Retail outlets and restaurants are doing their best to promote their particular beef product. We've looked at quite a bit of print promotion and find that most emphasize their aging process, the value of fat (marbling) and the quality according to the Canadian grading system.
The information used is accurate for advertising purposes. The aging process does occur before the beef reaches the meat counter and aging does breakdown and tenderize muscle fiber. The rule of thumb is that meat should be aged about 14 days. You may have noticed that some establishments age their beef for 28 days to ensure tender, succulent beef. This sounds like good consumer oriented business practice, and it is. These businesses have no idea who raised the beef, how it was fed or where it originated. To be on the safe side, they've gone with extra aging for this reason alone. This is the only way to handle the inconsistency in the quality.
"In boxed beef, the cuts are sized the same and come from the same grade of carcass, but are not always from the same carcass."
The extra aging helps to deal with these inconsistencies but it also adds cost to the product.
We've also seen fat promoted as giving the meat it's delicious savory flavor. The flavor in beef is actually attributed to the feed and management practices of the producer. In a feedlot situation, the animals are implanted with growth hormones at regular intervals. This accelerates growth rate and allows the feedlot operator to move more animals through the system at a faster rate on a feeding program that uses pelleted (cooked/processed) rations that contain antibiotics as a preventative for sickness. The flavor of the meat, not just the fat and marbling, is influenced by the growth rate and feed rations. The exterior fat cover and extra marbling does produce a "self-basting" effect which will help with the tenderizing process that meat requires.
The reasoning behind promoting fat also goes back to the 28 day aging plan. If you age the carcass for 28 days, you will want carcasses with a lot of fat cover to keep the drying and hardening of the outside of the carcass from affecting the meat. The longer a carcass is aged, the more waste will need to be trimmed, this again adding to the cost. Animals that need that much fat cover require a longer feeding period, also adding to the cost.
The most common promotion is the grade of their beef product according to the Canadian Grading System.
"What is the difference between Canada Prime and Canada A, AA, and AAA?"
The difference between these grades is the amount of marbling only. All animals in these categories are "youthful". Canada Prime specifies marbling as slightly abundant, A as a trace, AA as slight, AAA as small. The Canadian beef carcass grading system utilizes these four levels of marbling.
Another aspect of the grading system usually not mentioned, is the yield grades which predict the amount of lean meat. This is useful when purchasing beef by the whole, half or quarter. Canada 1 means the carcass will have 59% or more lean meat, Canada 2, 54 to 58%, Canada 3, 53% or less. Canada 1 carcasses will contain 59% or more actual meat, the percentage of fat, bone and other waste will be less than the other grades.
The animal characteristics used in the grading process influence the quality. The age of an animal affects tenderness. Meat yield is influenced by the degree of muscling, more muscle, less fat, therefore better meat yield. The retail industry relies completely on the grading system as the marker for the product they purchase. The quantity is there but consistent quality is an issue. To help with this problem, "branded beef" has been introduced with some success, at least giving retail and restaurants a "name" they can promote as being superior to the "no name" beef products. Beef products are branded according to breed and/or grade but this just hasn't gone far enough, it's still a "mystery" as to where it comes from, the producer, feeding practices or feedlot management that produced the beef.
When purchasing product from one beef producer, you have the advantage of dealing with only one breeding and feeding program, you should be assured of consistency in the product. In the case of certified organic beef, you have the knowledge that all of the feed is also organically produced.
A consistent product that the consumer has faith in is only one aspect of consumer satisfaction. Eating pleasure is still the #1 requirement for consumers no matter where the beef comes from. At Triple C, we strive to provide a complete package, organic beef from one producer that's tender, tasty and juicy. We aim for a leaner quality product that has just enough fat and marbling to satisfy those with a preference.
The Slice Shear Force Test is used to determine tenderness. Shear force is the force that teeth need to cut meat. In over 30 years of testing, research has identified six top breeds that produce the most tender meat. Three of the six are dairy breeds and one of the remaining three is the Blonde d'Aquitaine breed, the predominant breed used to produce Triple C Beef.
To see the cuts that come from each of the seven primal sections on a carcass, click on that section.
As you can see, a carcass is not all steaks, in fact, the prime cuts that are in the highest demand make up only 28% of each carcass and are located on the loin, sirloin and rib sections. In Canada, at present, it is difficult to find a market for the other surplus cuts because these are the parts that have been typically sold to export customers. With 75% of sales during the summer months coming from only 28% of the carcass, the price of a good quality steak is usually very high. The surplus cuts that are not as popular are priced considerably lower to promote sales and reduce the oversupply.
