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Chicken toenails and yak kneecaps?

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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 8th February 2011, 1:40 pm

First time I ever ate tongue, my mom had cooked it, but hadn't quite trimmed it all correct. First time she'd ever made it, btw. Made me promise not to tell my brothers what was in the stew!! Hers turned out pretty tough. I love her dearly, but she's not exactly a culinary genius. I've had it again since (I never turn down food, as my general body shape can attest!) and, like other tough cuts, it can be made into something nice with the right preparation.
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Post by Ginny on 8th February 2011, 1:57 pm

I think that with many of these animal body parts, it's more of a psychological barrier to get over than any taste issues.
But where do you draw the line ? Smile
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 8th February 2011, 2:37 pm

I don't draw the line at any body part. Our home reared pigs we use pretty much all of - I generally discard the eyeballs, and the slaughterhouse discards intestines, although you can keep them to wash out for sausage skins. We use the lungs, stomach, bladder, offal, skin, snouts, ears, brains etc etc. We biol the bones and render the fat.
The crucial difference, however, is that our pigs have lived healthy happy outdoor lives.
The pigs they use for the meat slurry (yes that is the correct technical term) that is made into luncheon meat and Spam and so on are from the very lowest rung of animal husbandry. The treatment of intensively reared bacon pigs is bad enough - their not having enough space to turn around in, or routine tail docking for example - but is way better than the wretched beasts that end up in tins. It makes battery hen farming look positively humane, and for my part I would not eat it under any circumstances unless my very existence depended on it.
If meat becomes so expensive I can only afford tinned horror I will just not eat meat.

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Post by Compostwoman on 8th February 2011, 3:15 pm

I agree with Billy. Even at my most impoverished ( and that was pretty poor....) I would not have eaten tinned meat.

If cost is the issue ( and of course money is tight for all of us! except for the very weathiest.....ie those who are in Government...!) then there are other options than mechanically recovered, moulded, additiv'ed tinned stuff.

Not trying to get at anyone btw, just saying it.

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Post by Ginny on 8th February 2011, 3:25 pm

Totally agree. Groceries are expensive here too but with a bit of canny shopping you can eat well. And, when the seasons come around, anything at all from the garden is better than the best of the supermarket offerings.
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Post by Dandelion on 8th February 2011, 7:39 pm

I like eating tongue but I've never cooked it (I'm the only one in the family who likes it so I make sandwiches and freeze them.) Would love to have the nerve to go into the butchers and say 'Gimme some tongue but don't give me no lip'........

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Post by Sparhawk on 8th February 2011, 7:46 pm

Eugh... Didn't realise they put tongue & tripe in Luncheon Meat/Spam/Chopped Ham & Pork, & to think I actually quite like it...

I did know about the rest of it though...

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 8th February 2011, 7:49 pm

Dandelion wrote:Would love to have the nerve to go into the butchers and say 'Gimme some tongue but don't give me no lip'........

lol. dread to think what you would say if you wanted some rump steak.

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Post by polgara on 8th February 2011, 9:20 pm

I was/am aware of what is in the tins, but as an alternative I enjoy them.

So is anyonw going to come up with some more recipes?

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Post by Compostwoman on 8th February 2011, 10:50 pm

Sorry Pol, but as I don't use it, I can't really suggest any special recipies...all I can suggest is to use it in place of Ham or Bacon...

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Post by Ginny on 8th February 2011, 11:20 pm

sparhawk wrote:Eugh... Didn't realise they put tongue & tripe in Luncheon Meat/Spam/Chopped Ham & Pork, & to think I actually quite like it...

I did know about the rest of it though...

Not sure that they do put tongue and tripe in tinned meats; was just curious about how adventurous people are with their meats. But if you told me that chicken toenails and yak kneecaps went into it I wouldn't be surprised. Razz
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Post by Compostwoman on 8th February 2011, 11:27 pm

Ginny wrote:
sparhawk wrote:Eugh... Didn't realise they put tongue & tripe in Luncheon Meat/Spam/Chopped Ham & Pork, & to think I actually quite like it...

