Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lamb no longer a cheap eat

johnboy 21 July 2010 74

The Canberra Times is delving into the rising price of lamb across Canberra.

Lamb cutlets are approaching $50/kg at butchers in the swankiest ACT suburbs and the shortage of sheep meat may push prices up further.

The extra cost is due to a scarcity of sheep Australia-wide, which is good for farmers in the region watching lamb prices continually break records and approach a whopping $200 a head at saleyards.

If it’s no longer going to be a cheap option should we get more creative in how we cook it?


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
74 Responses to Lamb no longer a cheap eat
Filter
Order
zllauh zllauh 10:57 pm 29 Mar 15

saving a few extra bucks does ?goes a long way, A buck saved is a buck earned !

Heard on FB about the prices of this mob and that they ?also have local produce. Luckily they are in dickson ! give them a try http://lostriverproduce.com.au/

worth a try

sirocco sirocco 4:07 pm 03 Aug 10

pajs said :

Sirocco, Grail’s paragraph on bringing refrigerated or frozen meat up to room tempreature before cooking was an attempt at humour and making a point that there can be good reasons for doing something, even if the exact explanation is not right.

And organic is hardly pseudo-science, and not the same as biodynamic. Not to mention that you can follow some aspects of BD without subscribing to Steiner’s philosophies.

Thanks pajs – if Grail’s comment was tongue-in-cheek then fair enough – it certainly makes more sense that way.

Alrightly, on revision after reading the standards laid out at http://www.australianorganic.com.au, organic does not seem to be too crazy (although – but I stand by my comments on biodynamic. But these same procedures state that in order to be certified biodynamic it appears you must create and use kooky, nonsense Steiner-potions.

pajs pajs 2:41 pm 03 Aug 10

Sirocco, Grail’s paragraph on bringing refrigerated or frozen meat up to room tempreature before cooking was an attempt at humour and making a point that there can be good reasons for doing something, even if the exact explanation is not right.

And organic is hardly pseudo-science, and not the same as biodynamic. Not to mention that you can follow some aspects of BD without subscribing to Steiner’s philosophies.

imarty imarty 1:23 pm 02 Aug 10

Been watching a bit too much ACA gazman?

sirocco sirocco 8:52 am 01 Aug 10

Wow, thanks for the very informative post Grail.

I had really no idea what organic and biodynamic certifications meant; for the last few years I had felt that these certifications were harmless methods that might even have had the potential to produce better-tasting meat. I would buy them if they were in front of me at the supermarket and at a reasonable price.

Having read the National Standard published by DAFF and followed it up with a bit of a read on the original Steiner work I am now convinced that the methods are based on batshit-crazy pseudo-science.

It suggests to me that if you open your mind too much, your brains will fall out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFO6ZhUW38w

To quote Tim Minchin:
“And if anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single Homeopathic practitioner who has been able to prove under reasonable experimental conditions that solutions made up of infinitely tiny particles of good stuff dissolved repeatedly into relatively huge quantities of water have a consistently higher medicinal value than a similarly administered placebo…”

Specifically I think I lost you at:

Grail said :

I’ve found that standing the frozen or refrigerated meat in a stoneware or metal (not plastic!) bowl of water for a few hours to absorb essential energy from the room before cooking it helps improve the flavour, and prevents the meat becoming tough and stringy.

Do you also sharpen your knives under a pyramid?

I think I will now actively avoid purchasing organic/biodynamic foods wherever possible, now that I’m better informed.

cb60 cb60 2:40 pm 31 Jul 10

agree with grail for most part but there are two major deceptive parts to organic certification:

the first is locating organic feed which is often not easily available or must be freighted in from across the country which just adds
to unnecessary carbon emissions all in the name of being organic alternatively the flock are fed minimal nutritional requirements.

second i KNOW for a fact organic certified farmers who practice intensive farming and switch back to non organic practices
when not being audited ! haha

anyway, i’m TRUE free range farmer not with lambs but chooks and mine range at 100 hens per acre and you are right in
Australia there’s no friggin regulation to ensure consumers are getting what they pay for.

….same goes for some certified organic i hate to inform you ! 😛

gazman gazman 1:30 pm 31 Jul 10

all our good lambs or lamb meat are exported , while we get to buy and eat Old Sheep. Beef is getting really bad too now. I stop buying it because last time I got bone fat n gristle for $23 a kilo .

p1 p1 5:06 pm 26 Jul 10

Grail said :

Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s bullshit. Coming back to the issue of cooking lamb, I’ve found that standing the frozen or refrigerated meat in a stoneware or metal (not plastic!) bowl of water for a few hours to absorb essential energy from the room before cooking it helps improve the flavour, and prevents the meat becoming tough and stringy.

