Saturday, August 19, 2006

Monday Rant (Delayed): A Pound of Ground Beef

All you vegetarians out there may snicker freely for the duration of this rant, as it concerns a food you never eat: ground beef.

Hamburger Helper, or more commonly, house-brand knockoff ground-beef-dinner, is versions 1.0 through 3.0 of Bachelor Chow. I tend to eat it fairly often - not every day, probably not every week, but more likely on the order of a couple of times per month. It's easy, and fast, and provides lots of easy-to-store leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. The only ingredients I need to supply, beyond the package contents, is one pound (454 grams) of ground beef, some water, and often about one cup (225 mL) of milk. No problemo!

However, grocery stores sell ground beef on styrofoam trays, wrapped in clear plastic. The in-store butcher is (obviously) just splotting lumps of ground beef onto these trays as it comes out of the meat grinder. So, why do these trays always carry so much more than 454 grams? Typically, the smallest package of lean ground beef available is upwards of 600 grams! Every Wilson-Damned recipe I've ever seen that includes ground beef asks for ONE POUND. Not 1.5, not 2, not 743 grams!

Why do they not sell it in the format requested?

NB: In looking for a suitable picture, I found many (not surprisingly). I also found this nutrional breakdown.


Carlo said...

I hate having to freeze half of my beef purchase as no cling-wrap survives the bitter-cold of my freezer. Beef-by-the-pound is the next big thing waiting to pop! Though in Canada it should be something more along the lines of beef-by-the-454-grams... But we suck at the metric system that we SUPPOSEDLY follow.

TheBrummell said...

When I was in Switzerland, I noticed that for many of the products sold in grocery stores, they used an interesting hybrid system.

Many things were sold as "1/2 Kilo" or "2 cL" et cetera. I think something like that would work here - they already round the imperial / metric conversions on packages and in recipes, anyways (eg. 1 pound = 500 grams).