Monday, February 18, 2013

Sweet Fanny Adams, Square Root of

Roast beef, mashed potatoes, carrots and a green salad for supper.  The roast even had sufficient redness in parts to appeal to me and grayness in other parts to appeal to Lina and Tanya.  I like it badly wounded; they like it long dead. One needed ones own teeth to eat it but it was still beef. And it was good!

Beef in Ukraine has traditionally been a by-product of the dairy industry since time began.  I think today there are all of 30 thousand beef cattle in Ukraine.  Much of the beef is eaten ground as cutleta (hamburger cutlets) or pelmeni (ravioli).  There is no grading system so you pays your money and takes your chances.  It might be "youthful" intact males (under four years of age) or aged cow, no longer useful for milking.

Not only is there no grading system, there is no real established feedlot system though there are a few modern feedlots using North American technology.  Their beef goes mainly to the HRI trade and upper end retail chains, I think.

Since there is no feedlot system as such, there is really no pricing system other than the live slaughter price paid by the abattoirs.  If they pay $1.00 per kg live then any animal large or small sells for $1.00 per kg.  Successful feedlots buy the calves as young as possible, under a week, then raise them like dairy calves until they can go to pasture or go to the drylot.  If they buy them much older, their growth will be so stunted from poor nutrition that they will never be profitable.

We pay about $5 per kg for ground beef.  it is so LEAN that it is mixed with ground pork to make cutleta so you can actually eat it.   We pay about $7.50 for roasts or steaks of indeterminate carcass location origin, age, and tenderness.

Since getting back from Kyiv, I have done the Square Root of Sweet Fanny Adams.  Wrote up my notes from meetings, thought about the proposal and took naps between trying to catch up on blogs.  It feels good to relax.  Still some serious stuff to sort out, more on that later, but for the moment I am relaxing.


  1. On the plus side that's less than half the price of beef over here if my kilos to lbs is correct. But as you say on the minus side the age and consistency is questionable. I would also suspect that cattle there is not treated with antibiotics as that could be costly. Is that a correct assumption?

  2. it is relatively inexpensive and most of it goes into sausage I am told. No idea about antibiotics or if used if withdrawal times are followed. Mastitis is a major problem with poor equipment so I would guess some might be used.

  3. We pay about the same as you for beef in the local supermarkets; but the meat is angus and pretty good.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  4. Glad you've had a break - it sounded like you needed one. :-) Not to rub it in, but I'm glad we have our Alberta beef, even if it is twice the price you pay.


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