrive at her destination." 
Fast forward a few decades.... 
As I have said before - I am not a fan of ground beef.  But today was Fathers Day and  I had to buy some .....Please tell me that my math is wrong.  
Ground Beef - the good stuff -  $3.99 a pound.  (Gosh - I wish Costco was closer to my house but it isn't, so I had to bite the bullet and buy what was available, at least it was a product of the US and not 5 countries)
15% Lean Ground Beef @ $3.99 lb  
$3.99 divided by 16oz = .25 cents per ounce
BUT WAIT - there is the waste...this was SUPPOSED to be  15%  fat but not by my scale - I weighed my raw meat (12 oz) and then cooked the ground beef and drained then weighed the waste.  At 15% fat I should have had  1.8 oz fat but I really ended up with 2.5 oz fat and water- which left me with 9.5 oz cooked beef.
12oz meat  -  2.5 oz waste = 9.5 oz @ $3.99 lb = .42 oz 
At .42 cents per ounce  X 16 ounces per pound = $6.72 lb for GROUND BEEF. 
At the same meat counter was Beef Tenderloin on sale for $7.99 lb. or boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.49 lb.    
Dang - check my math - but I think I am correct.
Tuesday  6/22
Seems - my math IS wrong.  I told you I was bad at word problems!
If 12 oz meat @ $3.99 lb = $2.99 / 12 = .25 per ounce of raw meat
$2.99 divided by 9.5 oz cooked meat = .31 oz
The per pound weight is $0.315  x  16 oz = $5.04 per lb.
None the less - I still don't want to be paying $5 lb for ground beef.
If anyone wonders why I am NOT a fan of ground beef you might want to check out my other blog entry<

The results of the ground beef comparison are in:
Costco    12/88 %      $2.99 lb
16 oz raw = $2.99 lb
12 oz cooked ground beef
2.75 oz waste
$4.00 lb
Albertson's   15/85 %    $2.99
16 oz raw = $2.99
11 oz cooked ground beef
2.25 oz waste
$4.32 lb
Laura's Lean  8/92%    I paid $2.99*   normally $5.99 lb
16 oz raw
11.375 cooked ground beef
2.25 oz waste
@ $5.99 lb = $8.48 lb
@ $2.99 lb = $4.20 lb
*The packages of Laura's Lean were marked down as they were approaching their sell by date.  Laura's Lean Beef is free of hormones and antibiotics.
Jun. 20, 2011 12:49 am
Did you account for the meat juices/broth drained off with the fat that should have been added back to the meat? Did you cook it so long the juices cooked off? And I do agree ground beef is poorly labeled, mis-labled, is too high. About 3 weeks ago, 2 pounds was about $13 so I skipped it & bought steak.
Jun. 20, 2011 12:55 am
I think you are one sharp cookie, B'Nana! It really pays to watch pricing and specials...
Jun. 20, 2011 1:02 am
We very seldom buy-or-eat ground beef. In fact the meat I buy is from a specialty shop, but I have learned how to make a little go a long way. It pays to buy the good stuff for me. I got really tired of the meat I was buying not tasting like anything. And don't get me started on meat that is sold in, or as a "chub". Mystery Meat, Yikes!
Jun. 20, 2011 1:04 am
Hi Hot Grandma - thank for checking in - No - I am not a food laboratory - I just browned the "meat" and drained it - I did use the "tare" function on my scale to account for the weight of the bowl. I am SO NOT A FAN of ground beef that there is NO way I am skimming the fat to add back the juices which are probably added water. No thanks!
Jun. 20, 2011 1:09 am
Good EatNz - I don't know about "smart" - notice that I bought this junk. Thank goodness in was less than a pound!
Jun. 20, 2011 1:14 am
Toni - CHUBS = gross slop (read my other blog noted above for more info) I am thinking I should invest in a the meat grinder for my Magic Mill.
Jun. 20, 2011 1:31 am
Tare weight as I know it is the weight of the empty container before weighing any other ingredient. Just asking if you weighed or subtracted the broth or natural juices before making your statements. How to determine what they mean.
Jun. 20, 2011 1:52 am
The tare weight I was speaking of is the bowl - empty - no I did not seperate the fat and the "juices" Either way I am not eating what I poured off that meat - and I am not planning a law suit over the percentage of fat / meat / water etc... to me it is waste...pure and simple. Like you, HotGrandma, I would rather have steak.
Jun. 20, 2011 2:11 am
B'Nana, I see that I have met my match in being picky-choosey. I have found that for us at least spending more, for quality means better taste, and less consumption. I guess-well-I know that there are certain ways to rethink your consumption of meat. I do buy/make prime ribs, and steak. But I order it and pay more. Never buy meat at walmart, and seldom at the big chain stores. We have cut back lots. I do order a side of pork, or specialty beef, when my sister does her slaughter, but it is still spendy. And what about those supposed 'pork loin of tender' or whatever they tout them as. Marinated???? EEWWWW. It is NOT tenderloin, is full of yuck, and still costs quite a bit. BTW, how are you at a potluck?? I'm not very good at them. And the juices?? Off the ground beef--Sorry, no....
Jun. 20, 2011 2:19 am
We agree over what is tare weight - What is this law suit you speak of?
Jun. 20, 2011 2:59 am
And if you want to take it farther, with all the chemicals they pump into processed ground beef, it becomes more expensive with the doctor's visits that you accrue trying to detox or heal yourself from the processed garbage.
Jun. 20, 2011 4:17 am
The end sellers of all food products have raised their prices because of the cost of fuel had risen. They were very fast to do it. Now, the fuel prices are falling and their prices are still rising. I asked a wholesaler what the pricing strategy is and her response is to cover the initial loss of the next rise in fuel costs. I responded that answer has no merit because the prices never fell after the the '08 fuel costs fell. I was ignored after that.
Jun. 20, 2011 4:29 am
Your food supply post makes a very valid point. As long as folks buy their food- any food- from megastores they take the chances associated with the world food chain of supply. Labeling of product origin means nothing and many suppliers (USA or outside the USA)are ruthless and will try anything to increase profits. Buying from local packing houses, farm markets and roadside stands decreases the the supply chain enormously and the end quality is much better. I have no loss of confidence with any meat products from our local stores and packing houses.
Jun. 20, 2011 5:05 am
Nice blog. We aren't big ground beef eaters here in this house and what we buy - we buy from the local butcher for the most part. Like Mike above, I've wondered when will the prices start dropping a little now that the fuel prices have begun falling. I'm also very annoyed at how the size of packages (ice cream, etc.) are shrinking along with the rising prices.
Jun. 20, 2011 5:10 am
You lost me at $3.99 a pound. I failed math:) I rarely use ground beef anymore except in spaghetti sauce and I cook the he11 out of it until is reabsorbs all the juice. I should do a weigh test and see what I end up with one day. I just know I am sick and tired of the price of all meat. My family prefers chicken breast but to buy them fresh makes it tempting to sell a child!
Jun. 20, 2011 5:13 am
Baking Nana, you're stirring the pot again! Thank you for always giving us food for thought. You're the best!
Jun. 20, 2011 5:55 am
Too funny. I wouldn't even give the math problem a try! One more reason to get a meat grinder for that KA of yours.
