Canadians - a money saving idea

joyfulguyNovember 17, 2004

Have you noted that the prices that the farmers get for cattle on the hoof has dropped to much less than half the previous levels since that *one* animal in Alberta came down with mad cow disease, resulting in the U.S. closing the border to Canadian cattle? Many Canadian cattle used to be shipped over the border for slaughter.

Have you noticed any drops in the prices of meat in the stores?

Here's my suggestion - especially valid if you have a freezer.

Go to talk to the owner of a small, local abattoir (used to be called a "butcher".

Ask about the idea of killing a beef animal for you and when he could schedule doing it - in quite a few cases, it won't be for months, as others are using this plan.

Ask him how much he'd charge to slaughter an animal for you, cut it up and package it ready for the freezer.

Ask him also what percentage of loss there will be between the live weight of the animal and the weight of the meat once it is dressed (you won't be getting intestines, head, hoofs, etc.). It'll be in the neighbourhood of half of the live weight.

Ask him which local farmer raises high quality beef.

Visit that farmer, possibly some others, as well, and ask what price he'd ask for a beef animal on the hoof and whether that would include delivering the animal to the abattoir.

I'll bet that you'll find that you will end up with higher quality meat than you're used to, and at a much lower price.

If you lack a freezer of substantial size, make a deal with some relatives/friends/neighbours/fellow parishioners to go partners with you to buy part of the meat. (In a number of jurisdictions, you can't sell the meat unless you're licensed).

There'll be some discussion necessary about who wants what kind of meat, how thick to cut the steaks, whether you want quite a bit of hamburger, etc. Some will want heart, tongue, liver, kidneys, etc. (even stomach, to make tripe soup).

Just an idea that might help you eat better - for (likely much) less.

Start asking around now as to who might be interested in buying some beef co-operatively.

Good wishes, all, for good eating.

joyful guy

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I had an old boyfriend (farmer) who suggested buying an "old" cow at auction and having her killed for beef. I could not bring myself to look into looking at a cow and then being responsible for her death. Silly I know.
Well there is another mad cow in the US now but no info is being released as to where because she has not hit the food chain - wonder if her calves did...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 1:40PM
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Calves are almost absolutely safe, until about 30 months.

They're talking about opening the border to animals that can be cetified to be under 30 mos. old.

Actually *any* animal is almost totally safe - they only found mad cow in one of millions or so animals.

As for looking the animal in the eye ...

... you don't need to check the individual animal, though most folks would like to have a look at it (even if they didn't know a "good" animal from a less valuable one).

If you choose an old animal (especially a bull) expect the meat to be somewhat tough (and possibly stringy). [I first wrote "stingy" - and thought that I really should amend it].

As for not being personally responsible for the death of an animal, you do eat meat, don't you?

Seems like very little difference, to me.

Maybe a bit like the kids from the city who, going to a farm or a fall fair where they see animals being milked, are surprised - they thought that milk came from a bag./carton/jug.

I've said for years that it's a poor day that one doesn't learn something.

ole joyful

P.S. If you didn't see it ... it didn't happen?

oj (not the juice kind)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 1:42PM
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This is still a good idea, as farmers are still getting a lousy price for their animals in the market.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 4:44PM
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Hi again, all.

I just heard the other day on the CBC that a farmer near Winnipeg made a deal with a local church that if some of their parishioners bought some beef from him - organically raised, federally inspected slaughter (at a local abattoir), etc. - that he'd contribute 10% of the price to the church.

That's where he started.

Now something like 9 congregations in Winnipeg are involved in the system.

It used to be that there were a large number of abattoirs, food stores, etc. around.

Now, corporate concentration being what it has become, there are only a few.

The large corporations like to talk a lot about "competition", but ...

they hate it.

Bad for business.

If you have half a dozen agencies selling milk and millions buying ... guess who sets the price?

Corporations love competition among their suppliers - they can play off one against the other to keep prices low.

They love it among their customers - they can charge what they please.

But they hate it among agencies on their own level - they don't like the competition!

Can you tell me one type of business in North America where the market isn't mainly carried by about half a dozen entities?

For example: how many investigations into the price of gasoline has the government made ...

... and concluded every time that there *really is* competition in the marketplace, that there isn't collusion in setting the prices of gasoline?

And ... does the public believe them?

Ha - ha-ha!!!

Have a great week, all.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 4:24PM
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