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Old 05-14-2020, 03:37 PM
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Do-it-yourself meat question


Approximately how much would it cost to buy a steer from a rancher, deliver it to a butcher, and have her cut it up and package it for you?
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:47 PM
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$1202.50 for half a steer

http://www.blueroosterfarm.com/purch...r-quarter-beef
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:01 PM
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Probably varies locally. Don't forget the cost of the extra freezer, and the cost of cleaning up the mess if that freezer fails.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:11 PM
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Approximately how much would it cost to buy a steer from a rancher, deliver it to a butcher, and have her cut it up and package it for you?
If you buy a live steer and trailer it to a butcher, once the butcher starts butchering the steer is gonna resist.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:11 PM
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And take into account the current waiting list. The ones around here are booked into 2021.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:20 PM
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Is there a bargain price for just grinding the whole thing to hamburger?

Terrible waste of tasty steaks and such. Probably best to keep ribs as separate cuts. But would you get a much cheaper butchering cost if you said, just grind it all up? ( meat, not bones )
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:57 PM
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I doubt it - the carcass still has be to be cleaned, disarticulated, and if you're going to grind everything you'll have to de-bone the meat prior to the grinding.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:00 PM
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This place will kill it, gut it, cut it and package to your specifications. http://www.fauquiersfinest.com/rates-and-services
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:00 PM
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And take into account the current waiting list. The ones around here are booked into 2021.
Deep freezers are also hard to get now. I just checked Home Depot's website, and the one listed as a best seller is back ordered until August.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:08 PM
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Is there a bargain price for just grinding the whole thing to hamburger?

Terrible waste of tasty steaks and such. Probably best to keep ribs as separate cuts. But would you get a much cheaper butchering cost if you said, just grind it all up? ( meat, not bones )
Cheaper? No. You are paying a premium price for hamburger that way, Getting patties the last time we did cost extra. Can save a few pennies per pound by wrapping it yourself but usually isn't worth the few dollars in the end.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:43 PM
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Not really practical. A deer carcass butchered and packaged take a bunch of space in a chest freezer.
A 1/2 steer would fill it up.
Small protein sources, like rabbit, chickens, fish and, if you're game: squirrel and opossum, take up less room. Defrost, cook, eat, and replace daily.
Or go strictly for canned meat.

If the s**t really hits the fan about meat shortages it's really gonna be bad, folks.
Start buying now.

I don't plan on eating Cat soup.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:47 PM
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If the shit really hits the fan with meat shortages:

1) canned meat
2) hunt your own small game
3) get a fishing pole
4) backyard hens
5) beans
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:21 PM
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Actually, if you are really worried about meat shortages, you can start raising chickens, crayfish, or if you really want to be ahead of the curve, crickets and caterpillars. All of these are much better for the environment than cows, sheep, and pigs, and probably better for you as well.

The current centralized meat production and processing industry has been problematic in a number of ways; with the lower costs come environmental impacts, increases in meat-borne pathogenic disease, the exploitation of immigrant workers, and of course the vulnerability we are now seeing when even a few major plants are impacted.

And as much as I hate to say it because like meat and hate beans, but with the right dietary balance you can get away with a minimum of animal products (or none) in your diet without any serious health complications, and possibly even significant improvements when it comes to eliminating highly processed meat products. I’m still holding out for good vat-grown meat, though.

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Old 05-14-2020, 06:33 PM
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Approximately how much would it cost to buy a steer from a rancher, deliver it to a butcher, and have her cut it up and package it for you?
Not much more than ordering that much meat directly from your butcher.

Last edited by TriPolar; 05-14-2020 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:38 PM
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Not much more than ordering that much meat directly from your butcher.
Still impractical if you don't have freezer space.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:41 PM
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Soylent green? Ewwwww!

I can go a long time without Animal protein. Not sure about the rest of my family.
I'm afraid we'd devolve into a Donner party pretty quick.

(I'm kidding, I ain't eating peoples)

The problem with small game for urban people, if you don't have a place to hunt you'll be out of luck. When town squirrels and birds get eaten urbanites will be moving further and further out.
If you're armed and know how to hunt then you'll run into others doing the same thing. Or landowners who won't appreciate you taking their game.