Jun. 20, 2011 6:11 am
I have thought for a long time that buying the higher fat content ground beef is not a bargain because, as you point out, a higher percentage is waste. I am not a real fan of ground meat of any kind because any impurities are disbursed through the product. I have a grinding attachment for my KA but wasn't really satisfied when I tried it - possibly because I don't have the instructions. But cutting into bite-sized pieces works for most recipes.
Jun. 20, 2011 6:34 am
Baking Nana, another good "food for thought" blog! Went back to read the other blog and I'd already been there and agreed with it. Love the picture of the eggs still. Clean food, clean water and clean air are what we all need to help us stay healthy IMO :)
Jun. 20, 2011 6:46 am
Baking Nana, thanks for putting this out there. I gotta say that I am poor in math, but the way you wrote it helped me to understand more and I've got to agree with Marianne, maybe its time for the grinder.
Jun. 20, 2011 6:55 am
Baking Nana, I just finished reading your other blog you wrote entitled: Our Food Supply. Very well written. I get the FDA reports too and as you stated...a real eye opener. Its amazing what people settle for and take as the norm nowadays isn't it?
Jun. 20, 2011 7:07 am
Thank you for once again reminding me how much I have to be grateful for. I feel bad that more people cannot raise their own meat, or vegetables and have to rely on commercial food, and what the FDA dictates. I am so grateful for where we live.
Jun. 20, 2011 7:25 am
Yuck, this is why im trying to ween my family to ground turkey, the boys are doing great with it, its the hubby that is having a hard time! LOL
Jun. 20, 2011 8:24 am
I always loved the word problems! I am curious, did you weigh the meat after cooking or just the fat? There should have been some weight loss in the form of juices steaming away, (unless it was cooked tightly covered) The actual weight of the fat and the usable meat should have been less than 12 ounces. In which case it would cost even MORE than $6.72 a pound!
Jun. 20, 2011 8:54 am
Ugh...I HATE ground beef! It looks nasty, smells nasty, and tastes nasty. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought the stuff. Ground turkey or ground chicken are all I use, and I'm so thankful for my Kitchen Aid food grinder attachment! I haven't gotten to the point of grinding my own turkey yet, but I do grind my own chicken breast. On the extremely rare occasion that I do buy ground beef (usually because my kids or fiance request a break from ground turkey), I refuse to buy anything labeled with a higher fat content than 7% and I prefer to get 4% if I can find it. Thankfully I've got the fam trained pretty well, though, and they don't really ask for ground beef anymore :)
Jun. 20, 2011 11:13 am
Lots of great comments and food for thought. I must add though - ground turkey or chicken isn't any safer than ground beef. ground meat - is more often contaminated because there is more surface area open to contamination.
Jun. 20, 2011 11:23 am
Mike & Mother Ann - we don't have many local meat suppliers. I buy most of our meat from Costco. They are one of the few companies that require that the meat be tested BEFORE grinding. I will NOT by Tyson products because they will not test their products prior to grinding. Notice that Costco carries Foster Farm Chicken not Tyson?
Jun. 20, 2011 11:25 am
hazelnut - you are probably right - I probably didn't have a full 9.5 oz of beef left. I would rather have a steak.
Jun. 20, 2011 11:30 am
I think am going to order the meat grinding attachment for my Electrolux mixer. At one time I had the grinder for the Kitchen Aid - it seems to be hiding, who knows where.
Jun. 20, 2011 11:54 am
Here is something else to think about - Pick up some ground turkey that blares out on the front of its packaging, 97% Fat-Free. Turn the container over and compare the number of calories per serving (145) to the number of calories from fat (70). You don't have to be a mathematical wizard to determine that nearly half of the calories in this 97% Fat-Free labeled food come from fat!
Jun. 20, 2011 1:15 pm
I hate to be the stickler but your math is wrong... 15% of 16oz is 2.4oz waste, not 1.8. Furthermore 16oz - 2.5oz waste is 13.5 oz of cooked beef. 13.5oz @ 3.99/lb is 0.295 oz and you end up at $4.72/lb. NOT that I want to defend ground beef AT ALL because I haven't eaten ground beef in over 16 years. It's disgusting. I'm just OCD and was shocked that ground beef could add up to the cost of a steak or salmon filet!
Jun. 20, 2011 1:53 pm
I but La - it was $3.99 lb - but I bought 12 oz.
Jun. 20, 2011 1:56 pm
12oz meat - 2.5 oz waste = 9.5 oz @ $3.99 lb = .42 oz
Jun. 20, 2011 5:31 pm
Thanks, BN! This is great information. Thank you for reminding us that food companies are capitalistic, not altruistic. My take on "Let the buyer beware" is that my informed decisions are the best ones. Love your blogs!
Jun. 20, 2011 5:36 pm
When we crave meatloaf is the only time I buy gb. Maybe 3x a year. I, too, am a very big fan of the meat at Costco and find it to be fairly priced and much better tasting. I have never bought meat at WM. We do mostly chicken and pork for our meals. I do use only Italian saus for spag sauce now, and no gb. It is only the 2 of us, and I can't imagine what it costs to feed a family of 4 or 5 every day. And as the kids get older their appetites get so much bigger, I do remember that! Thanks for another thought inspiring blog as always!!
Jun. 20, 2011 5:40 pm
Bibi - it is all about marketing for the food companies - 97% Fat Free ground turkey with half the calories from fat - you know how they do that? WATER!
Jun. 20, 2011 5:44 pm
chris k - My hubby LOVES ground beef - poor guy - but that is what he grew up eating. My daughter has 6 kids 2 teens, 2 pre-teens and 2 elementary school. Her grocery bill is AMAZING. She cooks pretty healthy too - twice a month shopping at Costco and then twice a month at WinCo for staples. She and her husband each push a cart. It is a sight to behold.
Jun. 20, 2011 5:46 pm
Oh just one more thought - then I really must clean the kitchen :) - When I cook Costco ground beef there is no water - some fat but not a ton of water - hmmmm.... I should look up how much water processors can add without disclosing it.
Jun. 20, 2011 6:06 pm
I am going to Costco this Friday - I will buy ground beef. Weigh one pound - Buy exactly 1 lb from the butcher counter - cook and compare the end results. Dang - I wish my grandkids had a science experiment due!
Jun. 20, 2011 6:13 pm
A test for content.(1)Weigh the test quantity. (2)Dehydrate. Fat content will not dry. Weigh again. The missing quantity is water. (3) Fry dehydrated quantity until no more oil is released. Using paper towel, pat oil from meat. Weigh again. Missing quantity is fat. (4)In a small pan, burn remainder until no more smoke or odor. Weigh again. Remainder is undigestable ingredients. This works for any food- animal or vegetable.
Jun. 20, 2011 6:16 pm
I hope you will post your results w/ the Costco gb. That will be interesting!!
Jun. 20, 2011 6:18 pm
Wow - Thanks Mike! I could do this with a small amount - I really am not willing to trash a couple of pounds of ground beef.
Jun. 20, 2011 6:21 pm
chris K - I will for sure! I wasn't going to the extent that Mike suggested - although it would be a good idea - I was just going to take 1 EXACT pound of ground beef - calculate the price per ounce - fry to a useable state - drain and weigh the drained beef and the drippings - the difference should indicate the evaporated water.
