Tag Archives: Australia

Does Fresh & Frozen Meat weigh the same?

I think about this often, well most times I am defrosting meat and my husband the farmer tell me that frozen and fresh meat weigh the same. I have always thought that they don’t, to me frozen meat feels heavier even after taking the packaging away. If you buy meat fresh one normally buys freezer bags and puts it away or if you buy meat in thermoform (supermarket packaging) you can normally find a pad at the bottom to soak up any moisture.

I have weighed meat fresh and frozen to discover there is a difference even a minimal one, so if you are buying frozen meat and they weigh it and price it on the frozen product you may find you are paying for the water in the meat. Thus up to 1/3 more can be frozen water and myoglobin, which is the by product of fresh meat that many people mistake for ‘blood’.

There is nothing wrong with purchasing fresh or frozen as most people tend to buy extra to freeze later anyway. There is many different types of packaging and I’ll go into those next blog. If the meat looks green, smells like sulphur then take it back, washing and drying will not rid of this smell, lamb has a stronger smell but should not smell like sulphur.

Remember when taking meat out of any packaging give it a quick rinse under water, or rain water to wash off any plastic products from the wrap when in thermoform. Rub and rinse when taking meat out of cryovac package as meat can absorb the smell and can taste like the packaging leaving the meat not pleasant to eat. Remember to pat dry and do not use if the meat smells off. It does not need you to soak it, do not mix meats and or put it with poultry, this will spread bacteria and can make you sick.

If you can buy meat from your butcher or local farm paddock to plate outlets, they will not only give you the best quality (even if a little more pricey) they can give you good tips on ways to cook and how to freeze and thaw meat. If you buy grass-fed over grain-fed, they will not only smell different they will taste different.

If you have any questions you want answered on any topic meat related please feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to answer. admin@bullysbeef.com.au

beef

 

Happy Fathers Day

It’s father’s day in Australia and most families celebrate with a get together, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. But living the distance that we do it’s hard at this time of the year. I know I have siblings in other states that would also like to make the trip but they are good fathers themselves. I even have a brother who is in another country traveling for work and I suspect he would be feeling the loss of not being with his family.

We also have the Royal Adelaide Show on here at the moment and I suspect many families would spend their day together at the show. I loved the show, I would eat all of the wrong things fairy floss, hotdog on a stick covered in batter and then drowned in ketchup, the farmer hates them. I think they are known in America as a Corndog. Nothing like the breakfast I prepared for myself this morning to celebrate Fathers Day.

I suspect many a father will get breakfast in bed, made by their spouse or children or step children, my father this year got to spend it with one of my lovely sister in laws and a couple of his grand children. As I stated we are far and wide this year. I was lucky they came and stayed with us at the farm last weekend. We are lucky we were given nothing but encouragement, confidence and love when we were little, which turns into confident, competitive and successful adults which we are all passing onto our children, nieces and nephews.

I’ve decided to change some eating and drinking habits over the coming months, I have been absorbed with work and creating avenues for our lamb and beef business and this absorbs most of my working time. I try and get to exercise (not as much as I like) but being a farmers wife I try and use homegrown products, especially our grassfed meat #BullysBeef locally grown like the #EarthEggs the number 1 pastured ‘free range egg farm in Australia (and a good friend). When eating chicken I go for the #LittleGreenbushPoultry another good friend and South Australian product.

fathers day breakfast

I’m moving bread out of my diet so I decided to lightly grill a wrap this morning, poach my egg and lay it on a bed of baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. It tasted as good as it looks. I will admit though had we been going to the Adelaide Show I would have eaten a dagwood dog instead. Happy Fathers Day to all the men out their who take the responsibility of rearing children with love, whether they are biologically related or related by marriage, uncles, big brothers, step-dads and grandparents.

 

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3 Quick tips to know you are buying fresh meat

When your in the supermarket and looking at the meat counter, you know your families health and food choices come from your decision making . Most people with families look for value for money and quantity, making the most of what’s on offer, what’s in the family purse, how far can the purchases go.

  1. Smell, never never eat anything you think is ‘turning’. Meat should have hint of a smell a little like blood or stronger if it’s game. It should smell pleasant and nothing much more.
  2. Red Meat should look red, pink if pork and white if chicken. It may sound simple but some meats can have a slight tinge of purple in them this is ok, but it means the meat is begining to have sat for a long period of time and needs to be used immediately or frozen.
  3. Check the hydration of the meat, gently push your finger into the meat and once you have taken it away it should spring back and the only evidence is a slight indentation on the packet, if it stays deflated then I wouldn’t buy it.

