The Art of the Burger

EdditMerlotPeppadew_BC-1

Burger by Eddie Merlot’s

With the grilling and summer seasons now in high gear, burgers are all but a mandatory requirement for outdoor barbecuing. So what are some of the best ways to avoid patty pitfalls? Here are our top five suggestions for perfecting your next grill:

I. Begin With Raw Quality

Start out with the right type of ground beef. There are burgers made from beef trimmings and burgers made from whole muscle cuts – the significant differences being in price, taste and quality.   

Burgers Made from Trim  

Most burgers you see in supermarkets and fast food restaurant chains are made from beef trimmings ground up with added fat. These are the cheapest burgers you can buy because they’re made from by-products.

Typical examples of by-products include: Rose Meat – the muscle just under the animal’s skin that it shakes to swat away flies; Baader Material – the last traces of skeletal muscle meat and sinew that are scraped from animal bones with a Baade groundbeefafter the primal cuts have been carved off manually and Whizard Trim – extracted from the neck bones and much of the leftover trimmings and fat of a beef carcass. 

These types of burger are usually marketed with some kind of lean/fat ratio like, “75/25” or “80/20” (lots of dairy cows end up as this type of ground beef after their milking days are over).  Ground beef and burgers made from grinding beef trimmings and fat together are fine but lack the rich depth of flavor and consistency that burgers made from ground whole muscle cuts deliver.  

Burgers Made from Whole Muscle Cuts

“Premium” or “Gourmet” burgers are made from grinding whole muscle cuts. Ground chuck is one of the most popular varieties seen on the market today. Whole beef chucks are ground without adding fat or beef trimmings which produces a rich beefy tasting burger.

BuedelBSC_BURGER_FLYER_v1Whole muscle cuts take burger art to the next level in a variety of ways. For example, at Buedel Fine Meats, we produce burgers from whole muscle cuts of USDA Prime Angus beef, USDA Choice Angus beef, a blend of both Prime and Choice Angus beef, and blends of whole muscle Brisket/Short Rib/Chuck. This unique combination brings together the buttery flavor of the brisket with the richness of the short rib and the traditional beefy flavor of the chuck producing a juicy burger that bursts with layers of decadent flavor.

II. Find Your Grind: Fine, Medium or Coarse

The “bite” of the burger or “mouth feel” are terms that professional chefs and restaurateurs use when taste testing burgers. In addition to the type of meat used, the texture of the grind is extremely important. You can choose between fine, medium and coarse ground beef for adjusting the bite of the burger.

Fine grinds give a smoother mouth feel and bite because the beef grind is smaller and most of the natural sinew or gristle is undetectable. Coarse grinds have a rougher chunkier type of bite and mouth feel because the beef grind is larger and has more natural sinew. Medium grinds, as you would expect, are right in the middle having a rougher type of bite with less of the chunkiness you get with coarse grinds.

Buedel recommends fine grinds, which are used by most of the hottest burger places; fine grinds provide a great eating experience for customers. Finer grinds are the best choice for backyard barbecuing because they tend to cook more evenly; they are also the best choice for homemade meatballs and meatloaf. Fine grinds are the most popular and versatile grind.

III. Choose Between Hand Made and Formed Patties

Portion PattyBurgers can be formed by hand or by a patty machine. There are benefits to both methods.Burgers formed by hand from bulk ground beef can easily be formed to any desired size. They can be loose packed or tightly packed depending upon your tastes. Hand formed burgers are great for back yard grilling because they’re easy to make and guests can pick the size they like. 

Large volume burger operators, such as restaurants and caterers, use formed patties to provide uniform portions, ensure maximum cost control and save the labor of hand prepared patties. Formed patties also come in numerous sizes, shapes and thicknesses. Buedel offers Burger Balls, which are portion controlled ground beef balls that can be hand smashed to give the appearance of a hand formed burger with all the benefits of portion control.