Jun. 20, 2011 6:59 pm
Well. . .let me just throw alittle fuel on the fire. . .water is a precious commodity and it takes 2500 gallons to process 1 lb of beef.
Jun. 20, 2011 7:03 pm
LS - this is a huge issue. Thanks for posting the link!
Jun. 20, 2011 7:04 pm
BTW - ((((hugs))) to you LS - you always help to 'Stir the Pot'. :)
Jun. 20, 2011 8:23 pm
I think I would have changed my menu and went for the $1.49 boneless skinless chicken. Pricing here in Ontario, Canada for ground beef is similar however $3.99 a lb. for boneless breast of chicken would be a sale price here and it isn't even organic. Mike Harvey is accurate about a fuel surcharge being added to food prices; although a 15% price increase was implemented here already the beginning of March this year on your basics, milk, eggs, butter, flour, breads....not a good thing.
Jun. 20, 2011 8:46 pm
Thanks for the info, Nana. Just 1 month ago yesterday, I started keeping a food diary- for personal health. That's morphed into an interest in what exactly goes in my mouth. Love your comment about the 97% lean turkey because indeed the nutritional data doesn't jive but in making turkey burgers, holy moly were my hands greasy like I'd been playing in Crisco. Still for me, because when I'm hungry all common sense goes out the window, 4oz turkey burgers are always ready to go in the freeze for a high protein, lower cholesterol option. A pile of flattened chicken breasts, all weighed and labeled, are always on hand too. As a pharmaceutical microbiologist, I feel confident in saying our prescription meds are 1000's times "cleaner" than our food. FDA justification is the stomach acid will kill some of those bacteria; well nice try but, are you serious? Just sayin', what about the impact to flavor and nutrition guys. I'll jump off my soapbox. Thank you so much for reminding us to keep a close eye on our food supply, and suggesting personal responsibility is key.
Jun. 20, 2011 8:52 pm
Ground beef (93% lean) runs between $4.29 $4.99 per pound here or I can buy boneless sirloin steak and KNOW what I am eating for $3.79 - $3.99 per pound. I buy the sirloin and run it through my food processor if we really want burgers. Or I slice it for stir fry. Or leave it whole and grill it as a steak. You need a little fat that is what gives the meat flavor. I agree with your math and I think we all need to be aware of what we are really buying.
Jun. 20, 2011 9:42 pm
Janet - we are seeing smaller packing for the same price. What was a 10 lb of potatoes is now 8....and the prices aren't going down. :-/
Jun. 20, 2011 9:46 pm
Wendie - I really appreciate your input. You know more about these germs. bacteria etc... than I can ever imagine. That knowledge really puts a whole new spin on our food supply.
Jun. 20, 2011 9:48 pm
BSM - I really have made a commitment to grind my own.....after I have traveled to Costco tomorrow to buy my last big pack of ground beef.....for testing purposes of course.
Jun. 21, 2011 7:53 am
great morning coffee read, thanks, but also rather gross. I have never eated ground turkey or chicken that I know of, the fat free on the package was the first turn off. I try to stay away from most of the fat free garbage because it is often worse for you body than the real stuff. We grind all our own burger meat, moose, deer and bison are great and there is not fat. I need to add a little oil to the pan or a bit of water when making taco seasoned meat just to get a desired texture. I also take for granted the food that we harvest, meat or veggies and fruits. If anyone can afford a meat grinder, buy one and know what goes into your burgers. We also have a meat packaging place in town for all the local farmers. I get some meat from there as well. It is good to know your butcher and like a lawyer-you must be able to trust him. Some butcher places are nasty, they smell when you walk in and some of the meat looks like it is ready to go to the dog food market. Good luck in finding some great meat, Nana. Better yet, come hunting with us and take your own meat home:)
Jun. 21, 2011 8:13 am
I stopped buying ground beef (or any meat really) from the grocery store quite some time ago. We don't eat a lot of meat, but when we do, it's purchased at the farmer's market from a local farm or at my local organic foods market where the origin (local usually) is clearly marked on the package. And it's usually bison rather than beef. I have a meat grinder attachment for my KA it! We should all be more aware of the source of our foods, and I read your previous blog some time ago after we had committed to our new plan...and was I ever glad of it! As always, you provide great food for thought, BN!
Jun. 21, 2011 9:49 am
RNG - thanks for stopping in. You are indeed fortunate. As our area has developed the farmers and processors have moved away leaving a void in their wake. Locally owned and operated meat markets are hard pressed to compete with the huge chain stores. Very sad state of affairs.
Jun. 21, 2011 10:50 am
wisweetp - Thanks for your input. I ordered my meat grinder attachment for the Magic Mill this morning.
Jun. 21, 2011 12:05 pm
Not to hi-jack your fantastic blog but, when dh was hinting around for gift ideas, I'd said "no" a meat grinder attachment for my KA. (we prefer practical gifts over dust collectors) You ladies have me thinking otherwise. Becoming a stronger part of the local food chain by supporting our farmer/hunter friends sound like a win-win.
Jun. 21, 2011 3:11 pm
I would love nothing more than to support the local farmers and buy all organic but when I go to the farmer's market and a ribeye is $18 a pound I just can't afford that. I do try to buy organic milk and eggs. We have a brand of meat called Laura's Lean. It seems to be reasonably priced and taste good. Great blog!
Jun. 21, 2011 3:33 pm
Wendie - like you I prefer practical gifts. One of the best gifts I ever received was a mini tiller for the garden. :) I would reconsider that meat grinder. :)
Jun. 21, 2011 3:37 pm
Shanon - I know what you mean about the cost of organic meat! That said - I am not completely sold on organic only. There was a farmer here that didn't use pesticides but wasn't prepared to do the distance to become "organically certified" I bought my produce from him for years. He retired this year at the age of 94. I was sad to see his place close.
Jun. 21, 2011 3:57 pm
Just to let you all know - I didn't get to Costco today - probably Friday.....I will keep you posted as to the results.
Jun. 21, 2011 4:02 pm
Hi, Nana. The math's a little off, so it's not as bad as you thought. 9.5oz cooked/12oz precooked means that you lost about 21% of the weight, and kept 79%. Divide one lb by 0.79 (same thing as 79%), and it will tell you how much precooked weight you need to yield one pound of cooked. It's just over 1 lb 4 oz. That should run a bit over $5. You can figure out the "true" cost of any meat using this formula.
Jun. 21, 2011 4:20 pm
After my husband worked in the meat dept at our local grocery store, I no longer buy ground beef. When I want ground beef I usually pick out a roast, I look for the leanest one I can find, and ask the meat dept to grind it for me. Sadly to say, its usually cheaper that way. I find it sad that a roast or steak is cheaper than ground beef, but its true.
Jun. 21, 2011 4:28 pm
Wow, great info. The only thing I have to offer is to make sure your turkey & chicken is lean. Some ground turkey has more fat in it than beef.
