Thursday, January 5, 2012

Don't Know My Round from My Loin

Today I got to do something I have never done before- it involved a hairnet, sharp knives and a trim bin. Any guesses?  Well a few more hints: I was in a lab, it was cold and conversation included terms like loin and round.  As a beef producer I think it is so important that I learn as much about the product I raise. How better to do that then spend the day fabricating a beef carcass. It was an amazing experience to start with the whole product and turn it into smaller cuts of meat- like ribeye steaks.  I now understand what product goes into ground beef and the process of making it leaner.  In fact I believe that all beef producers should be required to do this process. I think that it's provided me more insight into how to raise a better animal for quality meat. My group worked as a team to break down half a carcass and we were fortunate to have a ton of help from the meat scientists at South Dakota State University. They walked us through every step and explained every detail.  
We went from this 

To pieces like this... Cool.

I know I look pretty cool in my fabricating outfit.  My proud moment of the day was when our qualified helper said I did a great job at filleting the connective tissue off a piece of trim. Which means I finally figured out how to use the knife and he wasn't afraid I was going to cut off my fingers or hurt the guy next to me working on a different piece.
I consider myself fortunate to be a part of raising food for people and I'm proud of myself for taking the time to learn more about the food I produce so that I can do it better.

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