Tag Archives: Health

USDA Beef Grades – Know what you are getting and it’s quality

There are eight grades of beef designated by the USDA, only the top four or five grades are usually sold to consumers in supermarkets.
Lower grades are most often used for ground beef or processed and use in canned goods. The different beef grades are found in specific cuts of meat, each has its own unique uses and recommended cooking methods.

U.S. Prime
This is the highest grade of beef with the most fat marbling. This meat is very tender and only accounts for about 2.9 percent of all graded beef.
U.S. Prime is usually reserved for high end dining establishments. Because this grade of beef has such a high level of fat marbling, it is excellent for dry-heat cooking methods. These include roasting, grilling, frying, broiling, and baking.
Many supermarkets do not sell USDA Prime beef. 40 to 45 day dry aged Prime beef cuts often sell from $50.00 to $100.00 dollars or more per-pound.

U.S. Choice
Choice beef is widely available to consumers in supermarkets and restaurants. This beef has a good amount of fat marbling, although less than U.S. Prime. U.S. Choice accounts for roughly 50 percent of all graded beef. It can typically be cooked with either dry or moist heat methods without causing excessive dryness. U.S. Choice is an excellent economic alternative to U.S. Prime. You can grill, fry, roast, or bake this beef as well as stew it or braise it.

U.S. Select
Select beef is also widely available in the retail market. It is much leaner than U.S. Choice and tends to be less tender or juicy often used in ground beef. USDA Select was formerly labeled as “Good.” Due to the low-fat content in this meat, it should be reserved for moist heat cooking methods to prevent drying. Moist heat methods include braising, stewing, steaming, and poaching. Cooking in a slow cooker is one example. These methods help break down tough fibers that are usually present in this meat.

U.S. Standard and U.S. Commercial
Standard and Commercial grades are very low in fat content and may be considerably less tender. When sold in the retail market they typically go ungraded or are labeled under the store brand name and sold for lower prices. Often used to produce ‘low fat’ (lean) ground beef.
Consider using moist heat methods to cook this beef. They are suitable for stew and slow cooker recipes that will make them less tough; grilling or frying may result in dry and chewy meat.

Utility, Cutter, and Canner Grades
These grades may be completely devoid of fat marbling or cut from older animals. These three grades are typically reserved for making processed meat products and canned goods. It is not likely that you will find these in a supermarket, and if you do, you probably will not want to buy or cook with them.

2020 National Doughnut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June.

The original doughnut wasn’t at sweet as we have it today, and it wasn’t glazed.

** 1918 Doughnut Recipe

Ingredients:

5 cups flour

2 cups sugar

5 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt (a.k.a 1 “saltspoon”)

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups milk

1 tub lard

Directions:

Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4-inch thick.

Drop the rings into the hot lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the doughnuts gradually. Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.

When browned, remove doughnuts and allow excess fat to drop off.
Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.

Grin … if you don’t have a ‘tub of lard’ feel free to use shorting or oil to fry your doughnuts.

*When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative. 1918 Salvation Army Doughnut Girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.

Coronavirus aka Covid-19 virus aka Chinese virus

It seems that the American news media does not want to do their home work and tell you the whole story about previous pandemics occurring in the past 100 years.

1968 – 1969 * Hong Kong flu also known as 1968 flu pandemic was a flu pandemic whose outbreak in 1968 and 1969 killed an estimated one to four million people globally.
This outbreak actually began in mainland China before spreading to Hong Kong.

1957 – 1958 * Asian flu, originated in Guizhou, China.
This pandemic caused two to four million deaths worldwide.

1918 – 1919 * Spanish flu, The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.
Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify with certainty the pandemic’s country of origin.

It should be noted that WHO estimates 250,000 to 500,000 people die of seasonal flu annually.

It seems that covid-19 is little or no more dangerous than the number killed by the flu each year.
To date there is no known effective covid-19 medical treatments or vaccines available to treat those infected with covid-19.

The main difference between flu virus and covid-19 virus is we have better treatments and flu virus vaccines to battle flu out brakes.

BBQ – Are you using your BBQ grill wrong

For many lock-down has been lifted.
Memorial day is often the first big BBQ outing of the year.

Hints and tips on using your BBQ grill

* Check for any damage before using the grill for the first time each year, and check the entire grill regularly.
* If cooking using propane, check hoses and check for leaks by applying soapy water to hoses and connections. Leaks will cause your soapy water to bubble.
* Using old grill brush for years is a bad idea. Get a new brush every year or every 2 years.
* A grill (charcoal or gas) needs to preheat for about 15 minutes or more until the temperature reaches around 500 degrees before cleaning and applying fresh cooking oil to it’s cooking grates.
* Keep your grill a safe distance from your home, wood fencing, decks and over hanging low tree limbs.

December 2019 post
USDA recommended safe cooking temperatures
.