Jun. 21, 2011 4:39 pm
Before you invest in a grinder, if you have a food processor, you can do a nice job dgrinding meat with that. Just partially freeze the meat, cube it in 1" pieces and working in batches of about 3 cups of cubes process to the desired coarseness. You won't get the extruded shape the grinder produces, but you can control the texture.
Jun. 21, 2011 5:13 pm
Max - thank you for the formula. I am going to do a little "test" of various meats - I want to start with exactly 1 lb raw meat and calculate the "real meat" less the fat and water. I have a feeling than there is a LOT more water weight than we know.
Jun. 21, 2011 5:15 pm
SMICHELITCH - you and your husband know first hand what the general public doesn't know. Sadly - most of our local grocery stores will no longer grind roasts etc. They used to - they also used to sharpen knives - no more - someone must have sued them. :(
Jun. 21, 2011 5:19 pm
SD - Ground chicken and Turkey isn't as good for you as it sounds. 4 oz serving of ground turkey @ 140 calories per servings with 70 calories from FAT is not 93% lean - very deceptive labeling, in my humble opinion. Maybe they know something I don't know.
Jun. 21, 2011 5:20 pm
BSM - I have, many occasions poached turkey breasts and then ran it through the FP and added it to chili. Works well for that purpose.
Jun. 21, 2011 5:41 pm
Lean ground turkey is roughly 7% fat and 25% protein, with most of the remainder being water. So for 100 grams, you'd have 7*9=63 calories from fat and 25*4=100 calories from protein. You also get one gram of ash for free.
Jun. 21, 2011 5:45 pm
Oops, I miswrote -- ground turkey is more like 17-20% protein. I was looking at regular turkey. Even more water for your money. But it's not that bad -- I personally contain a lot of water too.
Jun. 21, 2011 7:32 pm
Max - I am too tired tonight to sort through your logic - maybe tomorrow. I think I (we) are mixing apples and oranges here. And yes - I too contain a lot of water - not always a good thing.
Jun. 21, 2011 8:55 pm
Your math IS wrong. If you started out with just 12oz of meat (not 16) then you would have paid just $2.9925 for those 12 oz unless you got ripped off ($3.99/16oz = $0.249375 per oz; $0.249375*12oz = $2.9925). If then you were left with 9.5oz, that would be $2.9925/9.5oz = $0.315 per oz. Then your per pound weight is $0.315*16 oz = $5.04 per lb. Also, please stop writing "0.42 cents", because that means 42% of ONE PENNY, not 42 cents.
Jun. 22, 2011 1:46 am
Thanks, BN for posting the information. I found it very informative. I am not sure what the post about the specifics on math are or why the lynch mob always has to be negative. But, either way you have me really thinking about the real cost of meat. I never would have thought I could buy a steak for the same price as ground meat, wow! When, I read 93% lean I really believed it. I am not sure of where there is a local butcher around my home though? I tend to go to Sam's Club and have found the meat to be very good quality and fair priced. A lot to think about! BTW - I returned that pizza on recall. The Wal-Mart manager said he would start looking at the FDA website as they had never gotten that recall, crazy!
Jun. 22, 2011 3:45 am
Well if you buy 16 oz 100% pure ground beef and before cooking it will weigh 16 oz but after cooking it will weigh less. So your maths are correct B'Nana but you do also need to allow and factor in for "normal shrinkage" in the cooking process too. That's why a lot of restaurants will say (esp for a good steak) pre-cooked weight.
Jun. 22, 2011 3:48 am
Max and fishnumber2 are correct - My math is wrong. I actually paid $3.03 for that meat - must have been just slightly over 12 oz - still it comes out to $5.12 per lb. Still a lot for ground beef.
Jun. 22, 2011 3:51 am
Trishie - many years ago McDonald got into a world of trouble for that exact thing. Their Quarter Pounder wasn't a quarter pound after cooking. What I wonder is if water is added during processing or if that water is natural. Hmmmm...don't know.
Jun. 22, 2011 4:08 am
Baker Bee - The point of this blog really was to get people thinking about the real cost of food. I, personally, really dislike ground meat and processed lunch meats so this little package of hamburger was my target. I know that for years I would pass up fish as it was too expensive - for $5 lb I think you could get a pretty nice piece or fish or a decent steak.
Jun. 22, 2011 4:48 am
fishynumber2 - added a correction to the blog. I told you that I was never any good at word problems. Indeed my numbers were a little fishy. :)
Jun. 22, 2011 7:21 am
I buy ground beef only when it is on sale for $250 or less and it is 93%. Plus I add some water and olive oil to improve texture for hamburger. The 85% can be found here for as little as $2 $13 for 2lbs of ground beef I would buy a steak too.
Jun. 22, 2011 7:24 am
Sorry, that should be $2.50
Jun. 22, 2011 7:48 am
Hey, BN - I wasn't meaning what you wrote about math, I meant the other posting corrections. I think they lost the point of your argument.
Jun. 22, 2011 8:01 am
BB - I knew what you meant. Some how my logic was lost on the number's people. :)
Jun. 22, 2011 8:05 am
rphbj - thanks for stopping in. My daughter has 6 children - unless she finds ground beef on sale she can't afford to make hamburgers. Crazy to pay premium prices for sub-par food.
Jun. 22, 2011 9:54 am
As a retired butcher/meat cutter and avid food lover I can explain some of my personal opinions on ground beef. Not all ground beef is created equal, there are different products. First, The inflated domes or chubs.I don't buy any prepackaged ground beef, there is a good chance made at the store. Meaning it's old and is probably taken from lower quality parts of the cow, like the neck meat. Secondly, I like to ask how they grind beef. More commonly you will see meat departments bring a course pre-ground beef in a chub. They get it cheaper than whole meats and it is better quality than prepackaged. Thirdly, the best quality in my opinion is whole ground products. For example SMICHELITCH said she likes to have the meat cutter grind a hand picked roast. Ground Chuck, Round or Sirloin are examples of this. These grinds are the freshest and typical last longer also. Every jump in quality will also jump in price. My opinion on fat contents depends on what I am cooking. On the grill I like a 85/15 it has better taste and doesn't dry out like leaner grinds and doesn't shrink like fattier grinds. For anything involving a frying pan I like 93/7, the fat content is just right to avoid dry tasteless meat or resorting to draining greasy saturated meat. One thing to remember is that fat is savor and helps to keep your meal from being tasteless and dry. Also if the store you shop at won't grind a roast for you it might be some store policy they are held to. Instead ask them for a couple pounds of fresh ground chuck, round or sirloin. This is usually easier for them and leaves you more meat. If they are unwilling to do that then some other shop deserves your business. Hope this helps.