Recommended Cooking Method
T-Bone Steaks - cut down into
Sirloin Steak - cuts down into
Recommended Cooking Method
Premium Grilling Steak - Top Sirloin, Tenderloin
Blade - roast or steak
Recommended Cooking Method
Oven Roast or Pot Roast - Blade, Chuck, Cross Rib
Recommended Cooking Method
Pot Roast - Brisket (traditionally used for Corned Beef)
Prime Rib - roast or steak
Recommended Cooking Method
Premium Oven Roast - Prime Rib
The lower cost ground beef available in retail outlets is processed from older bulls and cows (culls) that are past their prime for breeding stock. Canada currently has a surplus of older animals because of the market restrictions. The meat from these animals is not as tender and is best suited for grinding or other processed products such as bologna. These are healthy animals that don't carry as much fat cover because they are working stock and are not fed the same rations as feeder animals. The different types of ground beef available from these animals are produced by adding "trim" (fat from other carcasses) to produce "regular" ground beef; adding smaller amounts to produce "lean" ground beef and even less or none to produce "extra lean" ground beef.
Premium ground beef is from the carcasses of youthful animals (young feeders) that have been fed and fattened specifically for the slaughter market. Premium Lean and Premium Extra Lean are typically the highest priced ground beef because they come from higher priced animals.
At Triple C Beef, all of our ground beef is Premium because we only slaughter animals that we have fed for that purpose. No fat is added from any other carcasses to alter the quality. Prairie Rose Meats processes all of our certified organic beef and has perfected an Extra Lean ground beef that has just enough fat for cooking, resulting in minimal shrinkage.
We package our ground beef the old fashioned way, in heavy brown freezer wrap, because it will keep frozen for at least 6 months with no freezer damage. Thin plastic tube wrap is fine for short term storage, but our customers prefer to take advantage of bulk discounts, so we protect their investment with the best wrap possible.
All of our beef is de-boned unless special ordered with the bone in. Steaks for retail sales are cryovac packaged. We offer the following types:
Roasts for home use are available in 3 to 5 lb. sizes. We also offer whole Inside, Outside, Sirloin Tip and Eye of Round. The larger size roasts are popular for catered events, buffets and special occasions. Because of the finer texture and leaness of Blonde beef, cooking times are reduced. We recommend using a thermometer when cooking roasts, whether in the oven or on the barbeque. For an accurate reading, insure the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat and does not touch the pan. Meat is well done when the temperature reaches 170 F; medium at 160 F; rare at 140 F.
The health of breeding and slaughter herds must be maintained through management-based methods, including pasture rotation and disinfection of livestock facilities and equipment with products included on the Permitted Materials List.Prairie Rose Meats, Certified Organic Processor
Prairie Rose Meats at Souris, Manitoba is a provincially inspected abattoir, one of about 27 in the province. Marc Bellon is the owner operator. He is a native of Switzerland where he learned his trade. Organic production in Switzerland, as in other parts of Europe, is more the norm than the exception. Marc has completed the process required to become a certified organic processor.
Marc operates his abattoir under provincial regulations while providing organic handling and processing in accordance with the requirements of the Organic Producers Association of Manitoba Standards. Organic integrity is maintained by insuring that approved organic products are used for plant and equipment clean up prior to an organic slaughter. Organic animals are the first slaughter animals into the plant after clean up. Carcasses are segregated from conventional carcasses throughout the system to final packaging with all necessary organic clean up required prior to all steps of handling. A Handling, Storage and Processing Log is filled out to document each step in the process. Organic beef is packaged in government approved food grade materials according to the customer's instruction. Each organic animal has an identification number that translates into a lot number for the final product.
We work with Prairie Rose Meats because Marc and his staff understand the importance of maintaining organic integrity but also because our ranch is not far from the abattoir, about 14 miles. We breed and feed tenderness into our beef but all of our efforts can be reduced if the animals experience too much stress. Stress causes the release of adrenaline into the animals' system which speeds up the heart and tenses up the muscles. A long trailer ride can cause enough stress to affect the tenderness of the meat. We never haul one animal alone and those left at home take turns going for a ride to town and back so they get used to the trailer.
