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Pork

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Dale Williams

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Pork

by Dale Williams » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:41 pm

Like many people, I sometimes buy meats at the supermarket, other times at speciality shops. I don't feel the need to go to the butcher for dry-aged beef for stroganoff or potroast, and while I strongly prefer natural chicken for most uses, I can get by with the damn Perdue in some recipes. But I have decided over last couple years I'll never buy regular supermarket pork again. I like Niman Farms, but the chops we've had recently, from Dines Farm, were even better. It's like they came from a different species from those pale, flavorless, water-added supermarket chops. More color when raw, enough fat not to dry off, real pork flavor- these won't be mistaken for chicken.

I realize this isn't a revelation to most people here. But eating some grilled chops (sage/garlic marinade) last night it struck me that I couldn't imagine any scenario- not cost nor ease- that would put me in the supermarket pork aisle again.

If you're in NY metro area, Dines is represented at a lot of farmers markets (they also have chicken, eggs, rabbit, etc, and their hot dogs tied for 1st in our Hot Dog Tasteoff last year vs. 10 competitors).
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Pork

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:01 pm

If I could find a good, local source of pork I would do the same. I hate supermarket pork. I can sometimes get good stuff up at Table & Vine, but their supply is not reliable.

So about that marinade...is it in the archives, or have you yet to post it?
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Robin Garr

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Re: Pork

by Robin Garr » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:46 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:If I could find a good, local source of pork I would do the same.


Do you have any summer farmer's markets in your neck of the woods, David? We get great locally produced pork there. Do you have any local natural-foods groceries? Ditto. It's generally frozen, due to weird USDA regs that require them to ship the meat to federally regulated processors for retail packaging, but it doesn't seem to do any harm.

I hate supermarket pork.


Not least because it's almost invariably been slimed with that evil moist'n'tender chemistry-set stuff. I'd also note that the mega-corporate pork industry is developing an increasingly shady reputation for badly treating their animals, their employees and the environment all three. It's a great industry not to support.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Pork

by Paul Winalski » Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:03 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
I hate supermarket pork.


Not least because it's almost invariably been slimed with that evil moist'n'tender chemistry-set stuff. I'd also note that the mega-corporate pork industry is developing an increasingly shady reputation for badly treating their animals, their employees and the environment all three. It's a great industry not to support.


Beware of the "always tender" or "guaranteed tender" or otherwise brand-labeled pork. You'll always see something in the package fine print along the lines of "treated with up to 10% of a solution". This means that the meat has been injected with a solution of sodium phosphate. This acts as a preservative and extends the shelf life of the pork. For the consumer, it has somel bad consequences:

- about 10% of what you're paying for is water, not meat;

- the extra sodium causes problems if you're trying to control your sodium intake;

- the extra water means that it doesn't cook properly (for "always tender" read "often comes out mushy")

- the extra sodium means that in essence it's pre-salted and again doesn't behave properly in recipes

There is only one supermarket chain in our area that carries unadulterated, real pork. I've stopped shopping at the others, and have told them that not carrying real pork is the reason why.

-Paul W.
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Re: Pork

by Otto » Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:07 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:
I hate supermarket pork.


Not least because it's almost invariably been slimed with that evil moist'n'tender chemistry-set stuff. I'd also note that the mega-corporate pork industry is developing an increasingly shady reputation for badly treating their animals, their employees and the environment all three. It's a great industry not to support.


Beware of the "always tender" or "guaranteed tender" or otherwise brand-labeled pork. You'll always see something in the package fine print along the lines of "treated with up to 10% of a solution". This means that the meat has been injected with a solution of sodium phosphate. This acts as a preservative and extends the shelf life of the pork. For the consumer, it has somel bad consequences:

- about 10% of what you're paying for is water, not meat;

- the extra sodium causes problems if you're trying to control your sodium intake;

- the extra water means that it doesn't cook properly (for "always tender" read "often comes out mushy")

- the extra sodium means that in essence it's pre-salted and again doesn't behave properly in recipes

There is only one supermarket chain in our area that carries unadulterated, real pork. I've stopped shopping at the others, and have told them that not carrying real pork is the reason why.

