Hamburger is evil
I can say this because I work in the meat department of a large grocery store, and this week we just happen to have it on sale (Lean Ground, $3.73/kg CND, I believe). This is all well and good, but I have a beef with customers, if you'll excuse the pun.
Exactly what hamburger is:
Extra Lean - Shipped in tubes to the outlet, tiny fat content.
Lean - Usually made from 'boneless beef' which is shipped frozen in large (27.3Kg/60lb) boxes.
Medium - Made from two parts boneless beef, to one part trim (technically boneless beef, but just think of it as fat).
Regular - Made from one part boneless beef to one part trim.
Boneless beef is 90% ungraded (that doesn't mean it's bad, it just wasn't inspected to see if it could be classified as another cut of beef) beef and 10% fat in the cases when chipped. Trim, on the other hand, is 60% beef and 40% fat when chipped.
Chipping is the process of taking the frozen boneless beef, or trim, and pitting it through a machine that is top loaded, and has many blades attached to an arm that slides back and forth under the frozen product to cut it into strips about 10cm by 5cm by 2cm in size; this makes for easy grinding.
Grinding is taking shipped beef, or any other small meat product, and throwing it into a machine with a large vat on the top, and an auger on the bottom. When activated, the auger spins, forcing the beef down a short shaft to the head. At the head, there is a blade attached to the auger that spins against a face plate with has many tiny holes in it; that's what makes the 'snake' streams of the burger.
Anyway, back to my problem. When we have sales, we try to chip our beef a few days ahead of time and leave it in the cooler to allow it to redden (from both the oxygen, and the defrosting). Sometimes it doesn't turn as red as we would like, but it's still as lean, or if not leaner for the type of beef that it is.
As I said before, we have lean ground beef on special, and I spent the whole day (all nine hours with only two 15 minute breaks as I'd skipped my break to supply impatient customers with their Ground Gold) grinding beef, straight boneless beef, read that again: STRAIGHT BONELESS BEEF, most of which was quite red, yet we still had a million customers comment on how fatty the beef looked.
Now, I don't have any money invested in the store, nor do i care how much they spend on boneless beef (usually $90 per 27Kg case, by the way), how much they use (approximately 150 cases this week), OR how much is wasted when chipping (about a case worth). I just don't care; I'm there to do my job for my puny $7.70 per hour, and I'm not about to take more time, and exert myself even more than I already do (it takes a lot out of you lifting tubs of chipped beef about five to five and one half feet into the air to be dumped into the grinder). If I made the beef fattier (i.e., adding trim), it would mean that I have to spend more time and more physical power to put the trim in; when customers are buying the packages faster than you can grind it, you just don't have the time to do it.
People, I'm not out to fuck you in the ass, nor are most other stores. Sure, you might find a 'fatty' package one in a while, but it was probably a mistake by the grinder, or by the person who wrapped it. Please also realize that if you do feel the need to comment on the beef, we've probably already heard it 3000 times before you got there.