Tag: meat

Uruguay retrograde: feedlot beef

As I thought everyone knew, grass-fed beef is superior to feedlot beef in every way. And the wonderful thing in Uruguay is that most cattle are grass-fed. There are some feedlot operations, but from what I gather, they tend to be smaller than their North American counterparts, and duration of cattle poisoning shorter .

Poisoning? Yes. On a feedlot, cows stop eating grass, which their bodies are designed for, and are fed massive quantities of (genetically modified, herbicide resistant) corn, barley, soybeans, and other grains that seriously mess up their digestive systems. They also get loads of antibiotics and growth hormones. They spend the last six months of their lives wandering around in their own excrement, with not a blade of grass in sight. But getting fat, fast, which boosts corporate profits.

Feedlot versus pasture in California
Your preference? Photo source: https://is.gd/1Sla2m

In North America,

“Many are choosing to follow organic practices in their herd management, which are clearly healthier and more humane for the animals. The good news is that meat from those animals is free of antibiotics, steroids, hormones, pesticides, herbicides and other potentially toxic substances. The bad news is that it can take nearly two years to bring those animals to market on grass.

“Studies have shown that an animal’s diet can have an impact on the nutritional content of the meat on the consumer’s table. Grass-fed meat has been shown to contain less fat, more beneficial fatty acids, and more vitamins and to be a good source of a variety of nutrients. According to a study published in the Journal of Animal Science in 2009, eating grass-fed beef provides many benefits to consumers:

  1. Lower in total fat
  2. Higher in beta-carotene
  3. Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
  4. Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
  5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  6. Higher in total omega-3s
  7. A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
  8. Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
  9. Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
  10. Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease”

Source: Grass-Fed vs. Feedlot Beef – What’s the difference?

So what’s this got to do with Uruguay? Profoundly marching in the wrong direction, and proudly advertising the fact. Here’s the current flier from Tienda Inglesa:

Uruguay ads for feedlot beef

Unbelievable? I expect consumers here will swallow this whole, and embrace this “modern” idea as a good thing, just as dousing the entire countryside in glyphosate seems like a perfectly good thing to do.

They’ll figure it out eventually. Or not.

 

“How did an egg get in there?”

Stocking up at the butcher shop for the holidays, we decided to try a pollo relleno (stuffed chicken). We had a choice: salado or dulce (salty or sweet). We chose the former, hearing that the latter had things like pineapples inside it. The guy helping us could have, but didn’t, explain what the salado stuffed shicken contained. Perhaps I should have known (ya think?).

Pollo relleno - stuffed chicken in Uruguay

Susan’s comment after cooking and cutting it open:  How did a hard-boiled egg get in there?

Seems like I should have a clever which came first? comment, but I don’t.

Pollo relleno (stuffed chicken)

The making of pollo relleno, Carnicería Progreso, Estación Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
Start with spread-out chicken breast, add ham, bacon, provolone cheese, red pepper, and hard-boiled eggs.

The making of pollo relleno, Carnicería Progreso, Estación Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
Wrap it all up (and stick into a round plastic bottle with the bottom cut off).

The making of pollo relleno, Carnicería Progreso, Estación Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
Pull mesh tube over the bottle.

The making of pollo relleno, Carnicería Progreso, Estación Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
Tie off the end.

The making of pollo relleno, Carnicería Progreso, Estación Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
Drop it back out of the bottle, tie off the other end, and

The making of pollo relleno, Carnicería Progreso, Estación Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
Voilà! Ready to cook.

Carnicería

I have an ongoing joke at the local carnicería (butcher shop). They ask me how much I want, and I reply 454 grams, una libra (one pound). Like every other country in the world except for Liberia, Myanmar, and one other, Uruguay uses the metric system—mostly).

Butcher, Carnicería Progresso, Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
Alvero reacts with dismay at widely missing the mark with bacon (though one time he hit 500 exactly)

We then asked if they had lamb. Siempre. Always. Who knew?

Sawing half a lamb, Carnicría Progresso, Estación Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
He brought out an entire frozen lamb carcass, cut the length in half with the band saw, then cut off the hindquarter we wanted. The band saw blade is within easy reach of the customer.

I grew up using, and still use, dangerous power tools. But band saws terrify me a little bit, ever since 8th grade (age 13) shop class, when the teacher demonstrated the capabilities of a band saw by cutting through a piece of 2×4 like it was butter, and probably at the same time encouraging us to imagine that 2×4 was some part of our body.

But hey, that was in the United States. It’s probably not too late to sue for psychological trauma, mental distress ….

Price of meat in Uruguay

USD prices per poundCativelli Sausage: 4.58

Panceta—bacon: 5.20

Chicken legs:1.51

Picada—lean ground beef: 2.28

Chicken Milanesa: 3.58

Nalga—top/bottom roast: 3.90

After ordering at our favorite carniceria (butcher shop), I realized I had no money. No problem, the owner said, taking my name and writing the amount on a strip of paper. The next day, I saw he had a stack of these slips over an inch high. Mine was someone near the middle, so obviously this is a common thing. Interesting.
How do these prices compare with current prices elsewhere?