I’ve always been an inherent label reader, diligently checking the list of ingredients on the packages I put into my cart to make sure that they’re not only quality for myself, but for the people that mean the most to me. Why would the case be any different for the meat that I’m buying?
Regardless of what I’m feeding my family, I want to know that they’re getting the best of the best, and really, what better way to do so then to go directly to the source?
So we loaded a bus full of meat crazed bloggers and headed off for Chilliwack. Our
chaperones guides for the day were the fabulous folks at Canada Beef who were more than willing to answer all of our many questions en route to the facility.
It wasn’t long before the flood gates of questions were opened, and the Canada Beef folks were great answering everything from the benefits of grain finishing (optimizes cattle for harvesting), and debunking the myths about losing Omega & by grain finishing (the amount lost is considered negligible). It was also great to hear about the movement to make sustainable choices in having cattle raised on land that us unfit for crops. Definitely a lot learned, and we hadn’t even made it off the bus yet!
|Check out Julie’s Post if you wanna
see what we really looked like!
Upon arriving at the plant, we were greeted by one of the big wigs and our tour commenced. Kicked off with an inspiring and uplifting chat about how he got his start and why he loves his job. We then suited up (a la Homer Simpson) for a tour of the plant floor. When it came to health and protecting what means most to them (their meat) they didn’t mess around. Hair nets, jackets, boots, gloves, and even tape to cover up my earring that I couldn’t get out. It was serious business, but all joking aside, it was great to know that they do hold themselves to such high standards when it comes to the health and safety of their products.
Our tour was amazing and showed us the entire inner workings of the plant. Everything from dry storage, meat marinading stations, to how they take a primal from the start of the line to a sliced up, packaged, and labelled steak at the other end. It was fascinating. There were some really neat machines, like the line that processed and packaged the ground beef. Our tour guide mentioned how this was quite the memorizing process and he wasn’t lying! I was quite interested in the marketing and merchandising side of things that was touched on briefly. I was interested to learn that weather forecasting actually played a large part in determining what cuts of beef were going to be produced. Sunny weekends = more demand for T-Bones and Rainy weekends = more demand for Roasts!
After the floor tour we were treated to none other than a steak lunch!
I can honestly say that in all my MANY years of being a vegetarian, I’ve never had a desire to eat meat as much as I did this day. It reminded me of the time I was in Vegas, we were at an outdoor concert on Freemont street where a country band was playing “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood. I stood there watching the entire crowd, engrossed in the music, hats at their chests passionately singing “I’m proud to be an American…” and it brought tears to my eyes. Tears to my CANADIAN eyes. In that moment, surrounded by all the patriotism, I felt like a proud American. I belted out those lyrics with all the passion that I could muster, along with everyone else.
And while sitting, surrounded by all the other Canadian Beef bloggers, eating my steakless lunch, listening to the stories of the ranching families, and their passion and pride in providing us consumers with only the best Canadian beef that they can, there it was again. I felt that pride. I felt proud of ranching, and the ranching community, I felt proud of beef, of CANADIAN beef, and all that it stands for. It took me right back to that night in Vegas.
While I am proud to say that I am still a vegetarian (for now…), I’m even more proud to say that I am an avid supporter of Canadian Beef!
Our day wrapped up with a quick tour of one of the local Save-On-Foods stores to visit their meat department. Shocker, in store steak sammies had been freshly grilled up for us (they’re determined to break me!) along with a pile of beef education at the in store complete with beef educator!
To say a fantastic day was had by all would be a gross understatement. A huge thank you to all involved!
**Disclosure: I was provided with free products, as well as compensation for my time and post. As always however, all opinions and ideas are my own and I would never endorse something I didn’t believe in!**