IV. Cook to Perfection

Cooking is by far the most important part of burger art. Burgers can be baked, fried, grilled or broiled. We polled the Buedel staff for some of their tried and true burger tips and suggestions:

ScottyBrewhouseshewmanspecial

Scotty’s “Shewman” Special

When grilling burgers, I make an indentation in the middle of the burger before grilling to stop the burger from puffing up, so they grill more evenly. For toppings, I like to borrow from the best seller at Scotty’s Brewhouse, bacon, peanut butter, jalapeño and cheddar burger. Sounds strange, but it is amazingly delicious!          Scott Dowden  (20 year meat professional)

I have found when grilling beef, (especially burgers), turning the meat only once is the most important tip. I stay away from pepper as a seasoning because pepper tends to leave a “burnt” like finish and texture to the meat. I only use kosher salt on the beef after I turn it, lightly sprinkling the salt on top of the cooked side. Peter Heflin (aka “Pete the Butcher”)

6-8 ounce whole muscle chuck makes the perfect hearty backyard burger. Season with salt, pepper and a hint of granulated garlic, or use a dry rub for a spicier flavor. Always keep burgers refrigerated until ready to grill and always cook them on high heat. Never EVER “squeeze” them down when cooking or you will lose the precious juices – that’s where much of the flavor hides!  Russ Kramer  (Buedel Corporate Chef)

Don’t over handle the meat. Season well, but refrain from adding onions, mushrooms or breadcrumbs into the mixture (because that makes it more like meat loaf). Make the patties uniform in size and weight and don’t salt the meat until they are on the grill.  James Melnychuk  (Chef Sales Rep)

For maximum food safety, the USDA recommends cooking to 160 degrees for all ground meat.  Use a meat thermometer and probe the center of the burger for a temperature reading. If you are making cheeseburgers, put the cheese on at the very end of cooking and close the lid just long enough to melt the cheese. Remove the burgers from the grill and let them stand 3-5 minutes before serving – use that time to toast your hamburger buns on the grill. Tim Vlcek (Principal & Executive V.P. of Production & Food Safety)

V. Explore Creative Toppings

According to Burger Trends, consumers still favorite traditional burger toppers such as, tomato, onions, lettuce and pickles, but “interest in non-traditional flavors are growing”.

This year, crunchy, smoky and spicy are big in/on burgers – that and even fried eggs. Unique flavor combinations and cuisines such as, Greek infused burgers with cucumber sauce, goat cheese and spinach, example current flavor trends. There is no limit to the varieties of seasonings and toppings being used today.

Develop the art of your burger with quality raw meats, best grinds and forms. Cook with care and serve with your own twist on unique and traditional spices, condiments and toppings. Visit our gourmet burger page for more information. Enjoy!

__________________________________________________________________________

From the desk of John Cecala Twitter @BuedelFineMeats  Facebook BuedelFanPage 

 

PDF Download    Send article as PDF   

Chef John Reed: What are the Culinary Olympics and Why Should You Care?

windycitychefs_june2013_Page_01Chef John Reed, CEC, CCA, ACE, is a business owner and the current president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) local chapter, Windy City Professional Culinarians in Chicago. The ACF is a professional organization for North American culinarians dedicated to education, networking and industry news.

Reed started his business, Customized Culinary Solutions (CCS), five years ago in response to a gap he saw in the marketplace when companies needed the skill set of professional chefs but could not afford them full time. CCS works with off premise caterers, hospitality management and corporate dining and helps companies set up IT catering and recipe software. Chef Reed also works with large companies as a front man for client demonstrations.

As if running a business and chairing the local ACF doesn’t keep him busy enough, Chef Reed is also in training to be part of a prestigious international competition he passionately says is, “the contest that everyone wants to be in.”

