Author Topic: Personal investigation: Where my beef comes from, Slaughterhouse, Market  (Read 3159 times)

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Offline goodsamaritan

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My cousin and I finally pushed through with the plan of following the trail of where our beef comes from.  We looked at the unloading of the cows, the slaughtering of the cows, the cutting of the carcasses, the delivery of the carcasses to market, the cutting up of the meat in the market stalls and hanging them for sale.

I sacrificed 1 whole night of sleep to get this information.  Feel free to donate as I spent my own money investigating this for you. For those who don’t know my blog too well, I live in Manila Philippines.  So this is a report about beef in Manila.

I met my cousin at 12 midnight at the corner of EDSA and Congressional Avenue in front of Munoz market.  We drove to Novaliches, to the pig and cow slaughterhouse near his house.  He knew friends there and had been there before and has seen this done before.  My cousin is a truck driver and has had experience transporting live animals before.

We arrived around 12:15 am in the slaughter house and just walked right in posing as buyers.  We could see what was going on step by step.

   1. First the cows are unloaded from trucks.  The truck we observed had some 10 or more brahman type cows,  mostly male.  These ones were pretty tall, taller than men.  All led by the nose.  Pretty well behaved animals.  They were unloaded in a small temporary waiting area.
   2. One by one the cows are led to the killing spots.  At least 1 man holds the cow’s nose rope and the horns / head for the cow to stay steady.  Then, a man with a sharp dagger has the task of killing the cow by plunging the dagger on the known spot on the nape of the cow.  He plunges quickly several times until the animal collapses dead on the floor.  There are some 3 more men ready to support just in case the animal struggles.  This happens in 5 minutes.
   3. A man then slices the throat of the cow and and collects the blood to waiting containers.
   4. The head of the cow is sliced off and carted away.
   5. Several men start slicing away at the skin of the cow,  until only the back part is left on.  The men are careful the skin is all in 1 piece.  My guess is it is sold to be made into leather.  The hoofs and lower leg of the cows are sliced off and the cow carcass with the skin still on is hanged hydraulically for easy skin stripping until the skin falls on the ground in 1 piece.
   6. Next, the cow belly is opened up and the internal organs are slowly led down to fall on the floor and carted away.  Any fluids on the floor are immediately washed away.
   7. The whole cow carcass is cut in half, then one fourth.  Then the cow carcasses are manually loaded into the waiting trucks or tricycles.  The job of the slaughterhouse is done.

The slaughterhouse we visited was very clean.  The smell of the cow was very good.  It all smells like fresh raw beef in there.  Taste smell for raw animal food eaters like me.

Next my cousin and I take a short nap and at 3:30 am go to a meat seller in Novaliches that gets its meat from the same slaughterhouse.  I buy 1 kilo for a souvenir and my cousin and I taste a raw piece each.  Very good.

Then we move on to a big market, Farmers’ market in Cubao, Quezon City.  At 4 am, the trucks from some other slaughter houses have just unloaded the cow carcasses and the the butchers are very busy cutting away and classifying them according to the meat part you are going to buy.  The meat parts are hanged and arranged by 4:30 am.  You can arrive earlier and buy what you like even before that.  But mind you, the butchers are very busy at this time.

So the responsibility of clean handling also rests on the butchers in the market.  Know your butcher.  See if he handles meat properly, practices good hygiene.  Everything is open so you can see.  I bought my own sirloin souvenir at Farmers Market that day.  We also did some sea food marketing.  At 5am I was home.

I lost 1 good night of sleep, but the first hand information I gained knowing my family’s beef is cleanly handled was worth it.  The beef was never heated up, the beef was never frozen, the animals were humanely handled, sanitation was a natural common sense approach.  Now I know when the butcher at Farmers Market says his meat is FRESH and just died a few hours ago, it is true.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 09:23:45 am by goodsamaritan »
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Re: Personal investigation: Where my beef comes from, Slaughterhouse, Market
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2008, 01:15:10 am »
You are more lucky than I.
I buy beef from a farmer who has grass fed organic oxen, but they must by law be transported to an abattoir/butcher and the frozen parts sent back to the farmer, who is more than a hundred miles from where I live.
Most oxen in Canada are given fodder which contains DPW/Dried Poultry Waste, also known as chicken shit, and I can smell it in the meat. It is very hard to find a farmer who has grass fed organic.
Fodder for swine can legally be garbage, I don't know what other horrible stuff they are given, but it often tasted bad so I quit eating pork

BTW "cow" is the female. Males are called bulls. The species is called ox, and that word is rarely used anymore because most people no longer live close to the land. They call oxen "cattle" instead.

Offline wodgina

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Re: Personal investigation: Where my beef comes from, Slaughterhouse, Market
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2008, 01:46:37 am »
One thing vegetarians say is that if people had to kill their own meat they would become vegetarian as if its a horrific experience.

It's good to here the slaughter house smelled tasty!
“Integrity has no need of rules.”

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