.
USDA Meats, Poultry and Water Fowl cooking Charts

Have a happy and safe Memorial day weekend.

Spring time – plant your garden seeds soon, or miss your optimal planting time

It’s that time of year again, soil, day and night time air temperatures are nearing the optimal temperatures for direct seeding in your garden or raised bed soils.

An older blog post you may find useful Seed To Fork
North Dakota State University Agriculture Extension – Combinations found to be beneficial

Temperature, it’s all about the soil temperature.
Soil temperature is almost never to warm, however, soils that are to cool and damp at worst can cause your seed to rot in the ground and at best take many days to germinate. Seedling in cool soil grow slowly and often do not develop into healthy productive plants.

vegetable seed germination chart

herb seed germination chart

Words of wisdom: Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry S Truman

Montana fish and game department explain safe social distant separation

Some convid 19 safe distancing advice better understood using common sense.

Montana sport fishing expresses safe social distancing using terms only fishermen and fisher-women understand.

Mandatory safe space between those on Montana rivers and lakes.

The recommended gap equals “4 trout,” “2 shovelnose sturgeon,” “1 paddlefish” or “1 fishing rod” measurements, according to the government agency.

Happy day out fishing.

Silver lining to convid-19 lock downs

New data confirms the improvement in air quality over Europe is a byproduct of the coronavirus crisis. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) a pollutant that comes principally from the use of fossil fuels takes a sharp dip.

There’s a lot of variability in NO2 from day to day. And that’s real variability, it’s not a measurement artefact, but it’s just due to changes in the weather. So when the wind direction changes, or the wind speed changes, or the stability of the boundary layer changes you will get different readings.

Polluting gases fall rapidly as coronavirus spreads. Eyes in the sky leaves polluters nowhere to hide. Sentinel-5P (S5P) maps have previously released of China and Italy. The new maps of Italy shows marked reductions in the north of country where the Covid-19 outbreak has been most severe.

The time period to see the dip in air pollution concentrations is also quite short.

Will we learn any lessons from quickly air pollution can be cleared from cities and countries?

Homemade Disinfectant That Works

Regular Bleach is safe for kitchen countertops and cutting boards. Bleach should never be used full strength for cleaning any surface, it should always be diluted with water. For disinfecting countertops, use a solution of 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water. Apply the bleach solution and let stand for 5 minutes, rinse thoroughly, and allow to air dry.

After cleaning with warm soapy water, dishes, cups, sinks, tubs, showers, toilets and ‘most floor surfaces can be disinfected with bleach water. Note Dishes must be rinsed well and dried before being put away.
Bleach water is also effective for disinfecting outdoor appliances and furniture as well.

Caution Always wear eye protection and latex gloves when using any bleach based disinfectant. When disinfecting appliances always unplug appliance before using bleach water to disinfect appliances.Bleach disinfectent must be used with caution and always in a well ventilated area.

Be on the front line protecting you and your family from bacterial and viral infections.

Being more productive

A newly hired software designer and university educated programmer told his supervisor that he must have access to a stand up desk to complete his software programming assignment.

His supervisor agreed to the young programmers demands and the engineering maintenance department setout to provide him with a standup work station.

Be very careful what you ask for, you may get it!

Communist China controls Americas drug supply chain

President Trump invokes Defense Production Act grants the president the ability to direct the production of certain equipment.

President Trump encourages US pharmaceutical industry to end drug production in China and return drug manufacturing to the United States.

COVID-19, has U.S. officials on an accelerated mission to bring the production of life saving medicines back to U.S. shores and away from the control of the Chinese government.
Das Nobel, founder and CEO of the New York based product and supply service MTX Group said “U.S. is over reliant on drugs from China, and it’s not a sustainable model.”

The spread of the novel virus throughout American shores in recent weeks has underscored the long held worry regarding the U.S.’s “over-reliance” on Chinese pharmaceutical production. America essentially ceased domestic production of penicillin around 2004.
Over 80 percent of pharmaceuticals sold in the U.S. in addition to crucial medical equipment, including face mask come from China.

Congress has several bipartisan bills, including the “Pharmaceutical Independent Long-Term Readiness Reform Act,” are currently awaiting further action, all with the intention of urging and even forcing pharmaceuticals back into U.S. borders and away from Chinese domination.

President Trump last took more urgent action on the matter, signing an executive order to pave the way for masks and related respiratory needs to be American made amid the time of frantic shortage and crisis. The intention of the order is to close legal loopholes, streamline the tangle of red tape and encourage companies to manufacture products in the U.S., rather than China.

Department of Defense has long raised red flags about China dominance in the U.S. drug supply chain being a national security concern.

Ken Mahoney, New York based Mahoney Asset Management said “it would be a major investment to build more Pharmaceutical production facilities here in the U.S. The advantage would be that we can then be self reliant and the U.S. can’t be ‘blackmailed’ by China.”