Last year, we asked where can we find the Holy Grail of Steak. This year, we begin our quest anew and ask:
Assuming that price is absolutely no object, where can we purchase a USDA Prime Grade (or equivalent), top loin (New York strip) steak, with the following 16 pieces of information about the individual cattle which produced the steak:
- Farm(s): What is the name and address of each farm (the cow-calf, backgrounder and feedlot operator) where the cattle was raised?
- Breed: What is the breed (or hybrid) of the cattle?
- Sex: What is the sex (e.g. steer) of the cattle?
- Sire: What are the name and breed of the cattle's sire?
- Dam: What are the name and breed of the cattle's dam?
- Date of Birth: What is the date of birth of the calf?
- Weight History: What is the birth weight of the calf, its monthly weight throughout its live, and its live weight for slaughter?
- Health History: What is the name and date of each vaccine, worming, antibiotic, hormone and other medication and health procedure?
- Castration: If the calf is a steer, what is the date and method of castration?
- Weaning Date: What is the date when the calf was weaned?
- Feeding History: What is the name, date and exact type of each feed (e.g. the exact species of grass, foliage, and grain mixture) eaten by the cattle over its lifetime?
- Trucking History: What is the date and trucker for each movement of the cattle from one location to another?
- USDA Grade: What is the USDA grade, if applicable?
- Date of Slaughter: What is the date of the cattle's slaughter?
- Marbling Score: What is beef's marbling score (or IMF%) at Rib 12/13?
Note: USDA Prime Grade or equivalent means that, if a carcass is not USDA Graded, it has the same marbling and aging characteristics as a USDA Prime Grade steak would have.We call this background information the "provenance" of the steak, and this is our 2011 Quest for the Holy Grail of SteakPerfection.
Is our quest doomed to failure?
We know that all the major conventional producers and processors keep detailed records about every individual animal they process and that they can trace each steak back to the animal that it came from. But we also suspect that no producer or processor makes this information available to its customers, although we believe that we consumers have a right to know everything about our steak that the producers and processors know.
We also know that the non-conventional producers and processors (such as grass-fed and organic cattle producers) also keep detailed recoreds about every individual animal they process and that they too can trace each steak back to the animal that it came from. The major problem for them is marbling score and age of their cattle, which is usually lean and older than conventional cattle.
Can we purchase an abundantly marbled, top loin (New York strip) steak from a young steer, with all the information listed above? Please post your comments/feedback. Thanks in advance.
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The foregoing is based upon a blog posted by SteakPerfection to CattleToday.com on 122810@2136
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