Tag Archives: Beef

Azealia Banks Apologizes To Elon Musk, Starts a Tesla Fan Fiction Contest

Tesla may not be going private after all, but the drama from that ordeal is far from over. Are you excited for more? Strap yourselves in, kids, it’s gonna be a long night.

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Azealia Banks Is Still Posting About Grimes and Elon Musk, Claims His Lawyers Took Her Phone

The drama between rapper Azealia Banks, artist Grimes and Tesla CEO Elon Musk continued today with even more claims and accusations posted to Banks’ Instagram story, now alleging that Musk lied about not knowing her and lied about his lawyers not having her phone. Also, that she can see children in “the invisible…

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Drake Even Has A Beef With Chrysler Now 

Drake released a new album titled “Views” last month, but Spotify only managed to pick it up this week. I just got around to listening to it, noticing a lyric in the first song on the album reveals some beef between the rapper and Chrysler.

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Matt Kenseth’s NASCAR Feud With Joey Logano Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Remember the end of last year, when NASCAR’s headlines were all dominated with the beef between Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano? It’s baaaaaaaack! This time, Kenseth blamed Logano for contact during today’s Talladega race and gave him a bit of a warning as they were both outside the infield care center.

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IndyCar Already Has Its First Driver Beef Of 2016

If anywhere could snap a driver into full Jean Girard Mode, it would have to be one of IndyCar’s tight street courses. Good news! IndyCar’s season opener is on the chaotic street course at St. Petersburg, and Sébastien Bourdais already got into it with Mikhail Aleshin after a practice session. Yes, a practice session.

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The 2015 MotoGP Season Is Over, But The Drama Sure Isn’t

Just because the 2015 MotoGP season is over doesn’t mean the bickering and drama is. Valentino Rossi has been extremely vocal about Marc Marquez’s performance, and Jorge Lorenzo claims this was Rossi’s last chance to win a championship. It’s a good thing most of these guys are 100 pounds soaking wet or things might get ugly.

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Conventional Ground Beef May Be More Likely to Contain Dangerous Bacteria

Grassfed organic ground beef may be more expensive than conventionally raised ground beef, but according to a recent study by Consumer Reports, it’s only half as likely to be the home of dangerous, antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The extensive study, being published in the October 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, involved over 458 pounds of conventionally and sustainably produced ground beef purchased in grocery, big-box, and natural food stores in 26 different U.S. cities. Each portion of ground beef was tested for five types of bacteria commonly associated with ground beef: Clostridium perfringens, E. coli (seven different strains), Enterococcus, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus. The results were not pretty:

All 458 pounds of beef we examined contained bacteria that signified fecal contamination (enterococcus and/or nontoxin-producing E. coli), which can cause blood or urinary tract infections. Almost 20 percent contained C. perfringens, a bacteria that causes almost 1 million cases of food poisoning annually. Ten percent of the samples had a strain of S. aureus bacteria that can produce a toxin that can make you sick. That toxin can’t be destroyed—even with proper cooking.

Nasty bacteria appears to be in all types of ground beef, furthering the importance of cooking it to the proper temperature of 160° Fahrenheit. What was a little more troubling still, however, was the fact that some of the ground beef contained antibiotic resistant bacteria:

…beef from conventionally raised cows was more likely to have bacteria overall, as well as bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, than beef from sustainably raised cows. We found a type of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus bacteria called MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), which kills about 11,000 people in the U.S. every year, on three conventional samples (and none on sustainable samples). And 18 percent of conventional beef samples were contaminated with superbugs—the dangerous bacteria that are resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics—compared with just 9 percent of beef from samples that were sustainably produced.

MRSA is not something you want to mess with, and neither are superbugs of any variety. But if you cook your ground beef to the proper temperature of 160° Fahrenheit, you should be safe right? Yes, so there’s no need to panic, but according to Hannah Gould, Ph.D., at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Up to 28 percent of Americans eat ground beef that’s raw or undercooked,” either intentionally or unintentionally. That’s why it’s extremely important you cook your ground beef thoroughly, and why you may want to reconsider springing for the “Grassfed Organic” beef. You can see which labels you should look out for here, and learn more about the study and Consumer Reports methods at the link below.http://lifehacker.com/should-i-be-wo…

How Safe Is Your Ground Beef? | Consumer Reports

Conventional Ground Beef May Be More Likely to Contain Dangerous Bacteria

12 Vague Supermarket Food Labels, Explained

12 Vague Supermarket Food Labels, Explained

Grocery stores are littered with ambiguous food labels like “artisan,” “fresh,” and “humanely raised.” Some of these terms can be misleading by design, but they aren’t all totally devoid of meaning. Here are some of the most confusing terms you’ll find in the supermarket, and what they really mean.