That's not a sustainable food source, at all. If you live through the hunt you're still not gonna get much meat like that.
One squirrel is 1/2 the size of a chicken.
Squirrel are surprisingly hard to hunt.(I don't care how easy Daryl makes it look on the Walking dead, it's got to be a head shot or lose a lot of the meat)

Get that canned hash bought.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:43 PM
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:46 PM
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Markets and restaurants are starting to report meat supply chain issues, and consequent price mark-ups. ISTM that the meat on the hoof is still out there, but the mass production processing part is disrupted? Ugh. Maybe we will be seeing an increase in a more direct supply chain with local butchers becoming more in demand.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:48 PM
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I've got no beef with that.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:53 PM
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Markets and restaurants are starting to report meat supply chain issues, and consequent price mark-ups. ISTM that the meat on the hoof is still out there, but the mass production processing part is disrupted? Ugh. Maybe we will be seeing an increase in a more direct supply chain with local butchers becoming more in demand.
Local butchers of that sort already exist but I think in many areas, they're aimed at kosher or halal buyers. Mostly the system is currently set up for large slaughterhouses which then distribute packaged meat to food distributors and supermarkets. I don't see that changing.
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:53 PM
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Still impractical if you don't have freezer space.
Even if you did have the space it's still impractical to buy a steer if you can't butcher it yourself.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:24 PM
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Or you could go down the Alex Jones route.

Not sure about whether you should dry age or wet age “long pig”, but I’d definitely go heavy on the seasoning.

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Old 05-14-2020, 08:25 PM
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I've helped Mr.Wrekker field dress many deer. It's not hard. Messy and stinky.
There are videos online on how to do it.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:39 PM
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We purchase a side of beef (half a steer) every couple of years. I think we paid around $800 to the rancher (who had it delivered to the butcher for us), and another couple of hundred to the butcher for butchering it and packaging it.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:47 PM
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People around here often go shares in a side of beef. There are still small abattoirs here which will cut and package to your specifications. My neighbors raised a hundred broilers last year and had a 'butchering party" -- invited friends, rented a plucker, set up an assembly line under the trees, and got them all processed in an afternoon. People who helped got dressed chickens in return.

Rabbits take up very little space and there's a lot of meat on a rabbit. Easier to skin a rabbit than pluck a chicken in my experience anyway.

The concept of a centralized industrial meat supply system for an entire nation is not the only one that works.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:52 PM
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Or you could go down the Alex Jones route.

Not sure about whether you should dry age or wet age “long pig”, but I’d definitely go heavy on the seasoning.
Goodness, no. It’s best on the bone, only a touch of salt, fresh and bloody red rare.

“The closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat!” Take my word for it.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:07 PM
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Is there a bargain price for just grinding the whole thing to hamburger?

Terrible waste of tasty steaks and such. Probably best to keep ribs as separate cuts. But would you get a much cheaper butchering cost if you said, just grind it all up? ( meat, not bones )
Around here, at least, the cut-wrap-and-freeze charge is per pound; nothing to do with what cuts you order.

I suspect it would be at least as much work for the butcher to remove all the meat from the bones and grind it all as it would be to cut the animal more normally. Probably more work.

-- The price is going to vary by area, by the particular farm you purchase from, and by the size of the steer; at least around here, you pay by pound, usually for hanging weight. (Hanging weight, live weight, and dressed weight are three different things. Don't freak out if you got charged by hanging weight when what you actually bring home weighs less.)

Some farms will sell by the quarter, which will be easier to fit in the freezer, though you'll still need a chunk of freezer space. And, unless they'll sell a mixed quarter (some places will), you'll have to decide whether you want forequarter or hindquarter, which supply different cuts.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:33 PM
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This is a pretty cool video showing what you get from a side of beef and how it's all cut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrOzwoMKzH4
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:52 PM
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If you buy a live steer and trailer it to a butcher, once the butcher starts butchering the steer is gonna resist.
A joke, of course, but it does bring up a point worth remembering. Many butchers will not do their own slaughtering. If you're buying a live animal, you need to figure in the slaughter as a separate step in your costs and transportation plans.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:02 PM
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This is a pretty cool video showing what you get from a side of beef and how it's all cut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrOzwoMKzH4
Nice vid-I hadn't heard the term "oyster steak" in years.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:20 PM
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Local butchers of that sort already exist but I think in many areas, they're aimed at kosher or halal buyers. Mostly the system is currently set up for large slaughterhouses which then distribute packaged meat to food distributors and supermarkets. I don't see that changing.
If this all drags on long enough, we'll see more shift into local production and distribution, which is all to the good I think.


