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Teaching at BYU-Idaho

BYUI Class 002
Karen and I had a very cool opportunity yesterday to make a presentation to a class of Horticulture students at BYU-I. Most were upper level students looking at internship and career possibilities. It was alot of fun. We were very impressed with the students and faculty and appreciated their invitation for us to come and share some of our experiences with them. They seemed very appreciative of our presentation. We do some things a little differently than many and we had a few pictures to show them. Because we try to engage all the senses when bringing guests into our business, we sampled our beef jerky. The students gave our Terriaki jerky a thumbs up.
Many thanks to all the staff and students for a great lunch, presentation time, questions, and interviews. We really enjoyed our day there.

New Product!!!

We’ve just added a new product: Grass Fed Beef Jerky! We’ve been working on this for a long time and finally gotten it to reality. It is made from our own beef in a USDA inspected and certified plant. We have worked to get the minimum amount of additives so that we have a clean, healthy product. The Original flavor is the most natural. The Terriyaki flavoring has some components that are not quite as natural, but that seems to be a popular flavoring that we thought we ought to offer in our trial run. We have eliminated chemically added nitrites in both flavors. You can order here on our website http://www.bradysbeef.com/grass-fed-beef-jerky.html
Unlike our fresh and frozen beef, we can ship this product anywhere. So, if you need a gift for your “Paleo” diet eaters, campers, hikers, or just your jerky loving friends, we can deliver. Thanks for trying it out.

Speaking of Health Care, do you trust the government with your Food?

The USDA has made a unilateral decision that further reduces the integrity of the Organic label. You can read about it here http://consumersunion.org/news/u-s-department-of-agriculture-guts-national-organic-law/?inf_contact_key=c87805fff0f06c3f681775876b8b766c3a6a85b7c18ce751b3b72d321cf46a6f
Without any consumer input or fanfare of any kind, the USDA has reserved to itself the authority to decide if a synthetic input is allowable in your food and still carry the “Organic” label. Here at Brady’s Beef and Brady’s Plant Ranch, we have long felt that the government organic certification process had severe flaws and potential for deceit and corruption. It does not foster “transparency”, but rather the opposite by hiding practices behind the “Organic” label. The recent move by USDA is proof. As always, the best way to know what’s in your food is to know and trust the people who grow it.
We appreciate and value your trust in us. We will gladly talk to you about our production practices and you are always welcome to visit our farm and greenhouses.

How does Grass Fed Taste?

Just saw a post that might interest you regarding flavor of grass fed beef. It comes from a Nebraska feedlot operator family. Also explains how much longer it takes to raise a grass fed animal and why it costs more. http://www.omaha.com/article/20120608/LIVEWELL02/706089995/1161

Pink Slime?

You’ve undoubtedly heard the recent news regarding the “pink slime” found in industrial hamburger and the resulting decision of some of the big grocery chains to not sell it anymore. They are a little slow on the uptake. Note my previous post regarding McDonald’s ban on this stuff some months ago. This substance more properly called “lean, finely textured beef,” is basically poor quality trim (possibly dirty or contaminated) treated with ammonia to kill bacteria and mixed in with the real ground beef. It is the result of our collective cry for cheap food. We, as an American Society in general, are responsible for these disgusting industrial, adulterated food products. My thanks to you, my customers, and regular blog readers for opting out of this system.
Our butcher does not add this slime to our ground beef. I have watched them process beef, and it is a clean operation. We start with the best grass finished beef, have it processed right, and deliver it straight to you, our customers. Check out the blog post below to see some of the processing photos.
The FDA and the USDA do not have your (the consumer) best interests at heart. Believe me on this. If you don’t believe me, do your own research. And above all, get your food from a trusted, LOCAL source.
Again, thank you to our loyal customers.

Win a $50 Gift Certificate

Now is your chance to win a $50 gift certificate. We’re sponsoring a contest through the blog Is This Really My Life so you can go there for all the details. But don’t forget to leave a comment on this post for another chance to win. Good luck!

Inside the Butcher Shop: Beef Cuts 101

This post was originally published on the Menuism blog and is republished here with permission.

It’s a fact we all know, but often choose to ignore: the juicy grass-finished beef steak on our plate was once part of a bovine. At the farm, we strive to make our animals comfortable and content so that they will grow and develop in a stress-free environment. This is good for the animal, the forages, the land, and for the farmer. The cycle of life moves along until the measure of creation is fulfilled for the animal—and we omnivores continue that cycle at the dinner table.

A significant part of the field-to-fork process in the meat industry is the butchering of an animal. So I spent some time with my butcher the other day in order to share a behind-the-scenes look at butchering. The cutting of meat is somewhat of an art form, with lots of cultural variations. The standard American cuts that you see at the grocery store or on a chart such as this one distributed by the Beef Council tell only part of the story. Meat cutting is the art of identifying and separating the muscle groups from the bones and sinews. Once the muscle groups are separated, they can be sliced and trimmed into the familiar cuts of beef. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting beef cuts.

