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Ground Beef: Are my taste buds getting too old, or does Ground Beef have little taste compared to apprx 20 years ago?

After all these years, I suddenly remembered having to skim fat off the ground beef when I made pasta sauce with it. Now, even with 20% fat it still has little taste. I've tried adding half with ground pork. I've had the butcher grind cuts of beef for me. I tried grass-fed beef.
The fat is gone from beef and therefore the meaty, beefy taste.
If you're old enough to remember how ground beef used to taste, what's your response?

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  1. I think an individual goes through changes as the body ages.....including their taste buds. The problem exists no further than the individual....sure beef and pork are raised differently than years ago.....some for the better and some for the worse....but to say good flavorful beef is no longer available, I would have to disagree.

    1. I would tend to say "both," except that every so often I get some that instantly reminds me of the old days. For a while, Trader Joe's had prepackaged 1/4 pound grass-fed "steakburgers" that were nearly as good as the very best burgers of my very long memory, richly beefy no matter how I cooked them. Golly, I miss those!

      One thing I look out for is whether the burger is flat-grilled or flame-broiled. To my taste, flame-broiling does less to bump the flavor than contact with a hot, solid surface does. I've had some very good open-grilled burgers, but all of the best ones have been off a flat grill or out of a pan.

      1. I think the flavour of beef has lessened in recent years, regardless of whether it's long or quick cooked cuts of meat. It's about how the animals are raised and how long the meat is aged for, before its sold.

        I buy most of my meat via the internet, direct from the farm two counties away. It's raised to organic or free-range standards and it tastes good. Very good.

        1. It's not your taste buds. I recently bought ground beef from a local farmer and the taste reminded me of what a good burger used to taste like. It was amazing.

          1. Definitely the flavor of commercial ground beef as available in supermarkets has gone downhill. I don't bother making burgers at home anymore unless I can get beef from a good butcher or farm.

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            1. re: JMF

              It's the same with chicken. It has no taste of it's own any more. But one of those heritage farm chickens and boy, you're right back to what chicken should taste like.