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Old 08-07-2008, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
4,739 posts, read 5,394,518 times
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Thanks for your input Capt. Cave Man, I find it all interesting and sad too. When we were cutting beef on Maple blocks, putting saw dust on the floors to absorb blood and covering meat at night with wet rags with no forethought to the future no one was harmed to my knowledge and we ate well. Today most new laws are in place to protect the industry and not the consumer and most new wives are being blamed for chewy steaks when its not their fault...lol

It was fun
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Where Trolls get BBQ'd
131,641 posts, read 42,308,159 times
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I had forgotton about the sawdust on the floor but that was done where I worked too. No one even gave it a second though. I remember those heavy metal brushes we used to scrub down the blocks with every night. A lot of work went into putting those steaks and roasts into the meat case then and they were not pre wrapped. The customer would often ask to see both sides of the meat before choosing. Quality was monitored by the customer back then. Now you take your chances. One store used to advertise that they put the best side down. That add I haven't seen in a while. The one market that tried that kind of display in recent history closed up after only a couple of years.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadicus View Post
Just pass the rib eyes and I'll be happy. You know the quality cut that doesn't get exercised much. My second job for pay was working behind the old fashioned meat counter where we had to drag a half of beef onto the big wooden cutting table and break each and every part down to it's uses. Quality or grade of beef was USDA good in the little mom & pop market back then. Only the major chains used choice. Even the markets that advertised heavy western beef bought USDA good beef. And for awhile the store owner sold USDA standard as grass fed beef for less money because there was a market for it. Now that same grade of beef advertised as natural sells for a lot more. By the current standard it would be USDA good. That is if it is what I think it is. I can be wrong on the grading system here but if the grass fattened cattle get an exception to the USDA grading standards I'm not aware of it. As the marketing battle rages for sales I ofter wonder what choices my grand children will have when it comes to quality beef.
USDA Inspected maybe...whoo hoo!...I guess quality is honestly becoming a thing of the past and relics like us will be gone soon enough and the industry knows it, and with our passing so goes the knowledge.

Maybe in the future they will make steak from chicken or turkey just like bologna.....it plumps when you cook them....lol
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:54 PM
 
5,685 posts, read 5,348,324 times
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Interesting thread; it explains a lot, and also raises a lot of questions.

We live in a community with a thriving Farmers' Market, and for the past four or five years, nearly all the meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey) we've bought has been directly from the farmers. The difference we've noticed in the flavor is incredible. Yes, it's true that meat that started out as an animal that actually walked around is leaner and less tender than the heavily marbled grain-fed stuff you get in the stores, and it does require some modifications to cooking techniques to get the best out of it, but oh, my, is it ever worthwhile.

The additional benefit that I see in shopping that way is that every penny we spend winds up in the hands of the people who produced our food. When I buy food at the grocery store, I figure that at best, the actual producer of the food might get 5 or 10 cents out of every dollar I spend. At the Farmers' Market, or when I pick up my CSA box, I know that the money I spend is going where I want it to: to the men and women who put in long hours of hard work so that I can eat. And I know that what I'm buying and eating was grown and harvested within 100 miles or so of my kitchen.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,166 posts, read 21,801,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwesternBookWorm View Post
Interesting thread; it explains a lot, and also raises a lot of questions.

We live in a community with a thriving Farmers' Market, and for the past four or five years, nearly all the meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey) we've bought has been directly from the farmers. The difference we've noticed in the flavor is incredible. Yes, it's true that meat that started out as an animal that actually walked around is leaner and less tender than the heavily marbled grain-fed stuff you get in the stores, and it does require some modifications to cooking techniques to get the best out of it, but oh, my, is it ever worthwhile.
You said it! I'd rather have a slightly less tender (note slightly - it's not shoe-leather tough, folks, no matter what some might have you think, at least, if you're an accomplished cook it's not) cut of beef with real flavor to it than something that is easy to chew but not worth the effort.

It also helps if "grass-fed" means "native pasture salad", not "mono-crop grass". Just like free range chickens that supplement their diet with grasses and seeds and bugs and the occasional mouse (yes, chickens are carnivores - haven't you ever seen Jurassic Park? I've seen the small scale equivalent in my paddock) lay eggs that put the eggs of grain-fed chickens to shame.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:03 AM
MB2
 
Location: Sebastian/ FL
3,496 posts, read 6,655,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rcm58 View Post
Thanks for your input Capt. Cave Man, I find it all interesting and sad too. When we were cutting beef on Maple blocks, putting saw dust on the floors to absorb blood and covering meat at night with wet rags with no forethought to the future no one was harmed to my knowledge and we ate well. Today most new laws are in place to protect the industry and not the consumer and most new wives are being blamed for chewy steaks when its not their fault...lol

It was fun
OMG....was it ever....LOL.
I remember, when we were cutting that we use to be allowed to smoke, placing the cigarette right on the cutting block.
Saw dust or laying cardboard boxes on the floor....soaking lamb meat in water and baking soda (to turn the fat bright white again)....sometimes having a beer right in the meat room (after working )....extending shelf life, and having to hoist the whole sides of beef carcass....huh.....and giving the marrow bones away for FREE ! (Today, you are being charged for any and everything...even fat trimmings )
It's so weird for me (and even makes me for a loss of words at times) to talk to people, claiming to be "meatcutters"....but never seen a whole side of beef before, and would not be able to break it up and break it down.....nor were they able to tell me, just WHERE certain cuts come from !
Also does it seem to me, that in our job field the lack and interest of the younger generation is getting lost, and not many want to get into this kind of job anymore.
I remember talking to younger adults about going into the meatroom.....and I received answer from "Huh....way to cold in there for me", "way to much heavy lifting"....all the way to "Awwwww.....blood...chicken juice......aaaawwww".