I did know about the rest of it though...

Not sure that they do put tongue and tripe in tinned meats; was just curious about how adventurous people are with their meats. But if you told me that chicken toenails and yak kneecaps went into it I wouldn't be surprised. Razz

They do well the poultry, porcine, bovine and ovine equivalents, and you would be sick if you ever saw it.

I have seen it, in real life not just on the TV. it made me throw up.

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Post by Ginny on 8th February 2011, 11:29 pm

Yuuuuk !
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Post by Compostwoman on 8th February 2011, 11:41 pm

Basically the carcass is hosed down with a high pressure hose and all the meat, and any allowable bit of animal goes into a giant mincer and the resultant slurry is made into patties, tinned meat etc...

so if you have ever eaten a burger at a fair or street stall etc or any really cheap burgers it was quite possibly made from this. Likewise really cheap chicken stuff ( nuggets, anything "shaped" or "formed" etc...)

Basically if it is not identifieable bits of meat...beware...

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Post by danksshady on 9th February 2011, 7:26 am

I don't actually find tinned meats to be cheap really Question
Compared weight for weight with fresh meat I find it dearer
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 9th February 2011, 8:26 am

As I said before it is not what goes into that is the issue - after all why should cheek be a delicacy and lip be grotesque? - so much as the provenance of the meat and the crueal and inhumane way it is reared. I don't eat battery hens and I don't eat battery pork.

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Post by Compostwoman on 9th February 2011, 11:20 am

It may not be what goes into tinned meats which is the issues with you, Billy. But other people might not be aware how/what they are made from.

Ginny expressed an interest in what went into MRM; I elucidated. Wasn't
actually making a judgement on whether it was OK to eat certain bits
but not others, simply supplying information.

Personally I would eat pretty well any part of a decently reared animal ( not keen on chicken feet although I think they are a delicacy somewhere)

But a lot of people would prefer not to eat certain bits ( Tripe, Offal etc)

Anyway, getting a bit OT here, perhaps we should have a separate thread to discuss the ethics of tinned meats?

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Post by Sparhawk on 9th February 2011, 5:01 pm

Ginny wrote:
sparhawk wrote:Eugh... Didn't realise they put tongue & tripe in Luncheon Meat/Spam/Chopped Ham & Pork, & to think I actually quite like it...

I did know about the rest of it though...

Not sure that they do put tongue and tripe in tinned meats; was just curious about how adventurous people are with their meats. But if you told me that chicken toenails and yak kneecaps went into it I wouldn't be surprised. Razz

I was trying to gently coax, it back towards the original theme of the topic... Cool

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 9th February 2011, 5:13 pm

Those ingredients in full:
Pork skin, partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue, mechanically separated chicken, beef tripe, partially defatted cooked beef fatty tissue, beef hearts, water, salt, and less than 2 percent: mustard, flavourings, dried garlic, dextrose, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.

I can think of some recipes that use pork skin, and some for beef hearts and even tripe, but not the others, and not really in combination.

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Post by polgara on 9th February 2011, 5:14 pm

I think I will give up on this thread!!

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Post by Ginny on 9th February 2011, 6:19 pm

Ooops Laughing
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Post by Lottie on 10th February 2011, 9:07 am

I have to say I wouldn't touch anything that had been brought up intensively... having lived on a intensive pig farm from birth til Dad got out of it... Neutral
A more gruesome and heart breaking sight, I've yet to see as pigs that can't turn round, kept in darkness, farrowed so they just have room to lay down, but not turn... it's awful... You woulnd't keep a rabbit in a shoe box would you? Or a mouse in a ring box? So why oh why, is it OK for livestock? If I can't afford meat that has had the chance to actually enjoy a bit of life, I'd rather go without. We only have meat a couple of time a week max, so, if bits have been raised ethically, fine... if not.. I don't want to know... sorry if I'm being arsey (I don't do it often...), but I fought this debate for decades with dad, and was so happy when he got out of pig farming...and to be honest, I'm quite surprised to see it even on here...sorry Embarassed

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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 10th February 2011, 9:39 am

I haven't eaten meat for years (recently started due to a certain Mr Rhomboid!) but it wasn't a "cute fluffy bunny" thing, it was after seeing programmes about intensive/battery farming and learning about all the crap that was being pumped into meat.