I'm not close enough to any of you to go in on a steer, I don't think. If anyone in the Bay Area is interested, please reach out.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:32 PM
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I think it's more likely the large slaughterhouses will space out their employees so they can't infect each other.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:40 PM
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I thought this would be about how you could brew up your own impossible burger using only ingredients found around the house/pantry.

I'm waiting on Impossible Pepperoni myself.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:52 PM
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I thought this would be about how you could brew up your own impossible burger using only ingredients found around the house/pantry.

I'm waiting on Impossible Pepperoni myself.
Eric Trump is looking around nervously like a character in a survival horror movie.

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Old 05-15-2020, 06:58 AM
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A joke, of course, but it does bring up a point worth remembering. Many butchers will not do their own slaughtering. If you're buying a live animal, you need to figure in the slaughter as a separate step in your costs and transportation plans.
Yep, my point exactly. Butchers usually only butcher.

A very good friend of mine has some sheep. When it's time to slaughter lambs, I give him a hand. He actually has a hard time killing the cute little lambs.

Some people want a lamb ready to put on a spit. Those we kill, gut, skin, rinse, then hang in the cooler. A research scientist at the University of Pittsburgh buys lamb hearts, with specific parameters involving the length of vessels left on the organ. The meat is waste, but I end up eating it. We turn the carcass into legs, chops, and lots of roasts.

A sharp knife and a bandsaw make the work easier.

A few years back I saved the scraps and bones, then brought them home. We had three big stock pots going on the stove. It took two days to cook and de-fat the broth, which we then cooled and put into heavy duty zip lock bags that we laid flat in the freezer.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:02 AM
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Butchers usually only butcher.
Maybe that depends on where you are; or maybe the issue is that most butchers aren't also slaughterhouses, which is true. However, at least around here, small scale slaughterhouses are also butchers; and, if you buy a live animal or a share in one from a farmer, that's the kind of slaughterhouse the farmer is going to be using. So no, you don't have to move the carcass from one facility to another in order to get it cut. While the slaughterhouse will let you take the side(s) or quarter home to cut up yourself if you want, you can instead choose to have them cut and wrap it for you, and most will also freeze it -- most home freezers aren't able to freeze that much meat at once without taking a long time at it, which can reduce quality.

Generally the slaughterhouse bill will show a separate slaughter free (per animal) and a cut-wrap-and-freeze fee (per pound.) The farmer will probably be paid separately, usually by pound, figured usually as hanging weight (cut weight will be less, live weight is more.)
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:43 PM
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This is a pretty cool video showing what you get from a side of beef and how it's all cut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrOzwoMKzH4
That is a very good video. It's very satisfying to see and hear someone passionate about what they do. That he's very good at it is even better. I could sure go for some beef ribs right now.
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Old 05-16-2020, 02:00 PM
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We went in on part of a cow once- we knew somebody who knew somebody, so we gave it a try. A couple things I remember-we got a lot of wierd cuts of meat I had never heard of, like “blade roast”. And a LOT of hamburger. The cow ain’t all t-bones and ribeyes. Also it was not as cheap as we had thought- we were quoted a price for “X” lbs. of meat but when we actually weighed the packaged up meat it weighted a good bit less than what we were told. Maybe the poundage quoted was before butchering and cleaning.

