I spent yesterday with lots and lots of cows. Thirty-two HUNDRED cows, to be exact. Plus, a number of amazing and fun dietitians and RDs-to-be. I learned a lot. I met some cutie cows, too.
I learned that 98% of dairy farms in Michigan are family-owned and confirmed that Michigan is a state in which there are no artificial growth hormones used. I also learned that organic dairy farms must adhere to less stringent regulations while conventional dairy farms are federally inspected every 6 weeks. The farm I visited has between 10 and 50 births per day and many of the cows are surrogates. Oh, and their gestation period is the same as humans – about 280 days.
I learned that happy cows produce more milk and that they love music and routine. Hence, they were played music in the milking parlor – tis for the cows, not the employees! I learned that cows have 270 degree eye sight and that they are social and very curious animals. Oh, and they only moo when they’re not happy. I heard all of 1 moo yesterday…in over 2 hours on the farm.
Our dairy farm tour was given to us by a veterinarian and faculty member at Michigan State University. The man was beyond passionate about his cows, their well-being, their health, and yes, even their happiness. As a scholar, he firmly upholds evidence-based practices. He would say, “show me the science!” when asked about antibiotic residues in conventional milk, or about dangers of growth hormone in early puberty.
Being in “the biz” I’ve seen meat lockers and production facilities, but a dairy farm was a first. I hope that all cows are that happy and well-treated because…I don’t plan on becoming a vegetarian. Or a vegan. Meat, cheese, meat, CHILI!
This Pittsburgh take on Skyline chili was unique and bursting with depths of flavor. Rachel so sweetly offered to send me the Savory Spices that go into this recipe helping make it so unique, but as a firm believer in never having TOO many spices in my kitchen, I took the liberty of ordering my own…and plenty more. Enjoy this unique chili as entry #5 in this year’s chili contest. Two more recipes to go and they’ve all been outstanding!
- 2 lbs 93% lean ground beef
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- 8 oz tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup chocolate stout beer
- 3 cups water
- 2 tsp steak sauce
- 3 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 Tbsp Savory Spice Medium Chili powder
- 1 tsp Savory Space Pasilla Nego Chile, ground
- 1 tsp Savory Spice True Ceylon Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Savory Spice Jamaican Allspice Berries, ground
- 1 tsp Savory Spice Black Pepper, finely ground
- 1 tsp Savory Spice Granulated Toasted White Onion
- ¼ tsp Savory Spice Granulated Garlic
- In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Break up with a wooden spoon until crumbled and no longer pink; transfer to a crock pot with the remaining ingredients.
- Stir contents of crock pot and cook on low for 12 hours
- Serve over pasta (normal), spaghetti squash (healthy), or french fries (Pittsburgh), Rachel suggests.
- Sunday: Pad See Ew
- Monday: Creamy Parmesan-Basil Italian Soup
- Tuesday: Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta
- Wednesday: leftovers
- Thursday: Greek Chicken with Tomatoes, Cauliflower, and Feta
Can’t wait to see your take on the Pad See Ew!
I love the addition of steak sauce!! And I learned a lot when I went to a cattle ranch in Texas. People always think its cruel for cows to be confined vs. open range, but the truth of the matter is that cows like to be together and near their food and water source – so it didn’t matter if they had 500 acres to roam in, they would all stick close together!