Coles & Old Cows

Beef eaters have some new revelations (SMH 10-11 Oct) about their meat choice to chew on. Apparently up to 30% of beef sold in Australia is old cow repackaged as prime produce, and allowed under a Voluntary Beef Retail Agreement, which only requires labelling as “budget”. Old cows are referred to in the meat industry as ‘eight tooth’, since their last teeth erupt only from about 39 months of age. Normally this meat is considered suitable for mince only.

Large retailers not signatory to the agreement have old meat days and shelves are stacked with “specials” of rump, scotch fillet or T-bone, so poor punters think they’ve snagged a bargain. The budget euphemism for old cow meat is of course used all week by signatory retailers. Strangely the Red Meat Advisory Council does not support truth-in-labelling legislation put to NSW parliament.

This beef scam really tickles KC meat correspondent’s funny bone, and the wonderful Orwellian use of consumer key words ‘special’ and ‘bargain’ to perpetrate it, says it all. Ain’t that the udder truth! To consider a healthy beef alternative, check out the benefits of eating kangaroo meat, before you start mooing too.

roos in scrub


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