Adventures in Freezing Meat

Meat58

While I’m fermenting my next introvert girl (care & feeding) post for a couple more days (in me braiin), I thought I’d talk about what I’ve been doing lately: dealing with a lot of meat. I’m talking a LOT of meat. We bought a chest deep-freezer a couple of months ago & have been slowly filling it with meaty sale items (also 90% dark chocolate & grassfed butter).

Not too long ago there was a sale on “extra meaty” baby back ribs (a rack for about $6), so we got a ton of them. Now there is a sale on T-bones & strip steaks for $4.99 lb, so we are cornering the market on those. The thing is that I’m new at this freezing thing, so I’m looking up a lot of stuff on ye olde interwebs.

There is a lot of conflicting info out there! My main concerns were BPA in plastics & freezer burn. I like the vacuum sealed meats because they deal with freezing pretty well & the ribs we bought came frozen, so it was easy enough to put them directly in the freezer, but do they leach BPA? You would think that this would be an easy search, but you would be mistaken.

After quite a bit of searching  I got this from from Wikipedia (so, grain of salt this info), which says that whereas there is no labeling requirements for BPA,

“In general, plastics that are marked with Resin Identification Codes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are very unlikely to contain BPA. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with the Resin Identification Code 7 may be made with BPA.”

Another site, Diapers, Etc, says:

“Choose plastics that use polyethylene (#1, #2, and #4) and polypropylene (#5), which require the use of less toxic additives. They also are non-chlorinated. Avoid choosing products that use polyvinyl chloride (#3), polystyrene (#6), and polycarbonate (#7) which often are found in clear, hard plastics used for water, baby bottles or sippy cups.”

Then there is this alarming, but thorough article from Chris Kresser that basically states that absolutely no plastics are safe. Yikes. Whatever. I’ve already quit using all plastics for preparation & storage of foods, but the meats I’m buying are already packaged in plastic & already exposed. I can’t be THAT concerned or I’ll starve to death. I’m trying to limit exposure, not go nuts trying to eliminate it altogether.

The T-bones, strip steaks & ground beef I’ve been freezing aren’t vacuum sealed, so I’ve been double-wrapping them in freezer paper. The freezer paper is coated with plastic on one side, so I went a huntin’ for info on the type of plastic used. Holy crap, this info is stupid hard to find! Finally I found this forum that said:

“Freezer paper is coated with polyethylene, the same stuff that plastic bags and milk jugs are made of. PE is not quite as inert as Teflon but it’s fairly close. No, it will not cause bisphenol offgassing because bisphenol is not used to make PE.”

Now all I need to figure out is an easy way to implement the FIFO (first in first out) method of inventory. Frozen meat is heavy & cold & unloading the whole freezer to get to the old stuff on the bottom is crazy. I started freezing a few months ago, so I have already done this once & it was no fun. As for freezer burn, I will just have to see how well my wrapped stuff lasts. I think this is something I will only know with time & experimentation.

[Note: as You So Would states in this excellent comment:

“Interesting. Reading further from that same study, it goes on to say that “The relative proliferative effects ranged from 19.8 to 50.2% corresponding to an estrogenic activity of 1.9 – 12.2 pg estradiol equivalents per liter bottled water”.

According to the Wikipedia article on Estradiol, the average male naturally has anything between 14 – 55 pg (picogram – trillionth of a gram) of Estradiol per millilitre of blood. Assuming an adult male has roughly 5 litres of blood, then this corresponds to a minimum total amount of 70,000 pg.

Therefore, at worst, each litre of bottled water can increase your overall Estradiol level by only 0.017%, which would subside again over time – I’m not sure this is anything to be concerned over?”

So, this is just another instance of me buying into “conventional wisdom”. I should know better!]

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8 thoughts on “Adventures in Freezing Meat

  1. yousowould

    What exactly are you worried about in terms of these plastics? Have there been proven, documented cases of demonstrable poisoning? I’m fairly certain a perfunctory glance at the “scientific” studies behind these scaremongering claims about the harmful effects of plastic would reveal it to be largely baseless.