Yeah....the meat industry sure has changed, and now I (as a meat cutter, mind you) have to appear "professional" in my job (sorry, I am used to get bloody and mucked up....because I am WORKING.....LOL)
Any and everything we use to do, is against the law now in the meat rooms and meat processing industry......and if not, the state will shut you down in a heartbeat !
It sure became more confusing and "technical" in many, many ways. Some laws I sure do agree with, in order to protect the consumer....while others don't make any sense at all.

I really miss those good ol' carefree days sometimes.......

Last edited by MB2; 08-08-2008 at 08:18 AM..
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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My boss in the early 70's drank Scotch all day, said he had to to stay warm, I called him Capt three fingers, real name Sam....I wonder if hes still alive.

We worked our butts off back then but it was under much better conditions than todays cutters have it. Today its cutting by numbers, step by step manuals followed to the letter. Sucked the fun right out of it.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:52 AM
MB2
 
Location: Sebastian/ FL
3,496 posts, read 6,655,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rcm58 View Post
My boss in the early 70's drank Scotch all day, said he had to to stay warm, I called him Capt three fingers, real name Sam....I wonder if hes still alive.

.
I had a boss (alcoholic) coming in at the wee hours, with 2 six-packs of beer (just to start out with)...and hiding them in the sausage filling cylinder. (passing out at around noon )
Yeah....when he was "loaded" you had to expect the big "gooseneck" knives to come flying your way.
No calling out with a "hang over" back then....you came in, and if necessary you had to "puke" in the bone barrel right next to your block....but you kept on cutting.....LOL.
Outdated meat was usually transferred to the deli, for them to (FINALLY) cook it up for dinners.
Remember...we had those (now outlawed) slant saws, sucking the meat right into the saw blade. I remember looking for the occasional severed finger....to rinse off the bone dust, and to pack it in ice....for the ride to the emergency room. LOL
"Cutting gloves".....back then, unheard of. (And I've got some nice scars to proof it too....LOL)
Slimy chicken was usually thrown into ice cold salt water baths.
When a pork loin had a cancer cyst...the whole thing didn't get thrown out.

And....still....mysteriously ....the people didn't get sick as much back then, as they are today with all of those protective laws in place.
Makes you wonder....huh.

Quote:
We worked our butts off back then but it was under much better conditions than today's cutters have it. Today its cutting by numbers, step by step manuals followed to the letter. Sucked the fun right out of it
I am still working my butt off today...but, it's a different "working your butt off".
Now I am also a "pencil pusher", worry about inventory, inspections, and "item per labor hours".
I am not that physically exhausted anymore, but more mentally.
I think, I liked the physical exhaustion a bit better.....LOL.

And, coming to think of it...maybe I should place a warning into this thread, with a caution that this thread might not be for weak stomachs ? LOL
Some things which were the "norm" back "then" and years ago, so disgusting and gross.....but unthinkable today.

Last edited by MB2; 08-08-2008 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
4,739 posts, read 5,394,518 times
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We could take this post further and talk about what goes into store brand pet food. Like when they process whats in the bone can. When they process it under intense heat it kills the bacteria and boils off the plastic and styrofoam leaving minor residue but the busted glass and metal remain. I know it says meat fat bone fish and out of date items that don't get reclaimed but we all know what really goes in there.
I have been told that some of the reclaimed spoiled meat is sold to cheaper lunch meat companies but I don't know if its fact or not. When you see 99 cent a lb brands of hot dogs and bolo it makes me wonder though like Carolina Pride and save-a-lots stuff....too scarey!
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
4,739 posts, read 5,394,518 times
Reputation: 2913
Quote:
Originally Posted by MB2 View Post
I had a boss (alcoholic) coming in at the wee hours, with 2 six-packs of beer (just to start out with)...and hiding them in the sausage filling cylinder. (passing out at around noon )
Yeah....when he was "loaded" you had to expect the big "gooseneck" knives to come flying your way.
No calling out with a "hang over" back then....you came in, and if necessary you had to "puke" in the bone barrel right next to your block....but you kept on cutting.....LOL.
Outdated meat was usually transferred to the deli, for them to (FINALLY) cook it up for dinners.
Remember...we had those (now outlawed) slant saws, sucking the meat right into the saw blade. I remember looking for the occasional severed finger....to rinse off the bone dust, and to pack it in ice....for the ride to the emergency room. LOL
"Cutting gloves".....back then, unheard of. (And I've got some nice scars to proof it too....LOL)
Slimy chicken was usually thrown into ice cold salt water baths.
When a pork loin had a cancer cyst...the whole thing didn't get thrown out.

And....still....mysteriously ....the people didn't get sick as much back then, as they are today with all of those protective laws in place.
Makes you wonder....huh.



I am still working my butt off today...but, it's a different "working your butt off".
Now I am also a "pencil pusher", worry about inventory, inspections, and "item per labor hours".
I am not that physically exhausted anymore, but more mentally.
I think, I liked the physical exhaustion a bit better.....LOL.

And, coming to think of it...maybe I should place a warning into this thread, with a caution that this thread might not be for weak stomachs ? LOL
Some things which were the "norm" back "then" and years ago, so disgusting and gross.....but unthinkable today.
Yes more exhausting, scanning inventory instead of fudging the numbers, saying a bad gross won't get you fired...yeah right....lol

They still grind the morning pulls in with the tube grinds around here....one day they will be on 20/20
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