Jun. 22, 2011 10:39 am
Awesome to be discussing such a timely subject. One more place you can go to to get good quality beef (or mutton or chevon) is to check with your local Cooperative Extension office and ask if they have a 4-H/FFA youth livestock show. Each year about 30 kids in our area raise beef and sheep and goats (in some areas pork as well), and once the show is over, the animals are auctioned off. In our area 2 or 4 families may go in on a beef together, and they pay a price per pound on the hoof- usually anywhere from 80 cents to 1.50 or maybe 2.00 if it is a champion (usually that is a proud family member who is happy to buy the beef for such a high price). Once bought, the beef goes to the local locker where they process it and then you pick it up. Alternatively, you could raise your own and take it to the processor yourself. Home grown roasts, ribs, steak, sausage and ground beef tastes so much better than what you buy in the stores... and you know what you've been feeding them ;) Feeling squeamish? Just be sure to name your meat on the hoof appropriately: "BBQ" "Smoky" "Pork Chop" and "Dumplin'" are all really good names. :)
Jun. 22, 2011 11:01 am
Malibonzi - Thanks so much for chiming in. When I started reading about Beef Products’ ammoniated trimmings - or as I like to refer to it as "pink slop" it really angered me. To think that school lunch ground beef contains upto 15% of this garbage - all for a 3 cent per pound savings is outrageous. I am going to ask all of my local markets to see if any of them will still grind a roast. I know one has it posted that they not longer do that.
Jun. 22, 2011 11:05 am
goodfood4ursoul - Thank you for reminding me about the 4-H/FFA program. All in all the FFA is dying out around here but I think there are two schools that do still have active programs. I know a dairy farmer that offers to raise a beef cow for you if you supply $$ for it's food. A friend of mine is diong that right now - she calls her "Short Ribs".
Jun. 22, 2011 11:15 am
BTW - ammonia is considered a processing agent not an ingredient I consider this fraudulent labeling.
Jun. 22, 2011 12:07 pm
Eww- thanks guys, I think I'll go vegetarian
Jun. 22, 2011 12:07 pm
This is why we eat venison, and I am proud of it. I am happy to say we generally do not have to buy meat, aside from occasional chicken breasts or pork chops. I love knowing what I am eating, how and where it was prepared! When I see shows about beef slaughter houses it grosses me out so badly. I don't even really like cow steak, just eating cow in general seems un-natural to me. When I do I buy from our local small town Hardings that has a very nice butcher and fresh meat. I did actually have to buy ground beef the other day for the first time in a looong time, and I was too puzzled at the pricing and quality. I got so frusterated at the packaged stuff I had to get a fresh hunk of the highest quality stuff from the butcher, I couldnt bring myself to buy the pre-packaged stuff for $4/lb.
Jun. 22, 2011 12:34 pm
Ashley - I couldn't get my husband to eat venison - there is no possible way. Good choice on avoiding that pre-packaged stuff. Yuck.
Jun. 22, 2011 2:06 pm
A man that does not eat venison? NO!! LOL Nana...never heard that in my neck of the woods (SW Michigan), most of the time it's the ladies scared of the deer meat! And usually that's only b/c of the smell... it doesn't smell bad, however it does have a strange... well stranger than beef, smell when cooking. If you get a good corn fed deer it does not taste gamey at all. My parents get swamp deer and they taste gamey, but our deer at my house are corn and soy fed (live in the middle of farm land) and they taste great, even mature bucks have not tasted gamey from my back yard. It's really easy for ppl to get weired out by venison, but after so long it becomes the "norm." Especially now becoming more educated on meat and where it comes from I am so happy we rarely eat it.
Jun. 22, 2011 2:13 pm
LOL - No Baking Papa is also No Hunting Papa. He is a City boy for sure.
Jun. 22, 2011 5:58 pm
Want to see a report about processed chicken - "mechanically seperated poultry"
Jun. 22, 2011 7:00 pm
My husband, the carnivore, grinds up most of the "beef" we eat. His Father was a butcher and he loves doing it anyway. NOW,... I'm glad he does. Thanks BN for the informative blog!
Jun. 22, 2011 8:48 pm
Candice - you are very fortunate! How nice that your hubby takes pride in doing this - pass on my kudos to him!
Jun. 23, 2011 2:45 am
great post. Being in the food business, I know that good burgers are less profitable than a good rib eye. But alas, good burgers are a hit, and they keep me in business.
Jun. 23, 2011 7:13 am
Some people have to much time on thier hands. Cook what you everyone enjoys.There are pros and cons to everything we eat, so eat as healthy as you know how .
Jun. 23, 2011 7:43 am
Nice to see so many people are becoming aware of how bad processed meat can be. We grow our own chicken even though it costs more that buying. Then we know what we are eating. We also buy our beef from the farmer and have it processed at a local butcher. Would eat venison too but my hubby doesn't have time to hunt. Enjoyed reading everyone's comments.
Jun. 23, 2011 7:52 am
Can_elle this is what are here to do, discuss food, and you obviously had enough time to comment. Baking Nana- my DH was a city boy for sure until we turned him into a redneck! Born and raised in South Bend, with 1/4 acre city lots, gas stations next to your house and alley's behind them. He came up here and was completely taken by our country way of life. My dad and bro are big hunters, so by the time the first deer season came around after we got together he was hooked, took him a couple years to get his first deer but it was in the backyard of our new home (and first home period BTW) so it was all the more meaninful and special.
Jun. 23, 2011 8:27 am
can_elle - My blogs are designed to be educational and thought provoking. You say, "so eat as healthy as you know how." A great many people don't know how. In this economy it is becoming increasingly more difficult to feed a family affordable healthy food. Processed food is cheaper than fresh. Ground beef that contains "ammoniated trimmings" aka "pink slop" has become the norm - if the consumer doesn't question this practice and choose with their purchasing power, who will?
Jun. 23, 2011 8:28 am
Wish I had time to read all the comments to see if someone said this already, but I have to run to work. I don't buy ground beef anymore because it is NOT cheap. I buy sirloin or round or whatever else when it is on sale under $2 and have the butcher grind it for me (most stores do this for free), or if I get it at Cash and Carry (Restaurant supply where I can always find something for less that $2/pound) I grind it myself. I buy a LOT when it is really cheap and freeze it. I DO like ground beef and we like burgers but I definitely make sure I'm getting it cheap.
Jun. 23, 2011 8:28 am
Vonni - thanks for stopping in. It is amazing how popular burgers are. Given the choice my hubby would pick burgers and I would choose the rib eye. :) Thanks for your input.
Jun. 23, 2011 8:29 am
Cash and Carry also sells pork REALLY cheap so I've been grinding and making my own breakfast sausage. I make it low fat, but I did trim of too much fat once so be careful. It has to have SOME fat to be tasty and not dry.
Jun. 23, 2011 8:31 am
Jen64 - Thanks for stopping in. Yes - grinding your own is not only cheaper it assures you that your family isn't eating fatty beef trimmings that have been treated with ammonia. Enjoy your burgers!
Jun. 23, 2011 8:35 am
KRISHENSCHEL - Thanks for your comments. Interesting that it cost more to raise your own than it does to buy it. There is a woman near here that will raise your turkey for you if you provide the food. I know that it is more expensive but it is also organic and fresh. I wish we could have chickens - if even just for the eggs.
Jun. 23, 2011 8:36 am
Jen64 - if you stop back by. What cut of pork to you buy for sausage?
Jun. 23, 2011 1:29 pm
What a blessing to have cattlemen in the family! I agree, the prices of beef are outrageous. We get most of our beef and pork from cousins who raise Angus cattle. the 1" thick chops we grilled last night were off of their daughter's blue ribbon 4-H pig and it was delicious. Usually, we go in with his folks and sister for a half of a cow or pig which saves money on processing and we know the meat will be high quality. I wish everyone had the opportunity to eat home grown beef and pork as the taste is miles from that of the processed, preserved, packaged stuff from the grocery. Thanks for another great and timely blog:)
Jun. 23, 2011 1:32 pm
@BAKINGNANA I have the butcher grind a pork butt for my sausage. As for ground beef, I buy ground chuck and I also buy ground beef from Costco that I find to be a good quality.