The Culinary Olympics

The International Culinary Exhibition – aka Culinary Olympics – is sanctioned by the World Association of Culinary Societies (WACS), of which the ACF is a part of. (wacsThe national ACF president is also on the WACS board of directors.) WACS is the global authority for the culinary profession. Created by a Germanic chef’s organization in the 1950’s, more than 1,500 chefs representing 54 countries participated in the global competition which took place in Erfurt, Germany last October.

“The U.S. does okay,” says Reed. “Last year, the ACF Culinary Teams (national, military, regional and youth) finished in the top 10 with two gold and five silver medals.” Chef Reed’s regional team won a silver medal in “cold-food display”, missing the gold by just one point.

Reed says the ACF didn’t originally think they could fund the competition “as an organization” because there was no “ROI” on it. “In 2009, we decided to do it and see what happens – but we had to fund it ourselves. The team went out and fundraised to do it. Prior to that, the regional team paid their Denver Cold Food Tryouts 029way – it was a huge commitment. Today we have a little money in the bank and more people are interested in helping us now.”

How do the other teams do it?

“The teams on the podium,” says Reed, “are well funded and recognized by their nations – they look at this differently than we do. Some of these guys, that’s all they do full time, compete on a team. Sweden swept every category at the last competition. Their resources, efficiency and what they put out…they had a team behind the team; they are full time. If you tell someone about this, people here say, ‘What? Are you going to cook for the athletes?’ This is why we need to get the word out!”

The ACF is about to publish a video documentary to help promote awareness for the Culinary Olympics. “Iron Chef and all those shows – they make it good television,” attests Chef Reed, “our documentary will highlight what we go through. You can get a glimpse of it on a YouTube trailer called, The Unknown Olympians, right now.”

Team USA

Currently preparing for the second round of “cold display” tryouts for the 2016 team, Reed says going through the process is a tremendous sacrifice because the U.S. team does this all outside of their jobs and businesses. “It’s a choice I make, but I’m lucky I have my own business and work out of my home – it helps.”

Denver Cold Food Tryouts 291Chef Reed says the teams that are very successful are really grounded in terms of real food; its foundation and its core. “It has to be solid cooking, things have to make sense. Professionally, people see what we do as unrealistic. In the cold category, [for example], we prepare all this food, put it on a table and the judges don’t taste it – they have to see flavor. They look at it, they weigh stuff, they may even cut into it – they may not speak English either.”

More than 30 countries competed in the “hot food” category over 4 nights last fall. Each team had 6 ½ hours to prepare a three course meal for 110 diners in a setting which fully encompassed, “restaurant service”, according to Reed. “There are 6-8 teams that go off each day. Diners have to get reservations if they want to be at the competition tables inside the convention center. There are hired waiters working the floor who put the [order] tickets in… that whole process, including how you manage the servers, is evaluated.”

Denver Cold Food Tryouts 292When Reed last competed in the hot category (in 2009) he had to make 10 plates of fish and meat. His team had only 3 ½ hours to do it which included butchering the meat, working from scratch with fresh vegetables and so on. Chef Reed says the food has to look like it’s hot and that it’s something someone would want to eat. “The judges look at the food and decide if it makes sense. When you forget about these things, it can bite you in the butt sometimes – you may not do things at that certain level. I had one dish, which went through 11 or 12 evolutions before it got to the table.”

Being on the ACF U.S. Culinary Olympic team is like being on an “all star” team according to Reed. “Very few people can compete at this level – you’re setting a precedent, and you’re repping the U.S.”

Can young chefs participate?

People on the team are usually veterans. When you practice, you have an apprentice. Apprentices are “invited” and can earn their way to Germany. [The Culinary Olympics are always held in Germany.] “We had five apprentices come with us last time – the competition helps them professionally and personally.”

Chef Reed says his goal as President of the local ACF is to bring new interest into the competition because it changes how people go about their work and helps them grow. “For me, I appreciate being able to say, ‘I’m on Team USA, and we won a medal!’ Ultimately, I can grow with this in my business.”

