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Raised in the U.S.A.
As a consumer, you should be aware of the signs of a healthy animal protein product. And if you find yourself shopping elsewhere, we have some helpful hints that you can use.
First, it is vital that you at least find a product that is BORN, RAISED, AND PROCESSED IN THE USA. As the law currently stands, meat from countries such as Argentina, Africa, and even China can be simply packaged in the U.S. and be labeled "Product of the U.S." thus, we recommend you specifically look for the words "born" and "raised in the U.S." on the packaging.
Meat from livestock raised in the U.S. is fresher, to say the least. But also consider the living conditions from which cattle in third-world countries could be subject to. The U.S. also has stringent harvest rules and regulations that ensure livestock are handled and treated humanely during shipping, holding, and harvest. Furthermore, we have Federal Inspectors at our harvest facility who look at each carcass to ensure our product is safe and wholesome, every time.
American beef is superior, why do you think we export most of it? Those around the world know the difference. That's why.
Our cattle will have bright red, healthy colored muscle tissue.
As a consumer, you should know that very dark red and dull meat denotes an animal that was unhealthy or stressed; it means that the animal has depleted its energy reserves prior to slaughter and the pH of the muscle structures have increased. This change in the pH could come from mis-handling, illness, old age, and even abuse. Not only is dark red meat unappealing, it also has a shorter shelf-life, tastes differently, and is tougher than typical beef.
When you buy directly from us, you'll be able to rest easy knowing your meat came from animals who were well cared for and healthy. We stock our shelves with the best. We are never, ever going to have a low quality product in our store. We thoroughly vet the other producers that raise some of the meats we carry besides beef. If you purchase something in our shop, rest assured you are purchasing the best.
It's great to have a friend in the meat business, isn't it?
Bright white bones and bright, clean bone marrow can tell you a lot!
Young beef have clean, white bones with no ossification. In fact, young beef will still have cartlidge on the outter edges of their bones. The more pitting and blood you see in the bone and in the bone marrow, the older and more mature the beef animal was. This is one reason some cuts of meat are cut away from the bone. Be wary of meat from animals that are old, or have used up their energy reserves and are at the end of their life- the eating quality is quite low and can be unpleasant.
Our beef cattle are never more than 26 months of age. No old cows with us!
Marbling (intramuscular fat) is small white flecks of fat inside of the whole muscle cuts.
A cut of meat with a lot of small flecks of marbling is an indication of high quality beef genetics, and also a beef that was offered a high quality diet. Marbling is responsible for a tender, juicy, and flavorful eating experience. The marbling also denotes a young animal. Some people don't like to buy beef with excess fat, especially on the outer edge of their cuts. But, don't be afraid of marbling! That's where your great eating experience originates.
In fact, you won't even notice the marbling after cooking, as the fat will have rendered and only the flavor and juice remain. Yum!