Jun. 23, 2011 1:53 pm
Good post, but one point about the meat and percentage. 85/15 ground beef means that it is 15 percent fat, but the water part is actually included in the 85 percent, so you shouldn't be that surprised to get extra waste left in your pan (and evaporated off). As for the "ammoniated" beef, I disagree with you. I know how this product is created. (take note of where I live and figure out why I know) The ammonia really is only a process and not an ingredient. However, there is something there that I agree with you on. I wish the entire industry from meat to drug making and really everything put on, in, or near my body was much more open about their practices. I have worked in many food based facilities and with some pharmaceutical companies in my career, and I have to say, that there is a reason I avoid milk, meat, medications, and even fruits and veggies.... atleast until I can research the origin and find out where the ingredients from the food/medicine came from and how they are handled. (Like you know that there is trace ammounts of chlorine bleach INSIDE most whole tomatoes from the store?)
Jun. 23, 2011 1:54 pm
Mangel - you are indeed blessed. Everyone should know the taste of 'real' meat - locally raised. I am really astonished at the number sources listed on the labels for beef. Around here most of the pork is a product of the USA. Thanks for stopping in.
Jun. 23, 2011 1:58 pm
Teri - Thanks for the information. Pork Butt it is!
Jun. 23, 2011 2:08 pm
Hi Sarah - The major problem I have with "ammoniated" beef product is that is not DISCLOSED. The package should read "Contains XX% ammoniated beef product" Beef Products, Inc. has managed to turn waste into a multi million dollar profitable business. As this happened the American public had no idea that the ground beef of today likely contains this stuff. Like you - I want to know where my food comes from and what it has been treated with. Your tomato example is perfect - a store bought, gas riped tomato and a vine riped home grown tomato are two different foods....there is no comparison.
Jun. 23, 2011 2:11 pm
Oh - and it is very disturbing to me that food processors do not have to disclose their process as it is considered "Trade Secret". If all this information was out in the open - people wouldn't so blindly accept sub standard overly processed 'food'.
Jun. 23, 2011 2:19 pm
I bet if you were to ask the parents of the students that are consuming the Federally funded lunch program - if they were aware that the hamburger their children were eating contained as much of 15% ammoniated beef product - very very few would even understand what this stuff is or that it is included in their childs lunch. In 2004 (I believe) they increased the amount of "slop" to be increased from 10% to 15% - all to save .03 a pound for ground beef. Sad that meat can't just be meat and waste can't be waste.
Jun. 23, 2011 2:45 pm
I felt like I couldn't walk away from this one....first of all most of the meat that you buy in a grocery store is just plain gross!!! It has been injected w/ so many chemicals while on the hoof, during processing, and oh yeah while sitting on a shelf! With that said I highly recommend everyone look into local options for your meats...there is a growing surge to allow farmers to be able to sell individual cuts of meat directly to consumers, with that you will find that most meats are dry-aged, vacuum sealed and flash frozen. The dry-age process not only breaks down connective tissue, producing a more tender cut of meat, but also rids it of 30-40% of leftover water weight, so when you pay for a pound you really are getting a pound!!!
Jun. 23, 2011 2:57 pm
luvgoodmeat - I love your name! A lot of people complain about the price of Dry aged meat but you really are getting more bang for your buck. Thanks for stopping in.
Jun. 23, 2011 4:36 pm
I once in the olden days and in another life handled the radio ads for Carlson's Grocery in my hometown. Every ad started out this way! "Hamburger.....5 pounds for a dollar only at Carlson's"
Jun. 23, 2011 4:45 pm
jtassava - yep that was a different time - and I bet it didn't have meat deritives in it - or "fatty trimmings" - a nice way to say "slop". There was a time that Tri-Tip & flap meat was cheaper than ground beef - no more - now it is sold at premium prices.
Jun. 24, 2011 3:43 am
Once again thanks for this blog Baking Nana! I thought I knew a lot about the food we eat, turns out I know just about zilch. And, while this is a discouraging topic for me (feeding a big family of meat eaters), it's always good to have the knowledge. So many stores these days (like Target) don't even have a butcher dept.
Jun. 24, 2011 4:00 am
Now I am really glad we do not eat fast food, eat our own homegrown veggies and grind our own meat for sausage and hamburgers. Ammoniated beef product sounds about as safe nuclear waste. I am glad we found a butcher and produce store that lets us stay out of the supermarket and buy fresh food.
Jun. 24, 2011 4:52 am
Scotdog - The more I know the more I realise I don't know enough. I am sure that there is so much more to learn. I could easily go through the rest of my life and never eat ground beef again - the same can't be said for my family. I will be glad to get my grinder - it's on back order. Google - Beef Porducts, Inc. - just don't do while you are eating. Thanks for stopping by.
Jun. 24, 2011 4:59 am
CookD - you are indeed fortunate. I hope your community continues to support that local butcher. Around here they are a dying breed. Thanks for your comments.
Jun. 24, 2011 9:50 am
We have been buying beef from a friend that raises a few head every year. Because we help him sell his other heads, we are still paying 2006 prices. But, the costs are going up every year, so I'm not sure how long he'll be able to maintain our prices at that level. I can't even imagine buying beef at the store. I feel much better knowing where our food comes from, which is why I'm a dedicated locavore these days. Lucky for me, I live in an are where I can source local for almost all our food, except some seafood, like talapia. I did buy a red pepper from Mexico last week though....I just had a craving that my social consciousness could not override. :)
Jun. 24, 2011 10:17 am
Oregongirl - you are indeed fortunate - local beef at 2006 prices - what a deal. The costs of feed and water - transportation etc... are all going up. Still - even with a price increase you still have a sweet deal. I trade fresh baked bread for fresh eggs and home grown veggies. It works well for the few of us that participate - I wish more would join us. Thanks for stopping in. :)
Jun. 24, 2011 12:40 pm
I stopped buying ground beef a long time ago. We buy 97% lean ground turkey instead when we want to make something that needs ground beef(Burgers)And we never eat fast food.
Jun. 24, 2011 1:15 pm
But what does tenderloin and chicken breast weigh when cooked? To make it a fair compairison.But myself I do prefer to eat one animal at a time.
Jun. 24, 2011 1:45 pm
Hi Baking Nana - for breakfast sausage I'll use Pork Cushions that I get at C&C Super cheap. I'll use it for roasts, for crockpot pulled pork and girnd it for sausage. I use this recipe: I'm trying to make some my kids will like as much as the Turkey store turkey breakfast sausages I get from safeway but they are $4/pound.
Jun. 24, 2011 3:43 pm
litha - Thanks for stopping in. I am not a fan of any pre-ground meat - turkey and chicken included. The grinding process alone exposes so many cut surfaces that the chances of contamination is far greater than a whole cut of meat. That said - kudos to you for avoiding fast food - it is so easy to drive thru and most families do just that.