Buedel Fine Meats is a proud supply supporter for Chef Reed. If you’d like to lend a hand with the Olympic efforts, contact Chef Reed by phone at: 847-287-3604. Check these links for more information about the Culinary Olympics and the ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians.

__________________________________________________________________________

From the desk of John Cecala Twitter @BuedelFineMeats Facebook BuedelFanPage

Free PDF    Send article as PDF   

Meat Picks | 6.13.13

CigarBQue

cigarsThere are still some tickets left for the 2nd annual CigarBQue slated for Friday, June 21st.

CigarBQue raises funds on behalf of the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation who helps impoverished communities where cigars are produced. Created by Executive Chefs (and friends), Rick Gresh,(Primehouse), Giuseppe Tentori, (Boca) and Cleetus Friedman, (Fountainhead), Gresh says they came  up    with the idea to do an event when they couldn’t logofind a good place to “get together to eat, drink and have cigars”. The trio hopes to expand their charitable concept to other cities in the future. See our full interview with Chef Gresh here.

Burger of the Month

PetetheButcherBurgerChicago’s prestigious Saloon Steakhouse honored Buedel Master Butcher, Peter Heflin, this month by creating the Pete the Butcher burger for their monthly promotion. The half pound prime grade burger, which comes topped with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, horseradish and smoked kielbasa, has patrons smacking their lips in total Saloon-style satiable satisfaction. “I am not worthy to be a part of the exploding Chicago burger movement in such an exquisite setting as Saloon Steakhouse,” Heflin reflected. “Thank you, Chef Boris!”

What is Local?

In preparing for the NRA Show last month, we put together some new cheat sheets for defining and buying “local”. Beyond distance, local is really more about: healthier eating, fresher foods, family farmers, environment, humane animal treatment and sustainable agriculture.BuedelLocalLogoTM

Our team also developed a logo to show local support. Please feel free to share and use!

New Addition

LWoodsChineseTakeOut2L. Woods Tap & Pine Lodge in Lincolnwood came up with a great idea – adding Chinese take out to their carryout business. Offering appetizers, fried rice and standard entrees such as Mongolian Beef and Kung Pao Chicken, L. Woods definitely delivers the best of everyone’s world. You can of course order online too.

Dads’ Day Out

Did you know that Father’s Day is the third biggest dining out hFathersDauoliday after Mother’s Day and Valentines Day? According to the National Restaurant Association, it is estimated that 50 million Americans will take dad out for a meal this Sunday. Going to “Dad’s favorite” is the leading factor in deciding restaurant choice.

Happy Father’s Day!

__________________________________________________________________________

From the desk of John Cecala  Twitter@BuedelFineMeats Facebook BuedelFanPage

PDF Creator    Send article as PDF   

Chef Rick Gresh Wears Busy Well

DSC_2070Chef, author, video host, charitable philanthropist, local and organic advocate, Rick Gresh, wears busy well. In addition to his position as Executive Chef at David Burke’s Primehouse in the James Hotel, he is working on several new venues there and gearing up for the “second annual” CigarBQue, a charity event he started last year. Gresh sat down with Buedel’s Corporate Chef, Russ Kramer, to talk about that, the restaurant biz and more.

Working Prime

Chef Gresh works in a dual capacity, with renowned Chef David Burke and for the James Hotel where Burke’s restaurant(s) operate. The door to his kitchen office is covered with a blackboard panel prominently chalked up from top to bottom with replacement prices for restaurant settings and supplies. Gresh is fiscally and creatively ingratiated at all times.

steakshotNow in its seventh year of operation, Primehouse is a poster child for the new American steakhouse. Chef Gresh attributes this to numerous factors. “Both David and I have fine dining backgrounds, when you apply that kind of background to a steakhouse, you have a chef driven operation. We pay homage to the past, look for new renditions of the traditional and also try to be whimsical.”

