• What do you want to know?

    Who am I? I’m a meat scientist (I have a Ph.D. from Kansas State University), and I’m the Mom (although I prefer being called ‘Momma’) to two wonderful, hilarious, sweet, smart girsl named Vallie (7) and Wyn (2).

    Why blog? In the past 7-years I’ve learned a lot, but mostly I’ve learned that I don’t know much. My husband and I have been put in charge of these little people, and we have one chance to get it right. Frankly, it scares me to death. What am I doing wrong? Is this healthy? Is that safe? What are the chances she will flail herself from that new swing-set and ‘bust her head open’? Scary, scary stuff.

    But, there is this awesome resource available to me that I had no idea existed until I was a Mom. Other Moms. Obviously, my Mom, my mother-in-law, my aunts, my friends, my coworkers, moms at church, etc… were great resources of information. But what I also noticed was that ALL Moms seem to be willing to share their knowledge. I’ve gained knowledge about gymnastics from a random Mom at daycare, thoughts on potty-training from Moms in the check-out line at WalMart, and great tips on getting her to eat vegetables from Moms watching kids at the McDonald’s PlayPlace.

    Then, I realized something. I have some great information to share that several Moms probably have questions about. I know about MEAT. Heck, I’m an expert (just ask my Mom). I know about the safety of meat and how to properly store, prepare and cook it. I know about nutrition and the advantages of meat in kid’s diets. I know about the meat industry (I’ve been in more meat processing plants than I can count) and how meat is prepared before it gets to consumers. I understand the labels and the regulations. AND, what I don’t know, I for-sure know who to ask (there are actually several Meat Moms out there). I have information to share!

    So, I started a blog. I’m not blogging to condemn vegetarians or sell meat for any specific company. People should feel good about their food. I don't want people to be afraid of it. I just want other Moms to know the correct information about meat and the industry. I want to try to help other Moms ease their minds when their 4-year old will eat nothing but hotdogs.

    So, I need to know what you want to know. Please, send me an email or post a question. I have a few ideas for posts, but I know the best ones will come from other moms' questions

    9 comments:

    1. I work in a Sow unite and this is true but if you really think about the momma sow is not the only thing that goes to the table.A sow can have 2.5 litters a year and lets say she has 10 pigs each time so that is 25 pigs a year and say we keep them (mommas)5 years that would be 125 pig in her life time. What happen to her pigs? They go to a finshing barn and are put in large pen and grow to market size and go to the packer and end up on our tables. Everyone makes it sound like we only eat the mommas.What happens to her babies? What percent do people eat that comes from pens (the market pigs) verus eating the mommas? This is what people really need to know.There isn't enough space in a finshing barn and the wean pigs are to small to crate untill they are ready to market.

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    2. I've been looking into buying a large quantity of beef from one of the many smaller, independent ranches in the eastern portion of my state (New Mexico) or neighboring states. This meat is typically butchered into a variety of cuts, so one can often get a nice variety. The meat is frozen and shipped in dry ice. My question(s) is(are) more about the effect of freezing beef on its quality. Is it self-defeating to pay more for beef that is ostensibly of a higher quality than what one finds in a grocery store only to freeze it? I've read that ALL beef in the grocery store has been frozen at some point - is that true? THANKS.

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    3. Our family farm will start to produce beef for the first time this year. I've been learning all the cuts, and learning how to cook them all. One of the questions I've been wanting to ask someone of your expertise, is what to do with the red liquid that escapes from the thawed meat? I heard there were good minerals in this juice. Can I make gravy or soup from it? Or just toss it?

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      1. Sorry its taken me a couple of days to respond. Things have been crazy around here.

        That red liquid is called purge. It is mostly water, a little protein, and lactic acid. Some old butchers will add it back to ground beef or sausage just to keep from losing the value.

        As far as minerals go, it has some iron in it from the myoglobin protein.

        I don't know that it would be very good for gravy or soup, but you might try adding it back into some ground product or sausage. I doubt it will really affect your bottom line much, though.

        Thanks for the great question,
        Janeal

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    4. Dear Meat Counter Mom,

      I don't know if you've discussed this yet on your blog, but I think it would be an interesting one to discuss. I try to make educated discussions on the meat products I consume based on what I know about the industry at large, but one that is especially hazy nowadays is humane farming of meat animals. It seems the only "real" (and I use the term loosely) information I seem to be able to find is from the HSUS, PETA, and other biased animal activist groups. Unfortunately, information seems difficult to find on the USDA/APHIS websites.

      Specifically I am asking about veal. For a long, LOOONG, time I personally chose not to consume lamb because of the image. I couldn't possibly eat a cute, fluffy, bouncy, snowy white lamb. Until, that is, I saw first hand what a lamb at slaughter looked like: 120 lbs of temper, not fluffy, not bouncy "lamb". I find lamb delicious now. I cannot say the same for veal. Unlike veal, lambs are not subject to housing variations and dietary restriction and are typically far younger than lambs at slaughter. While I don't have an issue with "special fed" veal, because at the age of slaughter these calves would still be nursing, my issue is with veal crating. I know that, at least in Britain, there is governmental oversight into the farm raising of veal and there is an elimination of crated housing.

      Please tell me your knowledge of veal crates, your opinions on them, and to your knowledge what the current regulations on them are. I know (from animal-rights sites) that there are around 8 or 9 states that currently ban the use of crates.

      Thanks,
      Tifanie S.

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      1. Tifanie,

        I don't know much about veal. I'm doing some research and I'm going to get back to you.

        Sorry for the delayed response.

        Janeal

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    5. Can you comment on the pros and cons on the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics that industrial farmers use to keep their animals from getting sick and promote growth? Thank you, Concerned Consumer

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    6. Hi, what type of pork, chicken and fish do you feed your family? There is a lot of info out there, but unless one has enough time to delve into it, it gets confusing.

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      1. I don't stick to any specific brand of chicken or pork. We like whatever is on sale. We don't eat a lot of fish at our house.

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