  2. TempestTcup Post author

    There are claims of the plastics being estrogenic & there may be “adverse effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals”. It’s just a part of my wanting to eat as clean a diet as possible. Basically it may or may not be a problem, but much like fluoride in my water, I try to get as few chemicals or hormone-like substances in my food & water as possible. I just didn’t want to store food in BPA containers for long periods of time.

    Baby bottles containing BPA have been banned here.

    Also, I don’t want my husband to grow boobs! (hahaha, probably not even a side-effect) 🙂

  3. annesquared

    To put it in perspective, given the information you have presented (to this INTJ mom and obsessively-compulsive-organic-food and nutrition-concerned-minded research oriented epidemiologist):
    There is less to be concerned about in regard to the plastic wrap regarding your health in the long term, than there is in regard to the consumption of the meat (available at that price.) Without getting into the entire issue of red meats, I will stick to your concern about chemicals. I have not seen beef prices for those cuts of meat unless they are from markets which have cattle that have been pumped with hormones and antibiotics to encourage growth, thus enabling the lower prices. Over time, the consumption of the hormones and antibiotics via the meat have demonstrated a higher risk to humans than the wrapper it is in. The risk is higher for children, pregnant women, and increases over time. The antibiotic issue affects both animals and humans in terms of developing antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
    If the meat is 100% hormone and antibiotic free, and you label and rotate, which you should do anyway to get the nutritional value, there is no impact on your health. There are many scare tactics and false ways of presenting information that do not present the information properly.
    Dang – I should have just reblogged. 🙂

  4. yousowould

    I remember that claim about estrogen forming compounds in bottles – I actually dug up the paper behind the report, and ran the figures myself. Check out my comment (number 6) on here – http://dangerandplay.com/2012/11/18/mens-health-plastic-water-bottles-lower-testosterone/

    I am instantaneously skeptical of any claim that appears to be hyperbolic in nature, as many of these are. It quite often takes nothing more than a perfunctory check of the underlying study to show that the claims are often based on shoddy science, or merely bogus. Too many journalists today are prepared to simply parrot press releases without doing any of their own investigation.

    That said, a man with breasts is not necessarily a bad thing – he would never get bored with them, and would leave you in peace!

  5. TempestTcup Post author

    Lol!

    Okay, that’s good to know! Dang, I have to question even my questions! At any rate, none of my meat is in any of the “bad” packages.Soon we will find out that BPA is good for us, probably.

  6. TempestTcup Post author

    It’s from an upper end grocery that has really excellent sales. Probably not completely the best, but for instance all their meat is Angus (for whatever that is worth) & after the state fair they have a HUGE sale from all those well taken care of animals. I was mainly concerned about long-term storage, but like YouSoWould says, the levels of BPA you would get would be incredibly negligible.

    This is just another instance of me buying into “conventional wisdom”. I should know better!

    I do need to find a source for some nice grassfed beef – I already found a great dairy for organic grassfed raw milk & cream. Yum! I have some in my coffee right now!

  7. annesquared

    I didn’t mean “market” as in grocery store, but “marketing”. Sorry. Regarding what the cow eats, the grass vs grain impacts the marbling – so you can have hormone/antibiotic grass fed beef. The industry of beef and marketing and “organic” and how things are labeled … it is really a crazy one. The entire food industry, actually. It takes a lot of time and effort. Crazy-making! And all we want is healthy, good stuff 🙂

  8. TempestTcup Post author

    Yeah, I try to do as well as I can, but I’m not going to knock myself out trying to get everything super pure – I do try to do everything in my power to a certain extent.

    I think if I find a local rancher, it would be possible to get some beef & pork that hasn’t been injected with anything or fed crap. I will do that before the fall slaughter.

    If I look too hard into all the bad things that can be in foods, I won’t have any food left to eat & not eating ever again is 100% fatal 🙂

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