Gresh says replacing tired items like simple creamed spinach with alternatives such as spinach gnocchi made with 100% cream sauce, is the type of ‘new rendition’ their patrons find highly appealing. “We’ve never had a plain baked potato on the menu.”

One of his most ‘whimsical’ efforts was the “Junkie Potato” – a bacon wrapped baked potato served with syringes of toppings patrons could shoot into the spud at will. Though well received, the sidecar was eventually pulled from the menu when a patron took [extreme personal] issue with the use of syringes. “We probably shouldn’t have called it, ‘the junkie’.”

DSC_2039EThe cornerstone of notoriety for Primehouse is heavily attributable to their innovative and dedicated use of USDA Prime Grade, Hand-selected beef. Dishes such as their award-winning 55-Day Aged Rib Eye consistently draw acclaim to culinary artistry and consistency – two qualities synonymous to the Primehouse name. Gresh attributes their ability to produce superior marbleized beef to the dry-aging of high quality cuts from producers such as, Creekstone Farms, in their own Himalayan salt-tiled aging room.

“Our ‘salt cave’ hinders bacteria andDSC_2033 helps seasoning – David actually has a [U.S.] patent on the process. When we first started using salt blocks, we wanted to help customers make the connection to the process. We originally brought patrons down [to the basement level] to see the aging room. Ultimately, the stairs, small quarters and a slippery floor proved potentially disastrous to dress clothes, and high heels, so we had to come up with an alternate approach – that’s when we started playing around with the possibility of cooking with the salt blocks – this is how we came about using them for [hot and cold] tableside service.”

Prime Expansion

Construction is trending a935618_459642987460835_1136205992_nt Primehouse. Having just enlarged the front of the house bar from 9 seats to 27, (with small bite menu in tow), two other venues are currently being added under the same roof this summer.

The David Burke Bacon Bar is a “counter feel” casual restaurant where Gresh promises a variety of unique and creative fare from “Chilly Willy” (their version of a lobster roll) to “Handwiches” – not the size of a regular burger but bigger than a Slider. They’ll even offer a Spam sandwich, called the “Big Kahuna”, which Gresh likens to bacon because, “All Spam is, is really bacon.”

An intimate and ultra exclusive high end cocktail bar called, Jimmy, is also scheduled to open later this summer. Inspired by a NY establishment, only those “in the know” will be able to find Jimmy because its entrance doors will be unmarked. (Hint: Look for an unexplainable door inside the Bacon Bar.)

CigarBQue

cigarbquegrill.jpg3 Chefs, 1 Charity and a lot of fun could be the tagline for the barbeque brainchild of Gresh and chef pals, Giuseppe Tentori, (Boca) and Cleetus Friedman, (Fountainhead). Gresh says the idea was born from the desire of just a “group of chefs who wanted to get together to eat, drink and have cigars”. Citing “BYOB just isn’t the same”, he says they decided to create an event.

The trio literally picked their charity by “Googling ‘cigar charities’”, and found the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation dedicated to making positive change in the impoverished communities of the Dominican Republic where some of the world’s best cigars are made.

cigarbquechefs“The event took a long time to get off the ground,” the Chef explains because, “permits are always a hassle, even to smoke outside. We wanted to find a nice venue where we could hold an intimate party – we didn’t want it to be a ‘smoke-out’ either – there’s a big difference between prepping for 200 and 700.”

Looking toward the future, Gresh says, “We all travel a lot and meet so many chefs, we’d like to get CigarBQues going in other cities across the country – but that will take a lot more time – it’s just the 3 of us right now planning 100% of the event.”

Other Irons in the Fire

therisegreshAccustomed to doing guest cooking segments on TV, Chef Gresh has also played the role of interview host for Chef City, an online video venue where he covered restaurants and food events. He is also one of the co-authors of The Rise, by bestselling motivational author, Greg Reid. Gresh says he’s definitely “not a self-help guy” but had reached out to the author after reading his 3 Feet from Gold book. Months later, Reid approached Gresh to participate in his collaborative book project.

