Recycla has had grilled burgers on the mind recently, as her husband makes some of the best she’s ever had. They’re especially delicious when served with sides of homemade oven fries, corn on the cob from the farmers’ market, and fresh blueberries from her garden.
What in served at Recycla’s table is beef that came from cows raised in a traditional feedlot, fed antibiotics and hormones, or given no room to move around. Recycla prefers her beef to be free of antibiotics, hormones, and animal bi-products, thank you very much, and gets her beef from a local farm where she has developed a relationship with the farmer and knows that she’s buying organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef.
Burger lovers looking for an alternative to conventional beef have two options — meat labeled organic or natural. Organic regulations, implemented by the U.S. Agriculture Department in 2002, ban antibiotics, hormones and animal bi-products in cattle feed. Unlike producers of “natural” meat products, which are minimally processed and free of preservatives and additives, organic producers must be certified annually for compliance with organic standards to raise, feed and process their livestock. Organically raised cattle also must be tracked from birth to consumption.
If you want to buy good beef, your best option is to get it from a local farm, the farmers’ market, or a local butcher. If you have any local independent grocery stores, you might just find local organic beef there too.
Organic beef does cost more per pound, but since Recycla’s family of four will only need a pound of beef to cover their burger needs, Recycla isn’t going to sweat the relatively minor hit to her grocery budget.
In the coming weeks, Recycla is looking forward to having fresh tomato slices on her burger and homemade pickles on the side.
Recycla might not like summer’s heat, but she sure does like summer’s foods.