Why the backlog? Well, processing a hog is time-intensive labor, especially without the assistance of equipment found in large plants that aid in slaughter and further processing. A person does not just push the button nose of a pig and make it fall apart into packages of ham, sausage, and pork rinds.
Thankfully, with meat processors back in operation with safety measures in place to protect workers from COVID-19, meat prices have somewhat stabilized, so more grills can be fired up for beer can chickens, pork chops, and turkey burgers. And while these are all delicious options for your holiday meal, this post is all about one of the most classic grilled meats: the ribeye steak.
Once decontaminated, shoppers unload their dozen or so shopping bags and put foodstuffs in their proper places: canned tuna in the pantry, fresh chicken thighs in the refrigerator, and frozen peas in the chest freezer. But how long will all that food last? Is it wise to buy so much food at once? To answer these questions, let us consider label dates and how to interpret them.
Biltong originated in South Africa where it was a food of choice on long journeys for indigenous people as well as later settlers: it was shelf (or saddlebag) stable, lightweight, and didn’t need any preparation to be enjoyed.
It’s terrific because labels bearing claims such as “all-natural” must receive approval from the USDA before they enter commerce.
So with all seriousness, thank you, Iowa pig farmers, for your tireless devotion to your herds. Thank you for raising your animals with care and respect. Without properly raised animals, high-quality meats enjoyed the world-over could not be attained.
Without the help of proteins and starches found in binders and extenders, a ball of ground meat will be a dry, crumbly mess.