In Australia we are lucky to have such good quality meat and I can not remember a time when there has been a meat recall. Most supermarkets have in house butchers and also a range of selection of good quality meat.

I often get asked if there is blood should I avoid it, I say no, this means it is fresh, the pad at the bottom of the packet is such that it soaks it up as meat should not sit in blood as it will start to set up bacteria. Buy it, open it and freeze it fresh.

If none of these steps are good don’t buy it or eat it.

If you want ‪#‎halal‬ is should read that on the label, it has been certified by the appropriate body.

 

Farmer Blaming

We love our animals here at Caloundra Station and we work 365 days of the year to ensure they are well cared for and happy. We have both cattle and lamb which we grow from birth to finish for meat production and I know some of you are turning your noses up at the thought. How can the animals we live with, respect and care for be sent off the farm to end up on plates around the world and it is difficult for us it truly is. I don’t know any farmer who is cruel to their animals, whether they are for meat production, dairy products, egg production and any of the other specialty area I have not chosen to name.

I note today there is Australia wide protest to ban live export (again) I can not see how for the life of us can people keep blaming the farmer. No farmer I know is an advocate of cruelty which is why many have changed practices over the years and work hard to give the animal the best life and death possible and within their scope of best practice. Whilst protesting is a right and a great way to get your views across where is the happy medium or balance in the argument. Some of you may even ask or say that we were not affected by the ban brought on by the 2011 reaction to cruelty, but we were.

Where did all of those animals go that were bred to go overseas? they came in to the local markets and dropped the prices and contracts that were in place for those that did not export live animals. were you aware that everyday farmers were affected? Companies held farmers off contract sales so they could make twice as much money on the cattle that were being shifted from up north to the south. Whilst people were congratulating themselves on stopping the export of live animals it did nothing to endear the industry to the public nor the farmers.

Farmers all over Australia lost income and were left carrying more stock over a summer than they wanted, this was not their fault and where was the reporters and Governments during this time. They were busy showing the same acts in another country rather than showing the desperation of farmers who were only doing their jobs losing property and income. Where was the pictures or statistics of the farmers who lost everything during this time, including the suicides that occured as this may have been their only option to earn an income and it was without warning taken from them and they were left with no where to go. There are big industries over Australia like the car industry that have announced closures, the money and education being given to these employees was never offered to the farmers or workers by Governments.

Our out cry at the time was not only about the acts, but also about the lack of education and as producers every animal on anyone’s property has to be tagged, and on that tag is a PIC number (property identification number) beef, goat and  lamb for traceability and not only do we have to pay for these ear tags, spend time putting them in without much stress to the animal and we also pay a levy to peak education bodies, why were they not involved before this incident? What have they done since? People have worked hard internationally to stamp it out by way of education and providing tools and equipment but to ask them to stamp it out will be a long drawn process.

We don’t want to see any animal treated badly but i would like to see the same passion put into stamping out domestic violence as there is to stop live export. if you would like to ban something come up with a solution for the farmer, we don’t grow and sell our animals ever with the intent that they will travel overseas and end up in the hands of others they may treat them badly. The supply chain may be 6 times more since leaving the farmer, yet the calls to stop the farming selling animals is loud and clear.

Not everyone wants to be vegetarian either, eating meat is a choice we are lucky to have in Australia and we know we can buy Australian meat that is humanely dealt with from start to finish. The ethical treatment of animals is a given in our lucky country so lets support those countries that need education to ensure all animals from Australia can be sent over the world and we know they will be treated in the same manner as they are here.

eating hay

Shearers and Farmers Agree

I want to thank you all for your words of encouragement and the positive words on the face book page and my blog. I think it is vital we all have a voice for our animals and our trades, there are very few farmers in Australia and the world that advocate cruelty to animals, in any way shape or form. Not to say that we are all perfect we are not, but deliberate attempts by organisations to show the rogues (there are those in every industry) the randomness of the trades, the bullies and those that need education all differ and high light the fact that we need to support even these people.

We can take stock and look back now at what PETA has done and thank them, we can thank them for the unity they have created amongst us all. We need to thank them for the fact that they have put our industry in the fore front of people’s minds to defend it. we can thank them for highlighting how ignorance and discrimination can create change for the better.

We are better off with them than without them and I mean that, for if they had not been so determined in their lies, fake lambs, vegan spokes person (nothing wrong with being a vegan – though to a meat eater it’s a different life style choice) and tried to con Australia into believing that the wool industry is full of horrific practices we would not be having the support of Australia and beyond. Groups such as PETA can do some much good, like expose puppy farms, – take photos of those cruel people who deliberately cage dogs for profit, close that sector down.