-Paul W.


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I'd heard rumours that you couldn't get proper food on that side of the pond, but I didn't believe it until I read this....

Where can you get the proper foodstuffs?
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Re: Pork

by Robin Garr » Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:24 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:I'd heard rumours that you couldn't get proper food on that side of the pond, but I didn't believe it until I read this....

Where can you get the proper foodstuffs?


It's possible to get real food here, Otto, but sometimes it takes a little extra effort and perhaps extra money, avoiding the mass-market stores and buying either from specialty stores and farmer's markets in the cities, or going direct to producers in rural area, if you can find any who'll sell direct to individuals.
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Re: Pork

by Jenise » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:07 pm

Adding to what Robin said, it's a regional thing. In California, ALL the regulation supermarket chains went to that Moist & Tender pork--only the high end or organic-oriented markets carried natural, untreated pork. But here in Washington, it's all untreated (may not be organically grown, but at least it hasn't been messed with post-slaughter).
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Re: Pork

by TimMc » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:40 am

Jenise wrote:Adding to what Robin said, it's a regional thing. In California, ALL the regulation supermarket chains went to that Moist & Tender pork--only the high end or organic-oriented markets carried natural, untreated pork. But here in Washington, it's all untreated (may not be organically grown, but at least it hasn't been messed with post-slaughter).


And those two inch California pork steaks I grill on the old BBQ trun out just marvelously good.

Serve with a good Pinot Noir; stuffed P/C's serve with a fruity Zin.
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Re: Pork

by Otto » Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:34 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Otto Nieminen wrote:I'd heard rumours that you couldn't get proper food on that side of the pond, but I didn't believe it until I read this....

Where can you get the proper foodstuffs?


It's possible to get real food here, Otto, but sometimes it takes a little extra effort and perhaps extra money, avoiding the mass-market stores and buying either from specialty stores and farmer's markets in the cities, or going direct to producers in rural area, if you can find any who'll sell direct to individuals.


Ok, thanks. I was afraid for you people over there. That pork sounded vile. I don't know how anyone could even imagine buying that sort of stuff.
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Re: Pork

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:52 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Otto Nieminen wrote:I'd heard rumours that you couldn't get proper food on that side of the pond, but I didn't believe it until I read this....

Where can you get the proper foodstuffs?


It's possible to get real food here, Otto, but sometimes it takes a little extra effort and perhaps extra money, avoiding the mass-market stores and buying either from specialty stores and farmer's markets in the cities, or going direct to producers in rural area, if you can find any who'll sell direct to individuals.


It's possible as long as you live either near a reasonably sized city or an affluent suburb (so that places like Whole FOods will open there), or if you live near an agricultural area known for something other than shade tobacco. :?
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Re: Pork

by Robin Garr » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:55 am

Otto Nieminen wrote:Ok, thanks. I was afraid for you people over there. That pork sounded vile. I don't know how anyone could even imagine buying that sort of stuff.


Me either, Otto, and a lot more of us! Jenise made a good point about regional variations and the difference between mass-market and specialty stores. It seems that there are more than enough "foodies" and health nuts (overlapping but distinctly different populations) to support national grocery chains that specialize in natural, quality and often organic foods (like Whole Foods and Wild Oats) as well as regional and local stores (ours are called Rainbow Blossom and Amazing Grace) as well as summer farmer's markets where organic farmers bring in their goods and sell them at city locations.

I don't fully get the demographics of it ... it seems that there's some tendency for the people who patronize those stores to be both affluent and a little bit leftie, tree-hugging, blue-state; but that's not entirely true, as both Whole Foods and Wild Oats in our town took care to locate their stores right at the edge of the city to take advantage of both blue urbanites and red suburbanites, and they seem to get plenty of trade from both. The prices (high) may be a barrier to low-income families, but it's certainly not only a rich person's store.
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Re: Pork

by ChefCarey » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:28 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Otto Nieminen wrote:I'd heard rumours that you couldn't get proper food on that side of the pond, but I didn't believe it until I read this....