Beef, Poultry, Eggs, and Fish

“Humanely Raised and Handled”

When you see this label, it’s meant to conjure images of farmers hugging and petting their animals as they live a long and happy life. Unfortunately, as Jane Lear at Take Part explains, the use of this terminology isn’t regulated at all:

Even if the product is “USDA Process Verified,” there are no standards for this term. Companies decide their own standards, which can be verified by the USDA (if the company elects for that service) but do not have to be.

So basically, anyone can slap words like this on their label. If you want to make sure you’re buying meat products that actually come from humanely raised animals, look for these certifications instead:

Depending on your supermarkets and distributors in your area, beef with one of the above certifications can cost almost twice as much. For example, in my neighborhood supermarket, the certified humane beef available costs nearly $20/lb, and basic grain-fed, USDA Prime costs around $9.50/lb. So these might cost you a little more, but at least you’ll know what you’re paying for. Just make sure they have one of the certifications mentioned above.

“Hormone-Free”

The term “hormone-free” on chicken or pork products is one of the most misleading terms you’ll probably come across. Hormones aren’t allowed to be used in the raising of poultry or pork at all, so a distributor telling you that it’s hormone-free shouldn’t be news. It’s just a label that’s used to make you think other chicken and pork products do use hormones.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid products labeled hormone-free completely, it just means that it isn’t a selling point. The same goes for eggs labeled “Antibiotic-Free.” Egg-laying hens are rarely—if ever—raised with antibiotics, so it’s not exactly a big deal. It’s another label that’s designed to make you feel safe buying the product. If you want chicken and pork that’s as untouched as possible, look for the green “USDA Organic” label.

“Black Angus Beef”

First of all, Black Angus is a breed of cattle, not a quality of beef. Second of all, while the Black Angus breed is known to grow fast and have better marbling (which improves the flavor), it’s also the most common breed of beef cattle in the U.S. So a sticker that says the product is “Black Angus Beef” or “Angus Beef” isn’t something to be too excited about. Derrick Riches, barbecue and grilling expert, explains:

…lower graded beef, or frequently ungraded beef gets the Angus stamp on it to be sold to fast food chains and a whole host of uses. This is not to say that these products are not made with Angus beef, but that the implication that Angus means quality isn’t true. In the past few decades the word Angus has come to imply something it simply doesn’t… A fast food hamburger or a mass market hot dog with the Angus name stamped on it are still the lowest quality of beef that can be sold for human consumption even if it comes from Angus cattle.

If you see higher prices for something labeled as Angus or Black Angus, don’t be fooled. This is especially true for things like pre-frozen burger patties. In my local store, frozen patties labeled as Black Angus cost nearly $2 more per pound when compared to others with no special labeling at all.

If you see a “Certified Angus Beef” label, however, it meets criteria set forth by the USDA and must either be graded as Prime or Choice (the two top grades). So if you’re going to spend extra, make sure that you get Certified Angus Beef, which is actually considered to be above average. Keep in mind however, that the Certified Angus Beef label doesn’t say anything about how humanely the animal was raised.

“Pasture-Raised” or “Pastured”

Again, this label is meant to make you think that the animals were raised outdoors in wide open spaces. The problem is a lot of farmed animals spend some time in a pasture at some point in their life. Marilyn Noble of the American Grassfed Association explains that the term isn’t regulated and it can mean different things for different farmers and places.

While the label “pasture-raised” could still very well be worth your money, another distributor could be using it to pump up their prices. For example, some “pasture-raised” ground beef cost $8.99/lb in my local supermarket, compared to $4.49/lb for the same grade of beef without the label.

If it’s important to you that you buy humanely raised animals, it’s to your benefit to do some research before you go to the store. The labels we highlighted above also apply to these kinds of products. Also, there’s no guarantee that the flavor is any better or that the meat is any healthier, so be sure to research farms and distributors beforehand and find out who you’re buying from. You can even do a quick search on your phone in the store if you’re not sure what might be available at your supermarket.

