Page 28 - Barbecue News Magazine
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Level Up Your Beef Cuts For National Steak Month small independent neighborhood butcher has almost be- come extinct in the US. Almost.
You have probably heard by now that, a large cooking website owned by the huge publisher Condé Nast, has announced it will not publish
any new beef recipes out of concern for
sustainability. This is bullpoop.
According to the EPA, all forms of agri-
culture produce only 10% of all green-
house gases, and beef production a
fraction of that. Transportation accounts
for 29%, electricity generation 25%, in-
dustry 23%, commercial and residential
buildings 13%. The solution to climate
change is not to stop eating beef. The so-
lutions are to employ emerging tech-
nologies for more efficient
transportation, electricity, and heating. If
we want to reduce the carbon footprint of beef, the solu- tions are new animal feeds that produce fewer gases (yes, this is a thing), stopping corn subsidies so beef prices will rise to their true level thus reducing demand, and for Epi- curious and other food influencers (including my website, to convince our readers to stop eating crap beef like those billions of cheap tasteless quarter pound fast food hockey pucks. Instead, we should focus our beef love on the good stuff like high-quality ribeye steaks.
Lean in and I'll tell you the most important secret to buy- ing better quality meat: Get to know your butcher.
That’s my favorite butcher in the photo above, Dario Cec- chini, wearing an Pitmaster Club cap in his 200-year-old butcher shop in Panzano-in-Chianti, Italy. OK, I don’t see him often, but I do know the head butchers at all three groceries near me, and they know me, too.
In my blue-collar neighborhood in a suburb just west of Chicago, there used to be many butcher shops. The big gro- cery stores and the big department stores that carry meat, like Walmart and Target, put them all out of business. The
One bright spot in the pandemic is that it has kept many local butchers in business. When giant
meatpacking plants closed or slowed production, local butchers picked up the slack. Hundreds of small independent butchers are now dotted across the coun- try. Search the web and ask around: You'll find them. Many of them are in minority neighborhoods, where kosher and halal diets require special butcher- ing techniques. In Jewish and Middle Eastern neighborhoods, you can still find real butchers who will custom cut beef steaks and lamb chops for you. African and Mexican cooking also calls for cuts
not normally found in the supermarkets, so these neigh- borhoods often have real artisans on hand, not to mention wonderful imported ingredients to broaden your horizons.
You can often find quality steaks and other meats at farmer’s markets, usually from nearby farmers, often hor- mone-free and humanely raised. - 28
JUNE 2021

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