PETA we invite you to come to our farm next time we are shearing, I will actually pen a letter to them – an open letter and post it and wait for their response. I hope they do take me up on the offer, in fact I say why don’t we all do it, I am happy to write this and will share it with you. Lets get them to film us and our teams of workers and make them understand the frustration, the heat, the barking dogs and the work makes long days and frayed tempers but it doesn’t make shearing the skin off sheep and leaving them to die in agony as their picture depicts.

My friends at www.baabaabrew.com.au in NSW property Goongirwarrie sent me a picture of one of their Merino Rams being shorn – how hard does this look?

Shearing the Ram

Shearing the Ram

Road Kill

If you live in the country, one thing you notice when you travel a lot is the road kill. You have probably killed animals yourself and it is an awful feeling. I hate the noise they make when you hit them. But when being taught to drive you are taught not to swerve away from them – this can lead you to losing control of the car and killing oneself or veering into on coming traffic and killing other humans. It’s horrible but it happens.

In Australia, one of our biggest threats is the Kangaroo, they appear at all times though mainly around dusk, and they will jump off the shoulder of the road and into the path of your car, depending upon its size it can do extensive damage or panel damage. Cars normally kill the animal but have you thought about what you would do if it didn’t? Have you gone back to check? I drove past one the other day and he was badly injured and I travelled along our road until I waved down an on coming car (a lovely ex neighbor) and asked him to go shoot it. Which he did, to put it out of its misery. We could see it was male so there was no looking for a baby joey so we drove on.

I have encountered birds, one flew directly into the car, hit the nudge bar and died, it then fell between the bar and the grill and it wasn’t until I stopped that I realized it was still there and I had to remove it. I was bringing some German friends with me to the farm from the city at the time and they thought it was worthy of pictures.

Emu’s are also a road problem as they can cause extensive damage as their bodies are car bonnet height and if you hit them their heads can hit the wind screen as break that as well, wombats are hard as they get wedged under the car and we also have the problem of deer. Not native to Australia, introduced and become pests to farmers if they move into your crops. One does try to avoid them but it can look like they run directly into you,

Rabbits & Hares are the worst as they run across, jump back and then appear to run full tilt into the wheels. I try to avoid it all now, not only for the damage to the car but the sound of it. It’s awful.  The greater the speed the harder it is to stop and avoid accidents or slow-moving animals.

Australian Kangaroo & Joey

Australian Kangaroo & Joey

Rain

Rain, Isn’t that a beautiful word? especially when one hasn’t seen it for a while, in our case it is only a matter of some months but in other areas of Australia is means years. No rain for long periods is not only financially destroying, it is also mentally disabling. Farmers de stocking so as to save animals lives and to save the financial burden of feeding them daily to keep them saleable. That is ‘fit for loading’ fit for human consumption’ ‘there is so much criteria one must know in farming and having drought on top of it all makes things difficult.

We have had rain over the last couple of weeks and of the 60mil kind, this has been enough to add tinges of green to our parched paddocks, put some water in dams and freshen up the earth. It has also added a layer of carpet to our chicken coop. It looks beautiful, it actually looks like someone has come in and laid down 3 inch high grass for the chooks to step onto. It has grown so much we have had to clear from the pen opening as it was too high to swing open the gate.

I like to go up and check the chooks daily to ensure they have fresh water, straw, feed and of course to collect eggs. They are great to give scraps to, currently they are eating or pecking at cat food, our four ‘shed cats’ Matilda, Frankie, Rita & Gatsby grew up with the privilege of eating Bully’s Beef prime grass-fed mince and whiska cat nuts, so if we try to give them anything else they will sit next to it and look at us as though we are giving them arsenic. it is quite funny how they do not remember being rescued from the freezing cold of winter 100kms from no where, given warm beds, baskets, food and shelter.

They cats follow me to the chook pen, they run between the rye grass, run up trees and are highly camouflaged due to their colourings. They meow loudly at you and they have occasionally been in the chook pen lolling about waiting to catch the mice that go in there, they are not predators of these largish birds, the dogs and foxes are. Our cats like mice, bunnies, frill neck lizards, but have to date not been able to eat one due to their (the lizards) protection mechanism of hard scaled skin, we have had bats, moths and skinks as well as baby birds, ones I won’t name here as it is distressing to me. our motto is if they get brought in alive and we catch them then they are set free to get away from cats, it is up to them.

Frankie

Frankie

Matilda

Matilda

Chook pen following the rain

Chook pen following the rain

Gatsby

Gatsby

Rita

Rita