I have to say though, flavor-wise it was the tastiest beef we ever ate. I guess naturally raised, grass-fed beef really makes a difference.
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Old 05-16-2020, 02:31 PM
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I've bought or gone in on 4 or 5 steer either as a whole, a half or a quarter. Unless you have the land/grass/water to raise them or a cheap source of hay it just never seems worth it. You're better off buying the bulk packages of vacuum sealed meat from a restaurant supply "Cash and Carry" place. I recommend starting with a top round and cutting it into London broils. It's the easiest, without a lot of odd cuts or scrap. Then learn how to break down a sirloin, it's harder as there is a variety of steaks, roasts, and stew meat/burger/scrap.
Both top rounds and sirloins can be had in the big packages for cheaper than your local grocery store sells 80/20 burger and you're not stuck with a bunch or heart, liver, tongue, 24 bone roasts, soup bones and missing a few rib steaks.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:06 PM
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That is a very good video. It's very satisfying to see and hear someone passionate about what they do. That he's very good at it is even better. I could sure go for some beef ribs right now.
I enjoyed the video but goodness, there's a lot of work that goes into taking apart a cow! This is why I'm very happy to pay someone else to do all that work.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:18 PM
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This is a pretty cool video showing what you get from a side of beef and how it's all cut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrOzwoMKzH4
Thanks, that's a really nice video. He makes it all look so easy!
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:46 PM
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People around here often go shares in a side of beef. There are still small abattoirs here which will cut and package to your specifications.
A friend of mine coordinates half a cow every year, to be split with a few friends. Last weekend, she and her dad drove 3 hours to Wisconsin to pick it up at a small local processor. The price isn't much more than what supermarket ground beef costs, but it's from a small family farm, and we get some steaks and roasts in there too. The processor is currently booked through the end of the year! Glad we bought the separate standing freezer when we bought the house 3 years ago.

Another friend's family in Pittsburgh found a small Amish slaughterhouse that does the same for any hoofed animal.

If The Plague leads to more people supporting a more humane, sustainable, and local food chain, I guess at least it's a bit of a silver lining?
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:23 AM
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From the title, was I the only one who thought this was a masturbation thread?
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:01 AM
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Well, I certainly didn't think that.

Back on topic - I wonder if one of the silver linings to this pandemic will be people eating less meat than before, which would likely have some positive health effects. This could be due to both supply issues, and increased costs.

Certainly, because over the past couple years I've been reducing my meat intake while increasing fruits, vegetables, and grains the current issues with obtaining meat products have been much less stressful for me than some other people I've seen.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:41 AM
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A friend of mine's family buys half a cow every year from a relative who owns a farm. The meat from it gets its own freezer. When I moved up by them my friend's mother gave me a housewarming gift of a couple pounds of ground beef and a few steaks. Most delicious housewarming gift ever.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:47 AM
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Well, I certainly didn't think that.

Back on topic - I wonder if one of the silver linings to this pandemic will be people eating less meat than before, which would likely have some positive health effects. This could be due to both supply issues, and increased costs.

Certainly, because over the past couple years I've been reducing my meat intake while increasing fruits, vegetables, and grains the current issues with obtaining meat products have been much less stressful for me than some other people I've seen.
Yeah, I like meat, and I'm worried about sustaining my meat-eating habits. I had previously mostly shifted to higher-cost meat that was locally reared and slaughtered in smaller facilities, so perhaps my meat sources will be less impacted (except by higher demand, of course.)

On the other hand, a lot of the things that other people are struggling with (haircuts, pedicures) are things I've long been in the habit of dealing with on my own, and I'm even reasonably comfortable wearing face masks. So I suppose we all have different trials.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:48 AM
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From the title, was I the only one who thought this was a masturbation thread?
Maybe? I assumed it was about food when I clicked the link.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:01 AM
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From the title, was I the only one who thought this was a masturbation thread?
You're looking for the "Waking up in the middle of the night and ruminating" thread.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:42 PM
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Don't you run the risk of getting stuck with a lot of not so great meat? If I buy a steak at the grocery store and it turns outto be not great when I eat it, I chalk it up to bad luck getting a steak from a not so tasty steer. Tomorrow's steak probably will be better. But if I have hundreds of pounds more in my freezer...
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:04 AM
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What, like the entire animal tastes bad? Doubt it.

If I cook a steak and it tastes not so good, I assume that I seasoned/cooked it wrong, or let it sit too long in the fridge. Possibly that it wasn't refrigerated properly before getting to me.
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