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Part 2- The Local Meat Locker

July 2, 2010

In Part 1- The Local Meat Locker the friendly folks at W & W were processing a front quarter of beef for a farmer.

cutting the bones of a front quarter

Sawing the rib bones of a front quarter of beef

In the foreground of the photo above, the ribs are being sawed through, while in the background smaller cuts of beef are being loaded into the grinder to prepare burger.  The fellow with his back to the camera was transferring the ground beef from the grinder to another machine (located off camera- stage left) where the burger is packaged in neat little plastic bags.  The ones I saw were about one pound each, sealed and labelled, and then placed into that pesky tray in the foreground of the photo.

The burger is packaged, and ready to go into the locker

Burger packaged and ready to go into the locker

When that tray in the foreground gets nearly full, it would be carried off to the photographer’s immediate left, and placed on shelves in the meat locker. Deep, cold storage. Sitting on the counter is the scale, and in front of that is your favorite blog writer’s memory- otherwise referred to as a notebook, just waiting for me to write some more information in it.

Beef being trimmed

Removing the fat from the beef

Typically at W&W they remove 90% of the fat when they process beef for burger. I am told that most chain grocery stores sell burger that is 80/20, which would be twice as much fat content.  Here’s another difference worthy of note- the big chain processing plants kill perhaps one thousand cattle per day.  Those cattle are slaughtered, skinned and then hung for 13 hours, before being cut into portions and shipped.  At W&W the beef doesn’t leave the building until the customer picks it up. It is transported from the cooler to the cutting room to the locker, and that is it- no truck rides from plant to plant to plant.

A fine steak being wrapped

A fine steak being wrapped

Look closely at that fine steak, dear reader, and you will see that it has been wrapped in plastic wrap, and now the butcher paper is going on. That one looks like a perfect fit for my grill.

Come on back later, I have a few more images to share, when Part 3 of our visit to the local meat locker continues.

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