Choosing the Best Quality of Meat
The quality of your meat is determined by many factors that you need to know in order to pick out that perfect piece and cut for your family. now I’m not talking about which part of the animal you should get your meat from, instead I’m talking about how to look at your meat and determine if it’s healthy enough for your family.
One of the biggest factors that determine the quality of meat is the actual age of the animal. as the animal ages and matures, the animal undergoes many changes that can affect your decision when trying to buy the best for your family. when the animal is young, its muscles and tissues contain a lot of fluid and this fluid is high in a protein called albumen (also found in the white of eggs). this protein hardens when cooked at a certain temperature. as the animal increases in age, the amount of fluid and albumen decrease in its muscles and tissue causing a change in taste and texture. younger animals’ meat typically seem lighter in color or possess such a vivid red color that looks more inviting. older animals typically have a darker color that are closer to a light shade of brown. younger animal meat, such as veal, cooks in less time and doesn’t contain a stringy texture when you bite into it like an older cow would.
Another component that affects the quality of the beef that we buy is what the animal was feeding on while it was still alive. typically as with any animal, cows get their energy and nutrients from what they eat. if an animal eats low quality food or food filled with hormones, then they transfer this low quality nutrition to us when we come to eat the meat. ideally cows should have eating plant produce such as corn. animals that have been fed properly have meat that is firm, well flavored, cooks faster, and is leaner. animals that have fed on oily produce such as linseed which is cheaper, are greasy, high colored, and are high in fat. so make sure to give your meat a little squeeze before you buy it. if you can see an imprint of your finger in the meat then this is probably a good cut (if combined with the proper texture and color as discussed earlier), but if you find that the meat is grainy or coarse to the touch then it’s probably filled with granules of unwanted grease and fat.
Another factor that determines meat quality and consumer health is the health of the animal at the time of the slaughter. the flesh of diseased animals can be very easy to spot. it has a tendency to rot very quickly and smell rancid or funny. if that’s the case then do not eat this meat. diseased meat can be very poisonous no matter how well its cooked. another way to determine if the meat is diseased is that you will find that the meat does not stick well to the bone. you’ll find healthy and fresh meat sticks strongly to the bone. follow these simple tips and hopefully you’ll find yourself picking tasty and healthy meat for your family eat and every time.