Jun. 24, 2011 3:43 pm
This is a facinating post. When I was single, I ground my own meat and ate lots of vegetables and fruit. I used to buy meat at a local butcher shop, and go to the farmer's market every weekend. Now I've been married for 7 years, and a lot has changed. Husband grew up with a mother whose cooking was "horrible" (his words), and as a result, his taste in food is "horrible" (my words). He eats like a 7 year old. He insists on doing the grocery shopping, and if I don't specify EXACTLY what I want, he'll buy the chubs and also his own personal favorites...Hormel processed meat dishes like "Meat Loaf" and "Salisbury Steak." Apparently, if you can microwave it and have dinner on the table in 5 minutes, that's a Good Thing. I've been putting up with that for years, and just recently started really cooking again (personal reasons). I'm going to share some of what I've learned here with husband to see if it will change the way he buys groceries (unfortunately, I know it won't change his tastes).
Jun. 24, 2011 3:44 pm
Dean - there is shrinkage with all cooked food - I will concede that. I had to chuckle though - yep - one animal at a time!
Jun. 24, 2011 3:46 pm
Oh, I was also going to mention that my grandparents raised beef when I was little, and every summer they'd butcher and we'd get a freezer full. Grandma also had a huge garden, so we also had more fresh produce than we could use from April to September. There is just no comparing the flavor of home-grown livestock or produce. Unfortunately, they'd name their cows things like Charisma and Brown-Eye, so it would be a little sad to eat them.
Jun. 24, 2011 3:46 pm
Jen - I can get those pork cushions pretty cheaply - I saw them today at Costco. They are pretty lean. Thanks for the info.
Jun. 24, 2011 3:48 pm
Great blog. So informative but scary. Who's to say that our processed meat products aren't one of the main contributors to cancer in this country? My mother always said "you are what you eat". It only makes sense that the products you put in your body to fuel it, could be the same ones that cause a breakdown. Look at how your car runs when you use cheap gas. I will definitely be switching to grinding my own beef. The trouble is, we still don't know what's being fed to these cows; what antibiotics they're using; or whether the products we're buying are from the U.S. or some other country where they don't have the same growing standards we do. Is the only answer we have to eating healthy, safe food is grow our own?
Jun. 24, 2011 3:52 pm
Kelly - My husband came to me with horrible eating habits. Like your husband - the truth be known - his tastes haven't really changed. If it weren't for the fact that I do all the cooking he too would be eating Fast Food either from the Drive Thru or the freezer case. Something don't change. I do drag him with me every Friday to do the shopping - yes I drag him into 4 or 5 markets. He really needs to know what the prices are and why certain products are off limits. Bottom line is - he chooses to adopt only the information he wants to and ignores the rest. What is that saying...."You can lead a horse to water....."
Jun. 24, 2011 4:02 pm
suekat - There are a lot of unknowns. Orgin should be on the label - US, Canada, etc... not to say that makes it safe. Actually - if you can afford it would be to buy home grown locally processed beef. I have no proof but the chemicals in our processed foods are causing cancer - but it sure can't help. Did you read my blog of the "Freezer Case"?
Jun. 24, 2011 4:04 pm
Kelly - all kidding aside - I would have trouble naming and getting attached to an animal and then eating it for dinner. I am sure that if I had been raised on a ranch - I would feel differently.
Jun. 24, 2011 4:28 pm
When my 16 year old grand son was here today I was talking about this blog and how ground beef is made. He said, "Nana, I have not eaten one single chicken nugget since you showed me that video of how they are made. Are you going to do that with hamburgers too?" LOL! Yep - if I can Victor.
Jun. 24, 2011 4:57 pm
I use to buy ground beef that was filled with hormones and other chemicals (it was more economical) however, after I watched food, inc. it changed the way I view 'cheap' meat. I started buying ground beef from Whole Foods, it was way better in texture, taste and appearance. My goodness, the difference was amazing. It is triple the cost of commerical ground beef -- but you aren't getting ripped off with additives and chemicals. You are getting wholesome ground beef! So in a way you aren't getting ripped off.
Jun. 24, 2011 5:06 pm
TheCambodianCook - I was at Costco today and they carry in the fresh meat case organic ground beef - $4.64 lb - less per pound than the junk I bought the other day. Like I said - the public needs to speak with their $$.
Jun. 24, 2011 5:08 pm
BTW - we don't have Whole Foods here - wish we did though.
Jun. 24, 2011 5:53 pm
Interesting read, especially all of the comments. I usually end up picking up chicken for my family -- not because we don't like the taste of ground beef or because we're trying to eat healthy, but because of the price. I can remember when I was a kid, we ate a lot of ground beef because it was the "cheap meat" and my family had a lot of mouths to feed. Even without weighing drained, cooked meat, though, you can compare the prices of ground beef to other cuts of meat on the market and see that the disparity between the prices has almost closed, which is crazy. Why should I pay for ground up "cheap meat" when I could pay a few cents a pound more for top cuts? It's ridiculous.
Jun. 24, 2011 9:07 pm
Amy - I am with you. Since when do we pay premium price for the scraps! YIKES. Foster Farms whole chickens are on sale this week for .69 lb - I am stocking up! FF doesn't plumb up their birds with sodium solution - they are the best I can find without going organic.
Jun. 24, 2011 9:58 pm
Baking Nana, it is true. I used to help grandma throw the slops to the cows after Sunday dinner, and I did get attached to them. I tried to be a vegetarian for awhile, but I just couldn't do it. But seriously, all these comments have really made me think about where my meat is coming from and what kind of garbage is going into it. We do have Whole Foods in Portland, but it's REALLY expensive, and we just don't have the budget for it.
Jun. 24, 2011 10:49 pm
Kelly - I am not a vegetarian - can't do it either - I can eat less meat - better meat, less often. I guess for me it needs to be a form of rationing - No Baking Papa might head to the drive thru....even after all these years - we aren't always on the same page.
Jun. 25, 2011 7:40 am
Try a new way of making hambergers: 2 lb. ground pork 1 lb. ground beef 1 onion finely chopped 2 eggs 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper 1 tsp. cumin Mix all well with hands Add 3/4 cup club soda,mix. Cool in the fridge about 1/2 hr. Form patties, dip them in flour pat to flatten and remove excess flour and fry!! Try not not pierce the surface of the patties. Brown on both sides at about 375* heated oil. The pan will have more fat when finished frying(the fat simply gets out of the meat, so there is no need to buy a lean meat. This reecipe will make 16-18 large hamburgers. They can be frozen and when reheated they are as juicy as if just made. Bon appetit!
Jun. 25, 2011 9:17 am
tsaneto - Interesting patty you make. Club Soda - huh - who would have thought.
Jun. 25, 2011 10:52 am
maybe not cheap but versitile
Jun. 25, 2011 2:17 pm
I have to say that the package of Laura's Lean smelled really good while cooking and the juices looked more like broth than fat. If I were to make those meatballs that you cook from raw in the sauce - I would use this meat.
Jun. 25, 2011 3:04 pm
Since my husband has congenital heart condition, we never buy ground beef. We always buy ground sirloin and it's still one way to add meat to a dish inexpensively. Everything costs more these days but we don't look at the price of items we buy if we are eating healthy. It pays in the long run.