Do you do this before or after stuffing a horn with poo and burying it?

astrojax astrojax 2:03 pm 26 Jul 10

rebcart said :

…and here was me thinking that the ‘biodynamic’ label on a few of the dairy products I like the taste of had something to do with the bacterial cultures in them. I really should have looked it up.

As a scientist, I shall now look on those products with disgust. (Won’t some other brands pleeeeease start producing non-homogenised milk? I’ll love you, honest)

+1 for non-homogenised milks!

and grail, i’m sorry but:
Coming back to the issue of cooking lamb, I’ve found that standing the frozen or refrigerated meat in a stoneware or metal (not plastic!) bowl of water for a few hours to absorb essential energy from the room before cooking

wtf is this ‘essential energy’ of which you speak??? spooky stuff, i think my computer is scared now, too.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 11:16 am 26 Jul 10

“@: the fact is that you cannot distinguish between “feedlot raised”, “feedlot finished”, or “pasture finished” lamb in the supermarket because the stuff labelled “Free Range” might be sheep that were born in a pasture

Dunno. Never, ever seen these labels you have described placed on lamb.”

I say, if you can’t tell the difference, then there’s no real problem.

Would still be nice to aim for ethical treatment of animals across the board though.

imarty imarty 11:44 pm 23 Jul 10

@Grail: The proportion doesn’t matter –

Why doesn’t the proportion matter when it is in the vast minority? At foodservice and export level it is often identified because it is a selling feature as being “grain fed”.

@: the fact is that you cannot distinguish between “feedlot raised”, “feedlot finished”, or “pasture finished” lamb in the supermarket because the stuff labelled “Free Range” might be sheep that were born in a pasture

Dunno. Never, ever seen these labels you have described placed on lamb.

@ spent 4 weeks with their flock in the pasture, then shipped to a feedlot to spend the next 3-4 weeks being “finished” before slaughter. The distinction is important to some people

BS. I wish I knew how to put that in bigger letters. Get your hand off it.
Lambs don’t come off milk within 4 weeks and then they need to be introduced to grass slowly. Animals destined for GF are also slowly introduced to grain feed which is not just grain, it is a mixture of grain, lupins and often other additives such as minerals and vitamins.

Don’t get me started on “industrial meat”. WTF does that mean.
Step into the real world and don’t believe everything you read.

Erg0 Erg0 2:18 pm 23 Jul 10

I’m not entirely sure of how serious you’re being, so I’ll just leave that where it lies. I understand perfectly what the standard is saying, my issue is with the magical language that’s used, and the false legitimacy that the standard implies. Anyone who wants to make their own judgement on the subject can do a bit of Googling, or take a look at a skeptical treatment here: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4026

Grail Grail 1:58 pm 23 Jul 10

@Pandy: you’re correct about the range of other certification agencies. The point still stands that the only discriminator the consumer can rely on is a trademarked organic label issued by a recognised certification agency: everything that is not labelled by an organic standards certification agency is in the same “non-Organic” bucket, regardless of feed-lot versus pasture-fed status. The point also stands that a farmer trying to sell pasture-raised meat has no way to distinguish their product from industrial meat. For my purposes, I’d prefer to get my meat from animals that were raised healthily and happily, it’s bad enough that my favourite food involves killing animals – I’d prefer that they were at least given the chance to be happy while they lived.

@Pandy: There’s no mention of moon cycles, but there is mention of things like “allopathic treatment”, “management plan” and “risk management”. Ha ha! Bunch of weirdos, “allopathic treatment”! What a load of cobblers!

@Erg0: you can replicate the stirring process at home: half-fill a teacup, stir it vigorously in one direction to get a vortex (whirlpool), then stir it in the opposite direction to get a vortex, then switch directions again. You’ll get chaotic bubbling as the vortex collapses and reforms spinning in the direction that you’re now stirring. I’m not sure how prescribing the technique for thoroughly mixing a suspension or solution makes biodynamics somehow unworthy of an Australian Standard. If you’re worried about this prescribed process for thoroughly mixing a solution, you should see what allopathy practitioners are doing! They use *magnetism* to induce inverse vortexes to induce chaos and entropy in their allopathic preparations. Magnetism! Chaos! Vortex! What a bunch of crackpots!

Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s bullshit. Coming back to the issue of cooking lamb, I’ve found that standing the frozen or refrigerated meat in a stoneware or metal (not plastic!) bowl of water for a few hours to absorb essential energy from the room before cooking it helps improve the flavour, and prevents the meat becoming tough and stringy.