Without beef, we would have a difficult time replacing the 12 essential nutrients we need for a healthy diet. The most important of these are zinc, protein, iron and the B vitamins.
Zinc directs the efficient flow of body processes, the maintenance of the enzyme system and the cells. It is essential for protein synthesis. Zinc governs the contractibility of muscles and helps in the formation of insulin. It is important for blood stability and in maintaining the body's acid-alkaline balance. It also exerts a normalizing effect on the prostrate and is important in the development of all reproductive organs. Zinc accelerates the healing time for internal and external wounds, promotes growth and mental alertness and helps decrease cholesterol deposits. Beef's high zinc content is more accessible for the body than sources from other food groups. Round steak is one of the best natural sources.
Beef is considered a "complete" protein, used by the body to build and repair muscle, organs and bones. A complete protein contains the proper balance of eight necessary amino acids that build tissues and is only found in foods of animal origin.
Iron is essential for life and is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, myoglobin and certain enzymes. Iron is a major dietary deficiency of women. Iron is necessary for the proper metabolism of B vitamins. Iron aids growth, promotes resistance to disease, prevents fatigue, cures and prevents anemia and improves good skin tone. Beef is the richest food source for highly absorbable iron; beef liver, kidney and heart are the best natural sources.
B vitamins regulate the chemical reactions in our body that release energy, promote growth, maintain health, good vision and healthy skin. Vitamin B12 helps to form and regenerate red blood cells, preventing anemia. It also helps maintain the nervous system, relieves irritability and improves concentration, memory and balance. Vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin. Beef, beef liver and kidney are the best natural sources.
Organic Beef maximizes the nutrient rich benefits with "purity". No antibiotics, no animal by-products, no pour-on pesticides and no growth hormones are used to produce Triple C Organic Beef.
Canada's beef production takes place in every province across the country.
There are 90,000+ cattle farms/ranches, 65% are small farms.
Under normal conditions, the cattle industry contributes $31 billion to Canada's economy each year.
Canada produces 3% of the world's beef supply.
Canada is the third largest beef exporter in the world.
Canada's most important beef export markets are the United States, Mexico and Asia.
Less than 1% of Canada's cattle farms/ranches produce certified organic beef.
Cargill Foods own and contract out cattle to feedlots to guarantee their slaughter numbers (4,100 processed per day). They received $8.99 million in BSE aid money.
Lakeside Farm Industries, a feedlot operation owned by Tyson Foods, received $32.9 million, the largest bulk BSE payment in Canada.
Both Cargill & Lakeside Packers defied parliament and refused to open their books for inspection during a price fixing inquiry.
In 2003, 27% of cattle farmers had a family income of $20,000 or less.
The 2.5 billion loss in cattle exports in 2003 translates into a $2 billion loss in GDP, a $5.7 billion decline in total economic output, a $1 billion decline in labour income and a loss of 75,000 jobs.
The estimated impact in the cow-calf sector of the beef industry from lost income and lost equity value totals $6.3 billion.
The largest packing plants operating in Canada are:
Cargill, Lakeside and XL Beef handle 75% of Canada's beef production.
Certified organic beef is not processed in American owned packing plants.
All Triple C Beef is processed to organic standards and is aged 14 days in the cooler before cutting and wrapping. The meat is frozen at the abattoir prior to delivery.
Customers purchase beef by the individual cuts or by the whole, half or quarter. The size of a carcass will differ according to the weight of the animal with the average being around 700 lbs. A carcass half would weigh about 350 lbs; a quarter, about 175 lbs. We sell a quarter as a half of a half which means half of the front cuts and half of the hind cuts. The Blonde d'Aquitaine breed produces a higher yielding carcass, about 5% higher than average cutability. If you have freezer space, it is always more economical to purchase a half or quarter, especially from a higher yielding type of beef carcass.
If you don't have a lot of freezer space, another purchasing option is a Buying Club. People who work in the same office or live in the same area who all share the same requirements and concerns when purchasing beef, have come together to form groups that purchase in bulk, get a better price and share in the savings without having to store more than they can use in a reasonable amount of time. Part of our service is to work with Buying Clubs and large family Share Groups to plan and customize their orders.
Certified Organic by O.P.A.M
Triple C Beef, Box 54, Carroll Manitoba Canada, R0K 0K0 Phone: 1-888-235-2641 toll free Canada/USA
Beef is our specialty, produced right for you!
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