Where can you get the proper foodstuffs?


It's possible to get real food here, Otto, but sometimes it takes a little extra effort and perhaps extra money, avoiding the mass-market stores and buying either from specialty stores and farmer's markets in the cities, or going direct to producers in rural area, if you can find any who'll sell direct to individuals.


You can buy the same wonderful processed food in Europe we have here - maybe an even larger array - especially in the larger "Americanized" cities. I don't think any Europeans need worry about our New World dietary habits.

Oh, and Nestle, that fine Swiss company, the largest food wholesaler conglomerate (they make *many* of the processed foods sold under dozens of American brand names)on the planet, has a vast portfolio of processed and "prepared" foods that would choke an old world stallion. Otto, you aren't Swiss by any chance, are you? :)
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Re: Pork

by Otto » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:41 pm

ChefCarey wrote:
You can buy the same wonderful processed food in Europe we have here - maybe an even larger array - especially in the larger "Americanized" cities. I don't think any Europeans need worry about our New World dietary habits.

Oh, and Nestle, that fine Swiss company, the largest food wholesaler conglomerate (they make *many* of the processed foods sold under dozens of American brand names)on the planet, has a vast portfolio of processed and "prepared" foods that would choke an old world stallion. Otto, you aren't Swiss by any chance, are you? :)


Oh we certainly see our share of vile, inedible processed foods. But at least if I want unadulturated, good, honest meat I can find it without having to search for it. The horror story for me was that there seemed to be implied that finding good raw materials is difficult there. Now vegetables is a different matter here. Even in the summer there's only one shop that sells vegetables that I will willingly eat raw - without a ton of spices to cover up the blandness. Not Swiss; and I don't support any European blandness and food spoofulation either. Didn't mean to make my post sound like one of those petty "civilised" Europe vs. "barbarian" rest of the world postings. Sorry if it came out that way.
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Re: Pork

by ChefCarey » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:10 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:
You can buy the same wonderful processed food in Europe we have here - maybe an even larger array - especially in the larger "Americanized" cities. I don't think any Europeans need worry about our New World dietary habits.

Oh, and Nestle, that fine Swiss company, the largest food wholesaler conglomerate (they make *many* of the processed foods sold under dozens of American brand names)on the planet, has a vast portfolio of processed and "prepared" foods that would choke an old world stallion. Otto, you aren't Swiss by any chance, are you? :)


Oh we certainly see our share of vile, inedible processed foods. But at least if I want unadulturated, good, honest meat I can find it without having to search for it. The horror story for me was that there seemed to be implied that finding good raw materials is difficult there. Now vegetables is a different matter here. Even in the summer there's only one shop that sells vegetables that I will willingly eat raw - without a ton of spices to cover up the blandness. Not Swiss; and I don't support any European blandness and food spoofulation either. Didn't mean to make my post sound like one of those petty "civilised" Europe vs. "barbarian" rest of the world postings. Sorry if it came out that way.


It takes a little work here - like getting up early on Saturday morning and going to a farmer's market (which, by the way, are proliferating here)Yeah, I thought for a minute it might be one of those. No offense meant, none taken. :)
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Re: Pork

by Paul Winalski » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:30 pm

ChefCarey wrote:It takes a little work here - like getting up early on Saturday morning and going to a farmer's market (which, by the way, are proliferating here)Yeah, I thought for a minute it might be one of those. No offense meant, none taken. :)


I still remember the days before waxed produce in the USA. Circa 1959, although I was only 4 at the time. You went to the supermarket, and the produce section smelled of (gasp!) fruits and vegetables!. The tomatoes smelled like tomatoes off the vine. The carrots smelled like carrots. Bell peppers smelled like bell peppers. And so on. And you didn't have to go to the supermarket if you lived in suburban Wethersfield, Connecticut. There was a bus converted to mobile produce stand from a local farm that made daily trips along our street in the summer. You could board the bus and buy what you wanted, farm-fresh.

Now the downside was, out-of-season, there was diddly-squat available, compared to what you can get now. But for what was available, in season--no comparison.

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Down with "Always Tender" pork!

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