Welcome to the first edition of my take on a previous series of articles here on So Good called “I Try It So You Don’t Have To.” Like the previous version, I will be sampling things from other cultures, odd new products and things generally regarded as disgusting by others. I won’t however eat chocolate.

To kick things off I wanted to follow up on my article from last week regarding Lean Beef Trimmings and do a taste test between ground beef assumed to have LBT in it and local grass fed beef from my farmers market. I have to say assumed because no one is advertising that their product has LBT in it, I had to go and purchase from one of those stores that have not explicitly stated that they don’t carry LBT meat.  I realize that the products I selected are not apples to apples but I wanted to use a product that I would personally buy as an alternative to grocery store ground beef.

Typically I grind my own beef for burgers at home, I like to have control over the product from beginning to end.

Outside of the type of meat I kept all the other variables the same.

Both packages were seasoned only with salt

Burgers were weighed out at 1/3 lb each



Burgers were both cooked in anodized aluminum pans on the stovetop

Both pans were heated to the same temperature and cooked for 5 minutes per side.


My Wife lent a hand to the operation by doing the cooking and serving them to me, without me knowing which was which. From there I tasted each without any other accompaniment or seasoning.

The burger on the green plate was a bit irregularly cooked and had some visible grease on the plate. The yellow plate looked more uniform and had more of a traditional juice on the plate, although it looked dry. Upon cutting in to them the green plate continued to look uneven in both color and texture, the yellow plate was uniform and appeared to be more finely ground.


Of course the taste was the most important bit of this whole exercise. The burger on the yellow plate was a clear winner on flavor and texture. It had a nice crust on the outside, it was uniformly cooked and just had the right burger taste. I assumed that the winner would be my local grass fed beef.

I was wrong. The yellow plate was the presumed LBT meat, and it was everything that a burger should taste like in my mind. It just had a beefiness to it that was exactly what I think of as a good burger. I was quite surprised that I had picked it over the other. In many ways it makes sense, we have all likely been eating beef treated this way for years and that is what we have come to associate burgers with.

All in all, I’m still going to choose locally produced beef for reasons other than LBT meat but I am going to go on a quest to find a purveyor that has beef as flavorful as what I tasted here.

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11 Responses

  1. thomas

    While the end result is interesting, I think the comparison here is a little unfair. A better test would have been comparing supermarket “pink-slime” beef to supermarket beef from a store that has announced that it does use “pink-slime”.

  2. Mark

    I agree Thomas, I actually figured I would be skewing the results the other way by using grass fed beef but I should have another stop and picked up some supermarket ground beef from elsewhere

  3. Mark

    I saw that Andy, it really is remarkable. In the end Beef Products made a PR mistake and it is biting them in the ass.

  4. Mark

    Indeed Rodzilla, I don’t entirely disagree with his POV. I choose to buy local grass fed products for the most part because I don’t care for the current factory farming process and the symbiotic relationship they have with GMO corn and other grains. What that article doesn’t mention is that the reason those scraps must be treated this way is due to their significantly higher likelihood of carrying e.coli and salmonella. At it’s core this is a labeling issue, I’d like to see this and more products like it labeled appropriately so consumers can make an informed choice. thanks for the link

  5. steve

    great article! not 100% scientific, but just goes to prove that this whole “grass fed hormone free..blah blah blah” fad is just that…a fad. It doesnt mean anything and it makes no difference in the taste of the burger. so give me my regular $4.50 five guys burger and you can keep your crappy tasting $8 organic hippy burger.

    Thanks Mark!

  6. James

    wow who would have thought that? Now all we need Mcdonalds to remove to preserveates in all their food that contains buttan from lighters and carbons from makeup. We would be good after that.


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