“Free-Range” or “Free-Roaming”

This term gets plastered on a lot of chicken and chicken eggs to drive up the price, but it’s not as nice as it sounds. The free-range label, while regulated by the USDA, simply means that the chickens don’t have individual cages, and that they have “access to the outdoors.” Once again, the word “access” is the tricky part here.

These chickens will have access to the outdoors, but it’s usually a small, screened-off patio or other similar enclosure. Additionally, the USDA doesn’t have any standards for the quality or size of the “outdoor” area, so you’re probably not buying well-lived chickens or their eggs with this label. The same thing goes for any chicken products labeled as “Cage Free.” It simply means they weren’t raised in individual cages, but they still could have been likely raised indoors, in overcrowded conditions. That doesn’t stop my supermarket from charging $5.50 for “farm fresh, natural, cage-free and free-range” eggs, though. Compare that to the $3.50 it costs for regular large eggs at the same store and that can add up over time.

Supermarkets can abuse these labels to get you to pay a little more, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good places to buy eggs from fairly treated hens. If you’re concerned about where your eggs are coming from, your local farmer’s market is a safe bet. There you’ll be able to do your own research into which farmers use these labels honestly. Even in the supermarket it’s still possible to find eggs from reputable, humane farmers. Look for the “Certified Humane,” “American Humane Certified,” or “Animal Welfare Approved” labels. Sometimes you just need to do a little research to see who you can trust.

“Grass-Fed”

This is a standard set by the USDA in 2007 that means the cattle was fed grass and had access to open pasture for most of it’s life. As Miki Kawasaki at Serious Eats points out, however, that doesn’t mean the animal necessarily had an exclusive grass diet. It can also cost more to raise certified grass-fed animals, so it’s more expensive to buy at the store. Forrest Pritchard, a Virginia farmer, explains in a Huffington Post article that he has to charge around $5.25/lb to make ends meet. Compared to the $3/lb average for grain-fed beef in most supermarkets, that’s a big jump in price and cost to you.

Of course, these things don’t mean that grass-fed beef isn’t worth the price on occasion. Grass-fed beef has a different, much stronger flavor that many people prefer to grain-fed beef. It can also be leaner than grain-fed beef. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best that grass-fed beef has to offer, look for the “AGA Certified” label. The American Grassfed Association requires farmers to meet high standards in raising their animals:

  • Diet — Animals are fed only grass and forage from weaning until harvest.
  • Confinement — Animals are raised on pasture without confinement to feedlots.
  • Antibiotics and hormones — Animals are never treated with antibiotics or growth hormones.
  • Origin — All animals are born and raised on American family farms.

Depending on your personal views, it may not be worth buying grass-fed all the time, but it’s definitely worth considering when you’re looking to buy a really nice steak or something.

“Wild” and “Wild-Caught” Fish

These terms are used to label different varieties of fish, and they do mean what they sound like. “Wild” fish are fish that are caught in the wild either with nets or fishing poles. “Wild-caught” means that the fish may have started in a hatchery, but were released and caught after spending most of their life in the wild. Wild and wild-caught fish can be more expensive to buy in the store, but as Monica Reinagel, a nutrition specialist at Quick and Dirty Tips, explains, there aren’t any major health benefits. In my store, wild-caught salmon was almost $20/lb versus the farm-raised salmon that cost $10.49/lb.

There are still plenty of benefits to wild fish, however. Whether they’re located in the ocean, a lake, or a river, factory fish farms can have a harmful impact on the ecosystems around them. Buying wild fish can give you a little peace of mind in that way. Additionally, wild and wild-caught fish tend to taste better, especially when it comes to shrimp, salmon, and tuna. If you want better tasting fish, and like to know that your fish lived freely, wild and wild-caught can totally be worth the extra cash.

Fruits and Vegetables

“Local”

When you’re buying fruits and vegetables, it can feel good to know you’re supporting local growers by buying their product. Buying locally can also mean getting the freshest fruits and vegetables. According to produce executive Matt Seeley, however, the “local” label may not always be clear about how local the produce is:

“One retailer might define it as products from their state, another might include bordering states as well, and a third, 300 miles from a distribution center. Still others might says anything we can get to our stores within 24 hours of harvest.”

The popular grocery chain Whole Foods will call anything within state lines local. So if you see a sticker that says “local,” it may not be as nearby as you’d prefer. If you want to know where it came from, don’t hesitate to ask whoever is in charge of produce. Or, if you’re determined to support local farmers, check out the nearest farmer’s market. You’ll get great produce for great prices.