Jun. 25, 2011 6:44 pm
We bought a quarter cow last year and it was the best thing ever. We get ground beef with many other steaks and cuts. It is from a local farm, so I know there is no funny stuff going on.. We paid about $475 for a years worth of red meat. The ground beef is the best I've ever had.
Jun. 25, 2011 10:00 pm
Carrie - Thanks for your input - I know we spend far more than $475 a year for beef. I think my daughter would need to do this two or three times a year - still she would save money and know what her family is eating. Thanks for your input.
Jun. 25, 2011 10:04 pm
Margie = Thank you for posting - with your husbands heart condition I am sure that you have done your research. It does pay off in the long run.
Jun. 25, 2011 10:13 pm
the more ethanol we use will raise the price too. feed prices have more than double in the last 2 years.
Jun. 26, 2011 8:22 am
So not a fan of mat to begin with (just never was...) but my family LOVES it. Ground meat, of any kind, is not something I purchase - I stock up on steak or roasts (when on sale!) and grind my own. I find that if I grill a quality steak then run it through my food processor, the meat freezes very well and I have better portion control for what I am making. Tacos, Sloppy Joe's, cheese steaks and so on taste better too with the grilled/marinated flavors added. Meatloaf and meatballs are a bit more work as you need uncooked, ground meat but the end result is far tastier. We have forgone fast food burgers for quite some time and not too long ago the kids asked for a "treat" of stopping for a burger. Ha! Everyone felt sick later on that day. The kids no longer appreciate the McD's food and I couldn't be happier! The efforts have paid off! Takes time, effort and planning but it is becoming more routine and not so difficult to execute. Small steps to better eating... thanks BN for a very informative (and encouraging to me in my own attempts to buy,prepare and eat better) blog!
Perpetual Mama 
Jun. 26, 2011 9:57 am
This blog is right on the money. I quit buying 'store meat' a long time ago....when I started reading things like "Contains up to 15% of a solution" A SOLUTION??? Even if it is just salt and water, we are paying whatever per pound of meat for the water/solution, and then it just cooks out. Then there's the scary question of what ELSE is in 'the solution'. We are lucky enough to be able to raise our own (NOT for everyone), and also have found other locals that we buy from if we run out of a particular cut or type of meat. It's really worth the extra effort in flavor alone =0)
Jun. 26, 2011 10:01 am
This past winter I read "The Mad Cowboy" by Howard Lyman, a former cattle ranger who is now vegan. Then I bought 8 more copies to give as gifts. My husband read it too. While we had largely stopped eating red meat, he would still have burgers when out with his friend. No more! I think the one fact that convinced us more than any other was this: commercial beef is fed a diet (full of hormones and antibiotics of course) that includes about 1/3 chicken excrement. Yes, commercially raised meat causes cancer, because growth hormones used are variations of the hormone estrogen - a well-known cancer causing agent. (Too much estrogen causes cancer, and our environment has become very estrogen heavy.) We also do not eat any pork. Pigs are as smart as dogs (we don't eat dogs either!) This year we are giving up all poultry (he eats chicken, I eat a very little turkey occasionally), and cutting down on dairy. (See the book "Whitewash" about the lies the dairy industry tells.) We can afford to buy the food we want to - but shop wisely, and always look for bargains. That said, we also have moved to vegetarian diets, which may be less expensive (in lowered health care costs too!!!) than eating meat. We still eat fish. In the summer, we eat a lot of salads and pasta with veg dishes, often using (some flavor of) hummus to increase the protein content. In the winter we eat a lot of veggie soups. I have discovered the joy of using TVP and vegan smoke seasoning when making pasta & bean soup, and now often wonder how I was so brainwashed into believing that it was so difficult to cook without meat! I would never buy ground burger again -- but would grind my own, if I wanted to eat beef. If you are a hunter (or have a family member who is) then you can likely eat much better quality meat. But do keep your eyes and ears open for the dangers of mad cow disease, and its entrance from commercial cattle into wildlife. (See the book "Deadly Feasts" by Richard Rhodes for more info. It was this book that made me reconsider eating beef. I had already given up lamb.) It's a sad thing, but true that the meat industry cares nothing for our health, but only for their profits.
Jun. 26, 2011 4:57 pm
What's for dinner, mom? My hubby was raised on ground beef - he loves it - his older brother won't eat it - I often poach turkey beasts and then grind them in the FP for chili etc... Small steps - we are all here to support and educated each other - Food for Thought is a good thing.
Jun. 26, 2011 4:59 pm
Perpetual Mama - Ah yes - the "Solution" also labeled "all natural" A slat water plumped up chicken breast can contain more sodium than a whole bag of Cheetios. YIKES!
Jun. 26, 2011 5:12 pm
GiGi - I could not be a vegetarian - neither could my hubby. That said - I really am angry. Beef should be BEEF - Chicken should be CHICKEN. Front of label packaging can be VERY misleading. Hence ground Chicken 93% lean - so why does a 4 oz serving have 180 calories - 70 of which are from fat! So much for truth in advertising! The FDA - aka government can tell us what we can and cannot sell and buy - but they aren't requiring the Food Processors to disclose the dirty details of their operation. You shouldn't have to scrounge the internet to get this information. I don't except anyone to operate without making a profit - but a mom going into the grocery store to buy ground beef for her family should know that what that "beef" is made of. All I am asking for is real truth in labeling.
Jun. 27, 2011 8:55 am
I think the labels are hilarious. It's like if I make three cups of green beans and add 1 cup of butter I get to call it (by volume) 75% fat free! Even though it's 438 calories and 44 grams of fat per serving! I suppose it is technically true, but talk about putting a "spin" on something!
Jun. 28, 2011 10:17 am
hazelnut - This type of marketing is plain and simply deceiving. I would say most people don't realize what a scam this is.
Jun. 28, 2011 12:04 pm
Thanks! I read this earlier, but, at Mike H's encouragement, I read the new comments as well. We call our raised to butcher beef "Hamburger", and they are raised on grassy forage, period. (no shots, etc.) It takes much longer to "finish" them to butcher, but much healthier. I've raised cornish cross meat chickens, and think I'll do it again. We get brown eggs from a nearby supply. 4-H beef is superior, but they do inject them make them grow and fill out fast. Deer from here are also grain fed, from crop fields. Ground deer meat makes excellent chili, and any gamey taste can be removed by marinades, or saucy seasoning. Deer sausage makes delicious patties and sausage milk gravy. The advent of convenience and mass producing food products has really changed the quality of foods we used to consider wholesome. Too bad we don't have the correct information we should have available, when selecting food products. Thanks, again, for an interesting and informative discussion.
Click to Change your Profile Picture
Baking Nana

Living In
Corona, California, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Boating, Walking, Fishing, Photography, Music, Charity Work

Go Pro!

In Season

Top Dessert Recipes
Top Dessert Recipes

Rated, reviewed, and ready to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Best Party Recipes
Best Party Recipes

Essential eats, sips, and tips for your next gathering.

Special Holiday Offer!
Special Holiday Offer!

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $5!

About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States