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Big Factory vs Organic Beef

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Is there that noticeable of a difference in taste?

post #2 of 34

I believe so.

 

I've bought organic meat exclusively for over 20 years.  I DO eat processed, non-organic meats when I've dined with friends.  I can tell the difference.

post #3 of 34

I've never noticed any taste differences. Texture, oh yeah, grass-fed the most. I don't care for grass-fed toughness. I do very much notice the price difference though. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #4 of 34

I'm not sure I can tell the taste difference between CFO beef and Organic every time. There's just so much marketing that gets involved. Organic covers a broad range of product. With free range grass fed beef there is a noticeable taste difference to me. Tenderness has a lot more to do with the grade of the meat but of course even a prime steak can be tough if it's not butchered properly or well prepared.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #5 of 34

Big factory = high volume.  Best grades from big factory are skimmed off and sold at a premium, but only to "select vendors".

 

When I was a kid, my dad and his friends would buy a calf--live from the farmer.  Farmer kept it for the summer, and around October our "Group" would drop in, slaughter and portion.  Everyone got a quarter side.  One of the guys was a Safeway butcher, and back then, in the '70's, Safeway actually brought in whole sides.  

 

Wish I could do that now.....

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #6 of 34
In the 80s I used to buy half and quarter cows or steers that was range raised, going in with someone. Feeding a family of 5 it made sense, that was in S Calif before we moved to N.Calif. After moving we joined Costco in early 90s the price and quality of their meat made sense to us, since then we have only bought 1 quarter and 1 half cow/steer range raised, over the last 19 years. I didn't really notice much of a difference. I have grown as a cook and pay attention now more than I did in the past, so I might be able to taste a difference but NOT sure.

I do know that on the rare occasion that I have had a Morton's or Ruth's Chris steak, I can tell the difference, they cook GREAT Steaks!
post #7 of 34

Tenderness has nothing to do at all for me with the grade of meat. I am a professional. I know what the differences of grade are, and I know what to expect. I don't like grass-fed beef because to me, any grade is tougher than what it should be in my general expectations. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #8 of 34

Talking about going in with others to buy a quarter beef sure brings back memories. I remember my parents doing that when I was a kid. I'd be paying top dollar at Whole Foods to get meat like that today. Whole Foods does have good prices here for Grass fed burger in bulk. That's the only ground meat I buy any more. I've been grinding my own for several years at home and Pink slime or what ever it is doesn't make me want to change any time soon.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

Tenderness has nothing to do at all for me with the grade of meat. I am a professional. I know what the differences of grade are, and I know what to expect. I don't like grass-fed beef because to me, any grade is tougher than what it should be in my general expectations. 



You don't think grading has anything to do with marbeling, and that marbeling has anything to do with tenderness?

 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 34

My point was that I know grades of meat and I know tenderness. Nothing was said/included about marbling, but I know about that too. What I said was that "I DON'T LIKE GRASS-FED BEEF". If it's "prime", I think it's tough for prime. If it's "choice", I think it's tough for choice. If it's "ABC123", I think it's tough in comparison to the same cut of corn-fed or corn-finished beef. "I DON'T LIKE GRASS-FED BEEF".   Was I any more clear that time? 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #11 of 34

I can tell with the partially grass fed and finished for 2 months on grain beef I buy from a local farmer. Better flavor, more tender, and more healthy. Being butchered locally in a cleaner environment means rare hamburger isn't a risk too.

post #12 of 34

Iceman, I curious, are you implying that there are separate grading standards for grass fed and grain fed beef?

 

Or are you saying that grading standards do not take into account "tenderness" when assigning grades?

 

Beef tenderness is dependent upon numerous factors, starting with breed, growing cycle, including weaning, supplements (i,e, salts, minerals, molasses etc.), grass, alfalfa, grain, pasture or range (there IS a difference!), locale (1 acre/animal unit in Missouri or 100 acres/AU in Nevada/California?), and fattening (corn, grain, silage, cottonseed cake, or a multitude of other feed products.

 

For the uninformed, there are many ways to raise beef, including among others:

  • Pasture raised (<1 acre/AU), salt and mineral supplements only, no grain finish
  • Pasture raised (<1 acre/AU), salt and mineral supplements only, 2-3 month grain finish (what most "organic beef" is)
  • Pasture raised (<1 acre/AU), salt and mineral supplements only, 4-6 month grain finish (still can be organic if all the inputs are organic)
  • Range raised (>1 acre/AU), salt supplement, no grain finish (very rare, even for "grass-fed")
  • Range raised (>1 acre/AU), salt supplement, 1-2 months grain finish
  • Range raised (>1 acre/AU), salt supplement, 4-6 months grain finish (probably the most common beef production practice)

 

Nothing in the above list differentiates "big factory" from "organic".

 

Organic, by definition, refers to the inputs, feed, etc., and specifies that all inputs meet the definition of organic. Organic beef may be grass-fed, pasture fed, range fed, grain finished, grain fattened, or raised in a pan and fed beer, as long as it meets the organic standards.