Now there are better alternatives available, albeit a bit more expensive, I can have a free range chicken, which I can make loads of meals out of, or some bacon and sausages (local free range pork, or Billy's Laughing ) If I can't afford it then I won't buy it, certainly wouldn't be buying any meat in a tin and would rather do without.

Surely doing without is more frugal as well as more ethical?
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 10th February 2011, 11:52 am

I Still think there are two separate issues here:

1.) what goes into processed foods
2.) how animals for cheap food are reared

Point 1 - whether there is lip and tripe and testicle in your bargain burger. This is not an ethical or moral issue. It is just a question of how squeamish you are. I would argue that if you are going to kill animals to eat then you have a moral obligation to use as much of the animal as is edible, and use the remainder for other purposes - glue, leather etc. The process of mechanical separation of meat and the resulting mush may not strike you as appealing but it is really no different to making stock from carcasses. If the meat is good to begin with, then really what is the issue? There is certainly nothing cruel about it. The animal is dead. It would be far less green to discard carcasses without retrieving the maximum possible of nutrional material from them.

Point 2 - how animals are reared in intensive factory conditions to provide 'value' foodstuffs. This is a moral and ethical issue. Battery farming of chickens for eggs and meat is an atrocity. debeaked, crammed into tiny spaces up to their hocks in their own faeces to the point of suffering ammonia burns. The treatment of mass-produced pigs is even worse. The standard amount of space allowed for a pig is about 7 sq ft. That is standing room only. No turning, becuase movement is an 'undesirable action' which will make the meat less soft and tender. Pigs are intelligent creatures that thrive on being able to run about. Cramming them, many thousands at a time into temperature controlled sheds where they never see sunlight or even get to walk is vile and unnatural. All this is done to produce cheap meat.

The environmental impact of all this mass-production is a further issue. Intensive rearing requires vast tracts of land to provide the feeds to shovel into the conveyor belt, huge quantities of water sluicing down and is responsible for much more GHG emissions than traditional farming. To say nothing of the manure issues.

Yes it is cheaper to eat 'value' meat, but at what cost?
You can get 3 chickens for a fiver at Tesco, you can get 18 battery eggs for the price of six free range and you probably won't have any hoof or lip or tripe in any of it but does that make it acceptable?

Given that part of the ethos of this site is:
We believe that the homemade life is one that tries to avoid mass production, and attempts to reduce the amount of toxic products that have become part of our daily lives and routines.

It seems to me incompatible with endorsing factory farming practices that are inhumane, unsustainable for the planet and deleterious to human health.

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Post by Compostwoman on 10th February 2011, 4:08 pm

except that the MRM issue is usually from factory farmed meat put into cheap foods such as ready meals, pies, sausages and burgers

So the two issues ( how meat is reared and what goes into foodstuffs) are linked IMO, probably more so with factory farmed meat than free range meat.

I say this because it seems to me, from observation of butchers and chats with friends who raise organic or free range meat, that meat reared to higher welfare standards tends to be sold as " whole bits" of carcass - chops, joints etc,

so there is less destined for the MRM process ( if at all!) than the cruelly raised meat, where the so called best bits are removed and packaged for a supermarket and the rest is MRM and minced up etc...

So to me at least the two issues are fairly closely linked.

It is not about the issue of what is in the bargain burger, so much as the concept of MRM is easier to apply to a carcass if it has already been "de animalised" by cruel and unkind treatment when alive.


Not sure if that is too clear; I am on meds for my back pain and my thoughts are a bit fuzzy!

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