Just starting a unit on meat science and I was wondering if anyone had any creative ideas for activity beyond lecture...
bought choice and select steaks one year. Cooked each grade as Well, Medium and Rare. Had students taste test one of each grade and note flavor, texture, etc. If they were not too disgusted, had them rate each grade for each of the three preparations. I was surprise at the results some students noted. To this day, many tell me that they had never tried to eat their steak cooked any other way untill taking the class and given the chance to try it for themselves each way. Most now eat their steaks differently than they used to.
That's cool! Thanks for the idea
I've seen it taught several different ways. From the hard core unit for students really interested in the profession to the unit I really tried to copy. It is centered on the consumer's viewpoint. You can purchase stir fry beef of varying qualities and evaluate before and after cooking. Look, taste, consistency all play a key factor to the consumer and your students can learn to evaluate this from the marbling, the cut of beef used, and the temperature. Most students weren't interested in the finer points of meat science but they liked knowing how to pick out the right cut of beef for the particular application. They used stir fry because it's a good bit cheaper than steak and the quality can vary quite a bit. If you have a good meat manager at your local grocery store he may even portion up some cuts from a couple different part of the carcass to help you in the lesson. You can also do this for bacon, sausage, and ground beef.
One teacher near me took it a step further and had some venison ground in two separate batches. One with added hog fat and one without. He then let the students cook both to see how the fat added flavor and limited the burning of the venison. Invite the administration for a taste test and see if they are any better than the students.
I too cook different cuts of meat and compare...
In regards to muscles...
-Get a piece of steak or chicken. Any raw meat would work.
-Cut away a thin section of meat
-Tease the muscle fiber apart with a dissecting needle
-Place it on a glass slide (stain to make it more visible)
-View and identify the fibrils
Muscle, Tendon, Joint Dissection
-Need a chicken leg or wing. (I use wings)
-Pull off skin (notice: fat, connective tissue, capillaries)
-Flex leg/wing (notice muscle contract and relax)
-Slice through the tendons (look for pearly white sheets)
-Cut at joint (notice: fat pads, cartilage)
Showing them videos of slaughter and processing are always an attention getter with mine. There is the Modern Marvels Butcher, Dirty Jobs has a couple, if you have access to Netflix there is stuff on there as well. Take them to the local grocery to compare if possible. A great movie to show is Temple Grandin. Bring in a butcher or processor to talk. We end our unit with a big cookout.
Hope this helps.
More stuff I use.
Oh and the book The Jungle use excerpts from it.
Thanks everyone for you insight!
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