“It’s always interesting to see how people look at life. In the restaurant business, it’s really easy to be negative – you can always do better, etc. Greg’s a very positive guy and I started randomly sharing quotes of his with my staff; everyone truly appreciated it.”

Billed as a compilation of, “simple re-discovery and finding answers to the hard questions sitting in the back of our minds”, Gresh’s chapter in the book is called, Play Up the Limitations. “I wanted to talk about what happens when we miss getting there [reaching a goal] because we’re stuck – it’s so important to be able to take those challenges and work with them.”

Gresh plans on owning his own restaurant at some point and says if he wasn’t a chef he’d be restoring old cars and motorcycles or woodworking because he loves working with his hands – but doubts that would ever happen. “This is the greatest business in the world. I get to wake up and think about food every day…live through my palette…and I get to wear flip flops and PJs to work!”

Interview photos by Jorge Took Your Picture.com

__________________________________________________________________________

From the desk of John Cecala Twitter @BuedelFineMeats Facebook BuedelFanPage

Create PDF    Send article as PDF   

Antibiotics & Pork Production

antibiotics-for-agricultureLast week news broke on China’s pending acquisition of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer. The United States pork industry harvests slightly over 100 million pigs annually, about 59 pounds per capita in pork consumption. Smithfield produces about 26 million pigs per year, over 20% of the U.S. total harvest. China’s pork industry consumes over 700 million pigs annually, about 80 pounds per capita in pork consumption.

More than 700,000 tons of pork are imported to China per year to keep up with its growing demand. The billion+ Chinese population has an insatiable appetite for pork, so much so it was announced last week that a meat company in China is willing to pay $4.7 billion for Smithfield Foods. Though Smithfield already exports to China, the acquirer will likely increase pork production volumes to help secure the food supply.

Antibiotics manufacturers may be the most happy about the acquisition because 80% of the antibiotics manufactured are used on livestock and China uses four times the amount of veterinary antibiotics than the United States.   

The Evolution of Antibiotics in Production

The discovery of antibiotics by Sir Alexander Fleming in the late 1920’s transformed medicine and changed the world in remarkable ways. Fleming’s discovery ultimately became Penicillin, the antibiotic that saved lives by curing bacterial infections. It was mass produced during World War II for therapeutic use to treat our troops and became known as “The Wonder Drug” in medicine. Medical scientists continued research, and the 1940’s discovered other naturally occurring antibiotics such as Tetracycline could be used therapeutically to cure infection.

In the late 1940’s, the poultry industry discovered that feeding the fermentation byproducts of Tetracycline antibiotics to chickens improved their growth – thus began the “sub therapeutic” use of antibiotics: purposely adding low levels of antibiotics as growth promoters to increase yield. 

The U.S. post World War II economic boom brought about industrial farming. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) were built to mass produce chicken and pork. Smithfield Foods operates Concentrated Animal Fecafoeding Operations (CAFOs) to mass produce pork.

CAFOs house thousands of animals confined in pens where they are mass fed to fatten them up as quickly as possible. Pigs are crammed into giant buildings in stalls so small they can’t turn around. Unable to express their natural behavior in these stalls, their muscles become weak. Pigs’ immune systems in these overpopulated environments are so weakened that disease and infection spread rapidly amongst them.

The sub therapeutic use of antibiotics in CAFOs serves a dual purpose: Accelerating animal growth and staving off the increased propensity for disease and infection. This type of antibiotic administration in low doses also facilitates the rapid evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Some bacteria develop mutations that make them immune to the same drugs meant to kill them.  

An example of this type of mutation is MRSA ST398, a potentially deadly form of MRSA that has jumped from farm animals to humans. This strain has developed resistance to modern drugs while living in farm animals reared with antibiotics.  It has now leapt back from the farm animals to people and is resistant to common antibiotic drugs used to treat MRSA. 

