Watch the above video, and you'll never forget it (trust us). It's called "Robb Walsh Takes Beef 101" -- and he shot it at Texas A&M for a feature story he was writing for the Houston Press, "Not So Clear Cut."
Walsh was just named a finalist in the James Beard Awards for the feature story, along with the accompanying video and other blog coverage, in the foundation's Multimedia Food Feature category. So yeah, um...WAY TO GO, ROBB WALSH!
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The other Houstonian who made the cut was chef Bryan Caswell of Reef, a finalist for the second year running. Houston was also well-represented on the list of semifinalists - congratulations to all.
The video shows the transformation of Blacky, a medium-size Angus, from animal to steak. It's a process Walsh also describes in detail in the feature story. A sample:
The feet were cut off and the still-twitching carcass moved along an overhead conveyor line called the "rail" while still hanging from the chain. At the next station, the hide was removed with a mechanical hide-puller, then came the evisceration, which was done by hand. The guts were sealed at each end to prevent spillage, and after an incision, the entrails were collected into a wheeled bucket to be sorted later. The head and tail were removed and cleaned.
It's disturbing stuff, but if you eat meat, watch the video. As Walsh writes, "consumers need to respect the animals they are eating and see them as something other than little styrene packages in the grocery store."