“Seasonal”

Fruits and vegetables are definitely seasonal items, but the term “seasonal” may not mean that it’s in season where you are. Kathy Means, vice president of industry relations for the Produce Marketing Association, notes that something can be labeled as “seasonal” as long as the produce in question is in season where it came from. If you like to support local producers, you might assume that any produce labeled “seasonal” is coming from somewhere nearby and was somewhat recently harvested, but that’s not always the case.

For example, your supermarket might say that a particular kind of grape is in season, but they’re really coming from Chile. This doesn’t automatically mean those grapes are worse, but the way the “seasonal” label is being used is a little disingenuous, and it can rob you of knowing you’re supporting local growers. Also, early harvesting, different methods of transport storage, and long transit times can lead to less than stellar quality when compared to produce grown nearby. You might be able to get strawberries all year round, but they probably won’t always be as tasty.

If you want to know what’s truly seasonal in your area, pay attention to the pricing of produce throughout the year to spot trends. Over time you’ll get a feel for what produce should be purchased when. You can also use an informational site like Eat the Seasons to help you identify what’s in season and where it’s grown. Lastly, don’t hesitate to check out local farmers markets. If the produce in question isn’t it season, you probably won’t see it for sale there.

“Fresh”

The term “fresh” just sounds good, doesn’t it? It makes it seem like the fruit or vegetable has just been picked and placed in the store for sale. According to the FDA, however, the term simply means that the product in question hasn’t been processed and is in its raw state without having been frozen. It also means that the produce hasn’t been subjected to any other form of preservation…except:

  • Approved waxes and coatings
  • Approved post-harvest pesticides
  • Mild chlorine or acid wash
  • Small amounts of ionizing radiation

These methods are all designed to help keep the food safe during transport from grower to seller, but it definitely takes some wind out of the “fresh” sails. And it definitely has nothing to do with whether the produce is organic or not. This term can be applied to beef and poultry as well, and all it means is the meat hasn’t been cooled below 26 degrees Fahrenheit. So meat that was previously frozen can still get the “fresh” label. They may not jack up the prices too bad with this type of label, but they will try to grab you with an eye-catching display, possibly leading you to buy some “fresh” produce you didn’t have on your list.

Bread and Grains

“Artisan”

This term has become a buzzword to make products appear to be of higher quality than “normal” food. It’s similar to other now-meaningless terms like “gourmet,” and get’s attached to bread and baked goods to make them seem like they were personally baked by master bakers in their private kitchens. There are actually artisan goods out there that are getting thrown under the marketing bus, though. To make sure you’re actually getting artisan quality for artisan prices, marketing research firm The Hartman Group suggests you ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Does a real person craft this product with care?
  2. Is it made by hand, in small batches or limited quantities using specialty ingredients?
  3. Does it reflect expertise, tradition, passion, a process?

If you can’t answer yes to any of those questions, you are being bamboozled and the product is not worth the inflated prices.

“Multigrain”

Logically, it seems like “multigrain” would be better than anything else out there. The word says it all: there are multiple grains, and that must mean that it’s better. While it does mean that more than one grain was used in the making of the product, it doesn’t always mean it’s worth buying.

If you’re trying to be as healthy as you can with your bread, you’re actually better off with “100% Whole Grain” products. It has more fiber and more vitamins and minerals than multigrain breads. Of course, whole grain breads can also have more sugar, so be sure to check the ingredients label before you buy. If you’re just trying to save money, at least look for “whole wheat” breads, not just “wheat” breads (which is just a different way to say refined white flour). This chart from the Whole Grains Council can help further explain what you’re getting with which labels.

Illustration by Jim Cooke.

This Interactive Guide Tells You the Right Beef Cuts for Any Meal

This Interactive Guide Tells You the Right Beef Cuts for Any Meal

There are so many different cuts of beef you can order at the butcher counter that choosing the proper one based on how you’re cooking it can be confusing. This "interactive butcher counter" will help.

Choose your goal (e.g., an economical cut, a restaurant-quality cut, a lean cut, bbq-worthy cut, unique/new cut, etc.) and your cooking method to see the recommended cuts. You can also see more details about each—nutritional information, recipes, and recommended cooking methods.

The information comes from the beef industry, specifically the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. So they obviously want you to buy more beef, but they also know beef. For further beef cuts education, take a look at this infographic or steak video.

The Interactive Butcher Counter | Beef It’s What’s for Dinner