@imarty: “The grain fed lamb is generally sold into the food service and export trade due to its consistency.” – there is still a large amount of feedlot lamb on the domestic market. The proportion doesn’t matter – the fact is that you cannot distinguish between “feedlot raised”, “feedlot finished”, or “pasture finished” lamb in the supermarket because the stuff labelled “Free Range” might be sheep that were born in a pasture, spent 4 weeks with their flock in the pasture, then shipped to a feedlot to spend the next 3-4 weeks being “finished” before slaughter. The distinction is important to some people.

Pandy Pandy 12:01 am 23 Jul 10

Grail, it seems if you want to be assured that your food is organic or a Steiner biodynamic, the food should have been certified and carry a logo from of of these groups:

http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/about/contact/aco#ausqual

This is the info I have gleaned from the AS6000 over arching standard that has been in large part been based upon the AQIS standard above.

But Certified Organic(TM) is only a trade mark for one of the certifiers. It also seems that only one organisation has a valid TM that can be pinned on biodynamic produce and that is from http://www.demeter.org.au/

Also it seems there is no restriction upon calling any food destined only for the Australian market “organic”. AQIS will only step in if you try to export food overseas labeled as organic.

rebcart rebcart 11:15 pm 22 Jul 10

…and here was me thinking that the ‘biodynamic’ label on a few of the dairy products I like the taste of had something to do with the bacterial cultures in them. I really should have looked it up.

As a scientist, I shall now look on those products with disgust. (Won’t some other brands pleeeeease start producing non-homogenised milk? I’ll love you, honest)

Erg0 Erg0 9:03 pm 22 Jul 10

Pandy said :

Grail, this Biodynamic (TM) you speak of, does the standard talk of lunar cycles and preperations? If so, how can an Australian Standard endorse alchemy?

I had no idea until now that there was actually an Australian standard for biodynamic agriculture, and I find it quite extraordinary that such a thing exists. I anxiously await the homeopathy labelling guidelines that are surely just around the corner.

For those who are unfamiliar with biodynamics, here’s a particularly scientific passage drawn from the DAFF website:

“Stirring of Bio-dynamic Preparations shall be organised to achieve an energetic vortex, followed by an immediate reverse action – causing a “bubbling” chaos and reverse vortex – then subsequent reverse chaos and vortex etc for the full hour (Steiner, Pfeiffer).”

– From Section 3.23 at http://www.daff.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/126261/national-standard.pdf

imarty imarty 8:13 pm 22 Jul 10

Grail, you’re partly right, sheep slaughtered after their wool producing days are over will be mutton but only because of their age, not their breed type.
The industry definition of mutton is a female or castrated male showing no signs of secondary sexual characteristics with up to 8 permanent incisors. Lamb is the same except it must not show any permanent incisors.

Lambs bred for meat are not necessarily grain fed and this is where you’re wrong. Most lamb sold in Australia are still grass fed. The grain fed lamb is generally sold into the food service and export trade due to its consistency.

Pandy Pandy 8:03 pm 22 Jul 10

Grail, this Biodynamic (TM) you speak of, does the standard talk of lunar cycles and preperations? If so, how can an Australian Standard endorse alchemy?

Grail Grail 6:06 pm 22 Jul 10

Sheep bred for wool and then later slaughtered will produce mutton. So it’s reasonable to assume that most of the mutton you buy is pasture-fed, but then there are the husbandry issues of mulesing, docking, routine drenching, soil health, etc.

Lambs bred for meat are usually raised in a feed lot (this practice came into widespread use in Australia through the late 1990s to early 2000s), so the meat you buy as “lamb” is most likely from a feed-lot. They raise the animals as part of an industrial process, in order to achieve the highest consistency of their product (lamb meat). Feed them as much as they can eat in 7 weeks, then ship them off to the slaughter house.

You should not associate the sheep you see contentedly grazing their way through Lake George with the lamb roast on your table. While some of those lambs will end up at the butcher, the greater portion of the lamb you see in the shops will be from feed lots except where specifically labelled “Certified Organic”.

Feed lots are simply the most efficient way to produce large quantities of lamb meat, in terms of dollars per kilogram.

indigoid indigoid 4:47 pm 22 Jul 10

I specifically asked about the free range bits because my experience of sheep farming (bearing in mind that I am a sysadmin, not a farmer!) has uniformly involved sheep grazing more or less[1] as they wanted to in paddocks (eg. the grassland on/around Lake George), and I was wondering what specific qualifications there were for the ‘free-range’ tag.

Is it really meaningless marketing? Should people think “free range” when they look out the window on the way past Lake George and see a bunch of sheep meandering around eating grass?

[1] the main concerns being (a) keeping the ewes and rams apart except at breeding time, (b) choosing[2] paddocks with sufficient vegetation for them to graze on, and (c) trying to keep predators away, eg. foxes

[2] if they will be shorn as well, this will also affect the grazing location

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site