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Nov 16, 2006 03:54 PM

Alberta Beef

I'm from Calgary, Canada, heartland of "Alberta Beef". A question aimed mostly at American chowhounds: Have you tried Alberta Beef, do you prefer it over your local beef, is it even on the radar? Personally the best beef I have had is a toss up between Galloway breed Alberta and Prime grade Alberta Black Angus. My cousins in Kansas would have a different view. What are yours?

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  1. I never heard of it here in NY. I think I remember something vaguely about it back ten years ago when I lived in Seattle. I never tried it.

    11 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      Well Alberta Beef is Unique at least where I buy mine at Costco it is all natural fed in the pasture then finished on grain

      1. re: burge

        Sounds good to me. What is the name on the package? Where do they buy the beef from? Anyone can grain feed cattle treated regularly with antibiotics and hormones....If you share the name I will check with Costco and see if that is their regular brand and if its safe. Remember that about a week ago the media said that Alberta has the largest number of farmers who use antibiotics regularly and growth hormones and that this was causing the extended illnesses in our province as no Antibiotics could fight off even a simple Flu due to the huge amount of antibiotics in most Albertans!!! This is very serious! Doubly stupid was that Listeria outbreak a few years ago right from the Manufacturer flood and our stupid PM decided to Monitor the Producers!! I was so so upset over this pathetic attempt and utter stupid move to put pressure on our producers but NO monitoring of the Manufacturing Floor.....That Harper is truly a mean one and in the dark ages or as they say one bail short a load! We have to look after outselves. Just look up SLOW FOOD and talk to those responsible farmers and thats the place to purchase your beef, pork, chicken etc.

        1. re: TerryFle

          "no Antibiotics could fight off even a simple Flu due to the huge amount of antibiotics in most Albertans!!!"

          The flu (and the common cold) is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Antibiotics are used to fight bacteria and would have absolutely no effect on the flu (and colds).

          1. re: earthygoat

            Virtually all the beef sold in supermarkets came from feedlots. The cattle are initially put on paster land until they have grown to the size where they are transported to a feedlot to be 'accreted' (fattened up). Feedlots inoculate and add vitamins and special 'accretion' feed formulas. This IMO is where the myth of 'Alberta' raised beef being so 'special' is exposed. Sure the animals are 'pastured' for part of their lives but in the end they all end up being pumped full of God knows what and you are eating God knows what. If you can find a rancher who is raising some Black Angus for himself/friends/family. You won't find any beef on his/her table that came from a feedlot.
            The flavor difference is like driving a 1995 E320 compared to driving an Aveo.

            1. re: Puffin3

              By 'pumped full' do you mean routinely injected with hormones and antibiotics? That's highly unusual, and quite a stretch. .
              I understand that these can be added to feed along with vitamins, and that the major portion of the feed mix is barley and other local grains such as rye , wheat and oats, but NOT CORN, which makes Alberta beef superior to some others.

              I'm currently in Ontario, and I have grass fed beef from a local farmer in my freezer, but for special meals I buy AAA Alberta beef from Costco or the RCSS meat counter, always well marbled, flavorful, and much better cut than farmer beef.

              1. re: jayt90

                4/5's of antibiotics are in our meat!!!


                Please get informed!! THE US Products are the worst for too many antibiotics. Thats why we MUST buy Albertan and buy local and make sure the farmer separates out the antibiotic and hormone beef.....Amen

                1. re: jayt90

                  You can 'google' up what the animals are exposed to and what drugs they are given. Ever actually visited a feed-lot? I'm guessing not.
                  If there is a living hell for animals it's getting
                  'accreted' in a feed lot. I worked for the Canadian Fed. Gov. at the Agriculture Research Station in Lethbridge as a 'data processor'. We had about 1300 head of beef cattle on different pastures and in feed lots all over Alberta. My job was to travel to these locations to collect data. Average daily gain/ease of calving etc etc. There's not a lot about the conditions in feed lots I don't know.
                  I've seen dying cattle on their knees injected with drugs to keep them alive until they get to the processor where they are first in line for the 'juice'. Just get the back hoe and scoop the beast up in the bucket then onto the truck.
                  No one in my circle of relatives/friends would ever buy a piece of beef from any grocery store. Just saying.

                  1. re: Puffin3

                    WOW! Thank you so much! This is the kind of first hand information that strengthens the fact that we MUST know WHERE our beef, pork, lamb, turkey and chickens are coming from. Its TIME to get to know farm families and HOW they produce and buy direct! I am going to put together a website to do exactly this! I will get back to you. Thanks, Terry

                    1. re: Puffin3

                      "I've seen dying cattle on their knees injected with drugs to keep them alive until they get to the processor where they are first in line for the 'juice'"

                      Your comment is OK in this board as long as you make no mention whatsoever of the Big Pharma Name that manufactures the drug.

                      BTW, stay away from any name beginning with "M" and ending with "O".

                  2. re: Puffin3

                    Puffin3 - were you responding to me? I am completely in agreement that we should educate ourselves and know where our meat comes from. But I also believe that we need to educate others with truthful information. I stand by what I said above, antibiotics can't be used to fight off viral infections, the flu is caused by a virus. People have a hard time taking others seriously when their information is not true.

                    1. re: earthygoat

                      Not really addressed to you specifically.
                      Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Stressed cattle are found to be more susceptible to infections in the gut. The first thing a feedlot animal is given is some form of antibiotic injection.
                      Look at it this way. Beef cattle have been selectively breed to 'range' and be basically docile enough for humans to deal with for thousands of years.
                      Watch any herd of cattle on pastureland. You will notice that each animal pretty much keeps it's distance from the others. There are many reasons for this I won't go into here.
                      When you take these animals and put them in a feed lot crowded with sometimes hundreds of other animals one thing that happens is their 'stress level' goes up and stays up until they are slaughtered. Stress causes many problems not the least of which is elevated hormone levels and inability to fight off many illnesses. Anyone can 'Google these illnesses. Every illness must be treated with antibiotics etc etc. Everything we put into the animal ends up on our plates. A healthy animal 'getting' their day in' on pastureland has good tasting meat. A stressed animal who's been pumping stress reducing hormones through it's system for weeks IMO has 'sour' meat.
                      Imagine three rats in a 3'X3' box. Then imagine 60 rats in the same box. Would you want to eat one of the three rats or one of the 60 rats? Just asking.

          2. I never heard of it in CA.
            Corn fed? grass fed? Mix?
            Retail places in CA?
            Any www links?

            1 Reply
            1. re: RicRios

              I am a little shocked that Alberta Beef doesn't carry more name recognition. Oh well, good things are always best near the source. I assumed Alberta Beef had the same familiarity as , say...Hudson Valley Foie Gras, or Niman Ranch Lamb, or Idaho Potatoes, or Montreal Smoked Meat. It carries a lot more weight in Japan, where we tend to export much of the prime grades. Local, organic, hormone free, and small production beef is available here, too, however, the Alberta Beef name is one program that carries with it a recognition of quality and consistency. Grass fed, so different than lots of American beef. More cows in Alberta than people. Check out these sites or google Alberta Beef.


            2. I had some very nice beef in Calgary, back when I still ate beef. Now I'm waiting for my brain to melt. Just kidding. But, seriously, these days I'm pretty careful about getting local meat from a source I can trust. BTW, I was amazed by Calgary's Texas-like vibe. I was not expecting that.

              1. Actually, I've never heard of Montreal smoked meat, but I have heard of Alberta beef.

                1 Reply
                1. Personally I have never heard of a steakhouse in the US, using Canadian beef(or specifically Alberta beef). Does Alberta beef have any presence in steakhouses in the US?