This strain, sometimes called pig MRSA, has been detected in 47% of the meat samples in the U.S. across pigs, turkeys, cattle, and other livestock. A study published in 2011 by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGRI) showed that MRSA was finding its way into our meats. Researchers analyzed 136 samples of beef, poultry and pork from 36 supermarkets in California, Illinois, Florida, Arizona and Washington, D.C. Nearly one-quarter of the samples tested positive for MRSA. TGRI’s Dr. Paul Keim cautions, “It is our inappropriate use of antibiotics that is now coming back to haunt us.”

The overuse of sub therapeutic antibiotics also causes concern for drug residues that leach into our food supply. These residues can cause an allergic reaction and promote resistant strains of bacteria in our bodies. 

Antibiotic Manufacturers

Drug companies continually work to develop new antibiotics to kill new strains of bacteria such as pig MRSA that become immune to the previous antibiotic meant to kill them. That means big money for the drug manufacturers when a new drug is developed and approved for sale. It is also important to note there are no legal limitations in place policing the amount of antibiotics given to animals.  Eli Lilly’s Elanco Animal Health unit is one of the leading producers of medicated feed additives and represented nearly one-tenth of the company’s $22.6 billion in revenues in 2012.

China’s acquisition of Smithfield Foods may bring even more substantial money for drug companies. The Smithfield acquisition portends to increase their pork production, and that means more CAFOs to produce more pigs. More CAFOs means more pigs and more antibiotic purchase orders. This stands to reason why the drug companies may be the most happy about China’s acquisition of Smithfield Foods.

Antibiotic Free Pork

Buyers who want to avoid pork raised with antibiotics need to gain a clear understanding of label jargon and USDA guidelines. One term that often causes confusion is the word “Natural”. The USDA’s definition of Natural is:

A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed”).

The USDA approved use of Natural on the label does not speak to the exclusion of administered antibiotics. An example of this can be found on the label of Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork: Product of the USA; No added steroids or hormones; No artificial ingredients or preservatives; USDA Process Verified.

Smithfield’s claims for its All Natural Fresh Pork is void of key claims such as “raised without antibiotics”, or “never administered antibiotics”, but does include “no artificial ingredients” as required by the USDA guidelines. It is also important to note that “hormones” by law, are not allowed in raising hogs or poultry! Producers will often add such jargon to make their products appear better wherever possible.

For those interested in a finely defined natural product that is, in fact, free of antibiotics there are stricter label definitions. Highly defined all Natural meats usually come with one or more of the following package statements: Never Administered Antibiotics; Raised Without Antibiotics, and when applicable, Raised Without Added Hormones. Products with these highly defined claims on their labels confirm that the animals were never administered antibiotics or growth hormones to accelerate weight gain and speed to market during their lifetime.

Look for companies like Niman Ranch who prohibit the use of antibiotics and CAFOs in their hog raising protocols, which they make common public knowledge. For more resources, check our complete line of antibiotic free meats.

Sources used:

http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Antibiotic_Use_for_Farm_Animals

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-antibiotics-residue-20130526,0,4432412.story

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0530-china-food-20130530,0,7044429.story

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/02/11/chinas-overuse-of-antibiotics-in-livestock-may-threaten-human-health

http://books.google.com/books?id=OIwNri9k3vgC&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=tetracycline+fermentation+byproducts&source=bl&ots=FEsPKhSkLk&sig=zXKmP7o19r7__4-Y_Q6571zLFXk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9QuqUfGGLqi7ywHw74HoAQ&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=tetracycline%20fermentation%20byproducts&f=false

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/02/11/chinas-overuse-of-antibiotics-in-livestock-may-threaten-human-health

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/drug-proof-pig-mrsa-makes-leap-736987

http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2003-3/2003-3-01.pdf

__________________________________________________________________________

From the desk of John Cecala Twitter @ Buedel Fine MeatsFacebook  Buedel Fan Page 

PDF Printer    Send article as PDF