[Warning: The following photos may be too graphic for non-meat eaters! Read on at your own discretion.]

The T-Bone

This cut comes from the front of the back half of the spinal column and ribs; the area is known as the loin. There are three main muscle groups involved. Depending on the cutting of this section, the butcher can produce a porterhouse, T-bone or strip steak. By removing the bone, he can get a New York strip and tenderloin steak or filet (as in filet mignon). Surely every beef eater has had a T-bone steak and noticed the difference on each side of the T. The small side is more tender and less fatty. Taken alone, that piece is actually the tenderloin. The tougher and larger side of the T is the strip steak, or, without the bone, a New York strip steak. A porterhouse steak is the largest cut from this part of the animal and is larger because there is a third muscle group on the large side of the T, which is small and quite tender. Only four or five steaks cut from this area will qualify as porterhouse because the muscle is small and runs out as the meat section tapers smaller.

T-Bone Steak

The next photo shows a T-bone on the left and a porterhouse on the right as mirror images, but note the additional round segment on the far right side of the porterhouse.

T-Bone Steak and Porterhouse Steak

The Ribeye

The ribeye is my favorite steak. These cuts come from the back and rib section right in front of the T-bone area. Made into steaks with the bone in, it’s a rib steak, or de-boned, it’s a ribeye steak. Either way, it’s tender and flavorful and has just the right amount of fat. A ribeye steak is great for grilling or broiling. If this area isn’t cut into steaks, it will be cut as a bone-in or boneless rib roast. Sometimes this is referred to as prime rib, which may or may not be accurate; in the strict sense of the usage, this cut is only considered prime rib if it has been graded “prime” by a USDA inspector. When the word “prime” is used in this official sense, it means that there is a heavier internal fat content (aka marbling). Somehow, “choice rib” doesn’t have the same ring to it, but a rib roast graded to the USDA choice standard is pretty darn good if cooked properly.

The Lean Cuts

The large muscles at the rear of the cow provide the leanest cuts of beef. Sirloin steak is probably the most well-known cut, followed by rump roast. The rear-most muscle or round is most often cut into strips for fajita meat or stir-fry pieces. It can also be used to create round steak or kebab chunks.

Round Steak

The most interesting cut in this area is the tri-tip. This is a triangular muscle right at the bottom of the sirloin area, similar in size to the animal’s heart. The tri-tip is one of the best lean cuts because it is fairly tender. It can be grilled whole or cut into steaks. There are only two of these on the whole cow.

Tri-tip Steak

The Thin Muscles

The thin muscles are found on the underside of the cow, and from this area we get cuts such as brisket, skirt steak and flank steak. One common use of brisket is corned beef. Properly marinated and cooked, it is also makes a wonderful roast-style cut. The skirt and flank are very thin pieces of meat, which, ideally, should be marinated before grilling, then sliced into strips for flavorful fajitas. All of these cuts can also be cured into beef bacon or pastrami.
The Front Section

The front section of a cow is also known as chuck. The most common usage is for chuck roast or pot roast, which are usually slow cooked to tenderize the meat. The meat from the front section is a little tougher because it’s cut from muscles that are used a lot. However, there is also a lot of beef flavor for the same reason. One of the most flavorful steaks from the whole cow is a chuck-eye steak. It’s not very popular, probably because sometimes it can be kind of tough. This varies from one animal to the next, however, and the degree of toughness is not as predictable as tenderness measures on other steak cuts. Chuck steaks should be cut thin, perhaps tenderized, and not overcooked. The flavor can’t be beat.

So there you have it. Work with your local butcher to get your favorite cuts!

Note: All butchering images courtesy of John Brady.

More on Healthy? fast food……

One of our loyal customers in Western Idaho sent me a Yahoo news link which I sourced further to an ABC story. Here’s the link http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/02/01/mcdonalds-announces-end-to-pink-slime-in-burgers/
Further evidence that you ought to know the source of your food. At Brady’s Beef we have pure, clean beef. No chemicals, no hormones, no antibiotics. A source you can trust!

Healthy Fast Food? or NOT.

In my business, I am pretty subject to weather related occurrences, so I check the weather channel regularly. Here’s a link to a recent article at weather.com:

http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/va-news-articles_2011-11-30?vaid=bd413d54c4a08ef8b003133906545dec&jQuery1327154881727=14

That’s a long link address for a short revealing article, so copy and past it to your browser. You’ll be amazed at what we’re feeding our kids…
I have been guilty of ordering these for my kids and grandkids. Maybe our bodies can cope with toxins occasionally, but should we really volunteer for it? With a steady diet of this, is it any wonder we have a nation of obesity? Nobody is forcing this on us. We’re voting with our dollars. Hope you’ll vote for real food; locally produced, fresh from the farm.

The Butcher Shop

I recently followed my butcher around for an hour. This is the fifth in a series that I have been doing for Menuism.com See some pictures and an article I published at http://www.menuism.com/blog/inside-the-butcher-shop-beef-cuts-101/ Cut & paste this URL to your browser. It was interesting to me, hope it will be to you.

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