 

"Big Factory", at least to me, refers to a processing, distribution system that takes live animals and converts them into meat products.

 

Just like a computer, GIGO rules, garbage in, garbage out.

 

Beef grading is not mandatory, it is strictly voluntary

 

To the best of my knowledge, anyone may label any beef whatever they desire unless they wish to use the strictly voluntary U.S.D.A. grading standards, then they must comply with the U.S.D.A. standards.

 

For me, anyone who dismisses an entire category of food based on a single factor is demonstrating their lack of understanding and, possibly, knowledge.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #13 of 34

Happy to see everyone getting along. I raise my own beef on pasture and then send the cows off to be finished over the winter months. The problem I see with Pasture raised beef is, it is to lean, and in some cases tastes like the pasture. I send my cows out to get a feeding of corn and grain to get some fat. The cows gain about 100 lbs a month when we start this process. I send the cows out to finish at about 1000lbs and send them to be processed at about 1500lbs.............This method gives me great marbling in the meat, great steaks and roasts, I make all the hamburger out of the Chuck...............ChefBillyB

post #14 of 34

Grass fed beef is very lean hence tough.  I use it alot and  have to add some fat, canola oil, to make a burger out of the ground meat.  The flavor of grass fed is very good and it works well for any thing cooked low and slow.  Grass fed beef is very high in omega 3 fatty acids also.

post #15 of 34

Pretty sure the GFB burger I am getting is 85/15.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #16 of 34

I bought in with friends on two black angus. The idea was we couldn't eat a whole cow in a reasonable time, so by splitting 50/50 and keeping the other in pasture it worked out well. Ours were grass fed but they also received a small amount of "sweet feed" and hay. We finished them for 2-3 weeks on a pure sweet feed and hay diet.

 

What I noticed about flavor even between the two of them, there was a marked difference in the depth of flavor for the cow that we kept at pasture for 2+ years. The first one we slaughtered left me thinking we had made a mistake because there was nothing special about the flavor, but oh boy, that second cow.. it brought back the memories of how deep and full the flavor of beef can be.

post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

Tenderness has nothing to do at all for me with the grade of meat. I am a professional.......

As much as I hold your nose to the doo-doo under the couch,  you just won't save yourself.  You've had ample opportunity to explain the above statement, but won't.

 

Look, if you haven't figured it out yet, you've got your head so far up your azz that your tongue thinks it's a foreskin. Everyone else figured it out a looong time ago when you were on your wine-glass thingee.   C'mon man, admit it, you're a fraud, couldn't cook your way out of a soggy Sysco carton.

 

Why do I always hafta de-frock the fraudsters?

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #18 of 34

Um, ladies and gents, unless it is a real unusual situation, I do not believe anybody raises a "cow" for meat, maybe for hamburger or processed beef but not meat!

 

Beef in the market comes primarily from 20-30 month old steers (castrated males), the females (heifers, they don't become cows until they have their second calf), are raised as replacements for the cows that produce the steers.

 

If you ARE eating cow, it IS tough and stringy.

 

That's what cramming a four year education into nine years taught me wink.giflaser.gifB.S. Agricultural Engineering, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

 

And IceMan, when you win the lotto, at least 100 million so it is worth my while, I'll make you a bet on a taste test between grass-fed and grain-fed, you will lose!

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 

My thread stirring up the pot here. I'm just a newb to all this stuff. Bottom line guys now...should I pay the extra dough for pure organic will I taste the difference or not? or is it more in the skill of the cook? is it the aging process or commercial kitchen grills vs my little Weber? I have a Steak House that I frequent that makes the most amazing Rib Eye, seered and crusty outside is that more about skill or quality meat??... thanks

post #20 of 34

LOL. Again, and still. 

 

foodpump ... I think you should stay on your meds. It's much safer that way. I hope you have assistants close by you when you use sharp things. I've said this a number of times before, I guess I need to say it again now. "READING IS FUNDAMENTAL". You should read entire posts and think about what was being said in it's entirety. I was saying that I understand what the tenderness of a grade of meat should be. I didn't say that tenderness had nothing to do with the grade. I said that "FOR ME", grass-fed beef, whatever the grade was, is not as pleasing as corn-fed or corn-finished beef. 

 

I apologize if you took my wisecrack that "... the Canucks are a bunch of cheap-shot whiney cry-baby pansy sissys." as being insulting. I was speaking of these Canucks in particular, and not the Canadian population as a whole. 

van.gif

 

Pete ... How exactly can you tell me, or make any statement about MY opinion? Do or can people tell others what they are or should be thinking? Was I wrong all the times in the past that I've had grass-fed steaks that I didn't enjoy? Was the problem actually with my mouth and not the meat? Could you, in the future, produce for me a grass-fed steak that I would enjoy? Sure. That is completely possible. I don't think however, that you could change what I've already experienced in the past. I choose not to gamble. "He who gambles lives in shambles."  

