Where Did We Leave Off?
In yesterday’s episode, we took two slabs of beef, one from a pasture-raised animal and one from a feed lot animal, and were going to cook them side by side to see if the total experience of consuming pasture-raised beef was worth the extra time and expense compared to the conventional, feed lot beef .
How Was It Cooked?
We coated both steaks with a little butter and salt, put them in a 450 degree skillet, and cooked them in the oven for 3 minutes per side. We finished them on the stovetop over a hot flame for two more minutes per side. Both steaks were cooked in the same pan, in the same way.
What Was the Result?
Here is a side by side comparison of the two cooked cuts of meat. The feed lot beef is on the left, the pasture-raised beef is on the right. My impression was that the feed lot beef was more gray and stiff, while the pasture-raised beef had better color and maintained it individuality in texture. In the pasture-raised beef, you could see more “muscle” definition. The feed lot beef reminded me of a more homogeneous texture, like a slab of tofu.
What Did You Think?
Check out Brent’s unfiltered reaction to the taste test here.
As for me, I found that the taste of feed-lot beef is exactly the same as what I had been used to all my life. It was a meat + salt + fat taste. I mean, hey, it was a ribeye, that’s a decent cut of meat. It wasn’t bad. But the pasture-raised beef had more flavor ( I want to say gamy, but it wasn’t gamy, it was beefy). The texture was different, too. It felt like it has more identity when you chewed it, and at the end it melted in your mouth. It was different, but I liked it more with every bite.
So, Was It Worth it?
Was the total experience of consuming pasture-raised beef was worth the extra time and expense compared to the conventional, feed lot beef ? In a nutshell, yes. For me, it wasn’t any single factor that made the case for paying more for pasture-raised beef, it was all the small advantages combined. Would I pay that much more just for the flavor? No. Was the texture 23% better, justifying the 23% higher price? No. But was the total package, tangible and intangible, worth the extra expense? For example, supporting sustainable agriculture, local businesses, happy cattle, plus the fact that I did like the taste and texture somewhat better? Yes. So I think I’ll be making a change based on this experiment. I think may eat less meat, but better meat. I think I’ll throw my dollars behind this way of living and eating, because its worth it. If you think its worth it too, or know someone who might be interested in this experiment, I encourage you to share this article with people you know. Its worth talking about, its worth giving it a try.