# Ground Beef Hearts

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Orleander, Mar 23, 2010.

1. ### OrleanderOH JOY!!!!Valued Senior Member

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I bought some ground sirloin last night for $2.59 per lb at the store. I then went to their freezer section to get chicken livers. And there, right next to the beef liver, was ground up beef heart for$0.99 a lb.

Has anyone had ground up beef heart? Does it taste any different than hamburger? If not, I'm gonna go back and buy up every pack they have.

I told my co-workers this and many were repulsed. Apparently they don't know what's in hot dogs and bologna. In fact could you legally put hearts in "100% pure beef hamburger"?

3. ### sandyBannedBanned

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The thought of it is just kind of creepy. So is the whole eating animals thing but we do it. I'm all for a bite of a grilled steak or burger but after reading all the PETA stuff I eat a lot less meat.

5. ### Captain KremmenAll aboard, me Hearties!Valued Senior Member

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Offal.
Don't like the idea of heart, but I do like liver occasionally.
Very inexpensive and tastes good fried lightly with onions and mushrooms.
And perhaps some new potatoes, peas and rich gravy.
(Haven't eaten yet today)
You can't eat it too often or it will give you an overdose of Vitamin A.

My Aunt used to eat the chicken Gizzard.
You have to clean stones out of it, which the chicken uses to grind up food.

Never eaten that either.

Has anyone ever eaten a parsons nose?
Never eaten one, but I'd eat one for a bet.

Last edited: Mar 23, 2010

7. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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Mmmmm! Makes my mouth water just thinkin about it!

8. ### Captain KremmenAll aboard, me Hearties!Valued Senior Member

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Can't quite tell what the picture is.
Is it some beef frying on a griddle?

9. ### EnmosStaff Member

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It's painted on tiles as far as I can tell. I'm note sure what his point was though

10. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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O.K. here's the problem. I bought some beef heart figuring it's very high quality protein. I wanted such high quality protein because I figure that it's somewhat healthier for you than lower quality animal proteins, or even vegetable proteins. Of course, I figure that's also very debatable, especially since, as I understand it, proteins are broken down into amino acids when they're digested. Besides, no vegans are dying of specific protein deficiencies that I've heard of, or even having trouble building muscle.

Beef heart is, in fact, of such high quality that it's very firm. Just refridgerated, with no freezing, while cutting it, you get the impression somebody froze and then half-thawed it, so it would be firm under the knife, but that's just how it is. (One should be careful here since it's not a uniform firmness. You can be caught off guard by soft spots.)

As it turn out a big part of this is the animal I got the heart from. Looking on the internet, I've found that heart has a reputation as a tender cut of meat. Which may have something to do with the poetic use of tender and heart going together often times, especially with "tender as a woman's heart".

11. ### stateofmindseeker of liesValued Senior Member

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It's an aerial picture of an industrial feed lot.

12. ### Captain KremmenAll aboard, me Hearties!Valued Senior Member

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That's not making me hungry at all.

13. ### S.A.M.uniquely dreadfulValued Senior Member

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I've had heart but not ground up heart. We usually make a mixed offal dish with lungs esophagus heart spleen and kidney. Spleen is my favourite. Heart is a bit rubbery and tougher. I don't know how grinding would affect the texture

14. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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This is surprisingly difficult to look up and I haven't succeeded. However, reasoning backwards from articles on offal, variety meats, sausage and hot dogs, I believe the answer is no. The definition of "sausage" appears to include offal--internal organs--whereas the others don't. "Hot dog" meat is created by "advanced meat recovery," which only scrapes the bones and does not take the organs. For "variety meats" you probably need to check the package, or a dictionary. Many common butcher shop items like bologna, pastrami and salami are simply various types of sausages. So my considered opinion is that anything that is marketed simply as "beef" or "ground beef" (or for that matter pork, lamb, chicken, etc.) contains no offal. But I will happily defer to anyone who knows more about this subject. My father worked in the Chicago stockyards during the Great Depression and knew all that arcane stuff, but he's too dead to interview. (Ashes, not meat and offal.

)
That's a little oversimplified. 22 amino acids are essential to human nutrition. Our organs can synthesize 14 of them--the ones we require the most of--by digesting meat (or milk or eggs). But the other eight must be ingested as is, in the right proportions.
The easiest way to get our proper ration of amino acids (roughly 40 grams total per day) in the right proportions is to eat animal protein. This doesn't have to be meat; eggs and milk are fabulous sources. All animal tissue has approximately the same amino acid makeup, even bugs, shellfish and worms.

So ovo-lacto-vegetarians--people who avoid meat but eat milk and eggs--have no trouble getting a balanced diet. But vegans have to plan their diet very carefully. The only plant tissue that has an appreciable protein content is the seeds. These fall into two categories from a nutritional standpoint. Grains, the seeds of grasses, have one set of amino acids that is incomplete for human needs. Nuts and the things we normally think of as "seeds," like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, have a different incomplete set. (Legumes like soybeans, lentils, pintos, alfalfa and peanuts fall somewhere in between, I'm not going to get into that.)

So in order to put together a perfectly balanced diet with no animal tissue, we have to very carefully balance our grains, legumes, nuts and seeds to get the right amino acids. I.e., an all-soybean or all-wheat diet with salads is going to turn your body to mush.

This is made more complicated by the fact that in addition to protein we need vitamins and minerals. Once again, since our bodies are made of meat, the easiest way to get those in the right proportion is to eat the meat (or milk or eggs) of some other creature. Vegans have to be amateur biochemists to make sure they get enough of all the right vitamins and minerals--or just take supplements, making sure they weren't derived from animal tissue. And remember, our acids and enzymes can't break down the cell walls of raw cellulose, so the vitamins and minerals locked in raw vegetables are mostly useless.

Before we developed our modern understanding of nutrition, our ancestors figured all they needed to survive was calories and protein. As the population expanded during the Iron Age (1500BCE-1800CE), grazing land became scarce so people ate more grains and nuts and less meat. In the Early Stone Age, when people ate a lot of meat, the life expectancy of a person who had survived the illnesses of childhood was in the low 50s; by the Roman Era, it had dropped into the 20s.

And while we're on the subject of cooking, there's one more thing. While the amino acids in nuts and sunflower seeds are readily available for digestion, all the protein in grains and legumes is locked inside cellulose. The only way it's possible to even contemplate creating a fully balanced vegan diet is to cook the grains and beans. This means that until controlled fire became widespread about 100,000 years ago, making cooking possible, humans had to eat meat to survive. We are the only species of ape who lack the digestive system to break down cellulose.
Other organ meats are commonly eaten. Even Americans eat liver. Kidney is popular in England, the Scots eat sheep stomach, Jewish delis sell tongue, everybody uses conveniently-shaped intestines for packing sausage, and tripe is called menudo in Latin American and "chitterlings" or "chitlins" in the American South.
The original meaning of "tender" is "soft." "Soft-hearted" is a common expression meaning "kind, forgiving."

Last edited: Mar 23, 2010

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lol

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