 

MrDecoy1 ... I think your best answer would just come from buying two(2) steaks, treat them the same way, cook them up and eat them, side by side. Quality meat does make a lot of difference; so does the skill in prepping and cooking. Steakhouse guys cook a lot of steaks. That's their job, they need to be good at it. People at home can cook steaks out on their grills really well too. It aint'e rocket surgery. There are a number of threads here on grilling that will help you if you look. I've found it a fun time looking stuff up from old threads. You might have fun too. 

 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #21 of 34

How entertaining.....Thanks guys.

 

I am curious how the steers are allowed to eat corn to fatten them without the use of antibiotics to keep them from getting sick. Corn is not easily digested and it does have a impact on the animals' health.

 

 

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

LOL. Again, and still. 

 

I was saying that I understand what the tenderness of a grade of meat should be. I didn't say that tenderness had nothing to do with the grade. I said that "FOR ME", grass-fed beef, whatever the grade was, is not as pleasing as corn-fed or corn-finished beef. 

 



Now compare that to the previous post "Iceman" wrote


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

Tenderness has nothing to do at all for me with the grade of meat. I am a professional. I know what the differences of grade are, and I know what to expect. I don't like grass-fed beef because to me, any grade is tougher than what it should be in my general expectations. 


 

 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #23 of 34

Ahh, the joys of English. 

 

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.  'Why?' asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit.

 

The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.  'Well, I'm a panda,' he says, at the door. 'Look it up.'

 

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. 'Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.'

Eats Shoots & Leaves

 

Iceman (or "Iceman" if you prefer), your lack of clarity is going on your permanent record.

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #24 of 34

Ok-enough of rattling those old antlers, guys. 

Iceman, you don't like grass fed. I get it. That's great! More for me!

 

Some might find this video from NBC news interesting. Dan and Keith Gibson are good friends of ours. They set up next to us at some of our NY farmers' markets. Dan is a former exec for Starwood Lodging, but now runs this fabulous farm in Ghent, NY.

Their beef, chicken and eggs are the best I've ever tasted. Of course, we can't afford it everyday, but being mostly vegetarian, it's doable. I think the new term for us is "flexitarians."

 

Take a look at how they raise their beef & chickens.

http://www.grazinangusacres.com/3.html

www.foodandphoto.com

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She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #25 of 34

Foodnfoto,

 

Thank you so much for sharing that video. Farmers like him have such an insight . If only sustainable agriculture was the norm, what a difference it would make, moreso for future generations.

 

I gleamed alot from that interview.

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(162 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(162 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #26 of 34

I suppose this all points to why I like the roasts better than the steaks and such of commonly available beef. Steak just doesn't have that much flavor compared to the tougher cuts that need longer cooking to develop their glory.

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdecoy1 View Post

Is there that noticeable of a difference in taste?



You should read a book by Michael Pollan called The Carnivore's Dilemma. It talks about the difference between industry and organic.

post #28 of 34

Only beef I can tell difference taste and smell wise is wagu. To me it has a musty type odor, and a flat taste. Im talking American raised not import.(silver farms brand)

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #29 of 34

Herein rural America the grocery chain stores get their meat from the conglomerates, but in the smaller communities the local butchers get them directly from the farms in the area. The animals are well taken care of and are not fed grains and corn or given antibiotics. The meat is noticeably tastier... I have gone in on a quarter steer myself in the past. There is a difference in taste, texture.

post #30 of 34

I'm not surprised that some people don't like grass-fed beef.  It's like if you spend your entire life eating Velveeta and then suddenly switch to cheddar, you will find the cheddar lacking in flavor.  It's about living a lifestyle of eating real food and if you've trained your palette to like unsustainably-raised beef then that's what you will like.

 

It's hard to shell out the money for grass-fed but in reality, the amount of times I can afford it should technically be the amount of times I should be eating it.  We eat way too much meat, particularly beef and chicken in this country and it is crucial that the consumer scales back on their meat consumption in order to impact that industry.  I always go back to Michael Pollan when I think of real food, never has it been said better or made more clear to me that we all need to make a change in our lives.  Yes, paying a little extra for organic meat or grass fed meat is worth it.  You'll either pay for it at the grocery store or you'll pay for it later at the doctor's office.  Either way, there is a cost to what we choose to eat.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foodnfoto View Post

Ok-enough of rattling those old antlers, guys. 

Iceman, you don't like grass fed. I get it. That's great! More for me!

 

Some might find this video from NBC news interesting. Dan and Keith Gibson are good friends of ours. They set up next to us at some of our NY farmers' markets. Dan is a former exec for Starwood Lodging, but now runs this fabulous farm in Ghent, NY.

Their beef, chicken and eggs are the best I've ever tasted. Of course, we can't afford it everyday, but being mostly vegetarian, it's doable. I think the new term for us is "flexitarians."

 

Take a look at how they raise their beef & chickens.

http://www.grazinangusacres.com/3.html


Excellent video.  Do they ever come to the farmer's market in the city?

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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