Musing on food and cooking ...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing

So I got all excited about these pork spines 'cause they're cheap, only to do some research and find out that they are simply neck bones. Kinda like Ox Tails in reverse. Apparently they are used to make soup, especially in Korea and Mexico. I found one Korean recipe but it involves a million ingredients that I don't have and that I will have to go into the city to get. And since the recipe says the aroma of a cooking pork spine is pretty intense and that all windows in your kitchen should be open during cooking, I am not so keen to make a special trip just to try.

Still, I am going to have to do something. The price of food is going up exponentially. In Chicago, the price of a dozen eggs has jumped 81% since last year, according to an article that is in today's Chicago Tribune. And meat is going higher and higher because the cost of corn feed has skyrocketed, as more and more corn is used for ethanol. For our gas guzzling vehicles. What's worse is that most major meat manufacturers (and yes, I call them this because they sure as hell aren't butchers or farmers anymore) are injecting meat with a brine. Nowadays, this means that between 7-15% of the meat you buy is nothing but artificially added salt water. But you are still paying for that weight as if it were actual meat. Meat manufacturers claim they do this because it helps the home cook keep their meat juicy and moist. I call bullshit. Anyone who wants to know how to keep their meat juicy and moist while cooking can just read a cookbook or look up an article on foodnetwork.com. I, frankly, think it is disgusting and immoral. And bad for cooking. The other day, I decided to bake some chicken leg quarters. They threw off so much moisture from the artificially added brine that they steamed instead of roasted and were so salty, despite the fact that I add no salt whatsoever, that I could hardly eat them.

And going veggie is not always a good thing either. India is a major supplier of dulses or legumes to the world. In recent years, they have curtailed the amount of lentils or dals they have exported because they haven't had enough to supply their own population, effectively driving the price of lentils up mondo high. During a recent trip to the Indian market, I purchased 8 pounds of lentils at a price of $15, more than $2 a pound. Lentils shouldn't cost as much as subgrade chicken parts.

I am seriously thinking about ordering some grassraised organic meat this upcoming afll. Anyone want to go Dutch on a half of beef?

3 comments:

Brave Sir Robin said...

What's worse is that most major meat manufacturers (and yes, I call them this because they sure as hell aren't butchers or farmers anymore) are injecting meat with a brine.

Yes!!

This week I bought two whole chickens. The only kind available in my store were labeled “seasoned”.

Seasoned?? I just want a plain whole chicken.

I read the label. 7% solution. Yep, brined.

And that’s all they had.

I’m pissed.

Brave Sir Robin said...

What's worse is that most major meat manufacturers (and yes, I call them this because they sure as hell aren't butchers or farmers anymore) are injecting meat with a brine.

Yes!!

This week I bought two whole chickens. The only kind available in my store were labeled “seasoned”.

Seasoned?? I just want a plain whole chicken.

I read the label. 7% solution. Yep, brined.

And that’s all they had.

I’m pissed.

Shirley said...

There is always the Amish to order meat from.