Monterey Know Your Meat Caravan now in your neighborhood
Publish Date: 2012-09-20 20:09:00
San Miguel Foods Inc. (SMFI) recently launched the Monterey “Know Your Meat” caravan as part of its mission to help educate Filipinos about proper meat selection. SMFI is a subsidiary of San Miguel Pure Foods Company, Inc., the food division of San Miguel Corporation - Southeast Asia’s largest conglomerate
“Filipinos love meat. Most of our favorite dishes like pork sinigang and bistek tagalog contain pork and/or beef. Monterey thought it appropriate that the campaign should be launched at a time when the public has many concerns about the freshness of meat coming from unknown sources,” said SMFI president Ms. Tatish Palabyab, adding that Monterey Meatshops have long been trusted for pork sourced from grain-fed hogs and beef obtained from both imported and locally-bred cattle that thrive on grain and protein concentrates.
The caravan is a mobile school of sorts for anyone who wants to know what good meat is. At every stop, the public is told about what takes place before the meat reaches your plate.
Monterey’s “Know Your Meat” caravan complements the “Chilled is fresh…Chilled is safe” campaign of the National Meat Inspection Service, an agency of the Department of Agriculture mandated with protecting the public’s welfare.
The agency said it is not safe to buy meat at the wet markets in the afternoon because the shelf life of newly-slaughtered meat is only eight hours. Thus, the meat that’s slaughtered in the morning will be a breeding ground for bacteria by afternoon if not chilled.
“Chilling prevents the growth of bacteria”, said NMIS, addressing homemakers and cooks who believe that fresh meat only comes from a wet market.
The Monterey “Know Your Meat” caravan goes to barangays in the country’s key cities. What is a caravan without an entourage? The Know Your Meat caravan brings with it experts like chefs, butchers, veterinarians and nutritionists and heads of local government units.
Each caravan stop is a big hit not only because of the musical numbers, free nail pampering and massages as well as the raffle draws. Coffee and light snacks are also served.
“The attendees, most of them wives and mothers, listen attentively to the lectures of the experts. They are thrilled by the cooking demonstrations conducted by the chefs. It is really nice that even if the caravan is held on a Saturday, which is a rest day for working moms, we are always a full house,” said Palabyab.
The attendees not only listen intently to what the experts have to say, they also ask questions. Primarily, they want to know how to buy safe meat for their families.
“The public is really concerned about the proliferation of double dead meat or what is locally known as botcha. It may be surprising but many homemakers want to know how to tell if what they are buying is fresh. Many of them don’t know so they ask a lot of questions. We make them touch the meat and smell it. They listen attentively to the experts and that’s nice to see,” said SMFI general manager Dr. Leo Obviar.
The experts discuss, among other things, the importance of keeping meat cold; how to properly thaw meat; choosing the perfect cuts for your favorite dishes; and what the differences are between the wet market and a Monterey Meatshop.
The veterinarians and abattoir experts talk about how the hogs and cattle are bred, raised and slaughtered; the butchers discuss the different cuts of meat and how to tell if the meat is fresh; the nutritionists tell caravan participants what nutrients they can get from eating meat while the chefs teach the homemakers how to prepare their pork and beef in a safe manner with delicious results, of course.
Through the Know Your Meat campaign, Monterey also wants the public to know that meat is an important source of protein. The nutritional value of meat is generally derived from its high protein content. Fats found in meats can be a valuable source of fuel for the body and important for the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. Meat also typically contains important minerals, some of which can only be better sourced in foods derived from animals. Iron, phosphorous, zinc, and the complete range of B vitamins are generally found in meat. Among the vitamins found in meat, B12 in particular cannot usually be found in non-animal foods. It's use as a source of protein, fat, iron, and vitamin B12 account for the nutritional value of meat.
“Some people are hesitant to eat meat frequently because they think it’s not beneficial to the body. Meat contains high levels of complete protein. The proteins in meat are normally easy for most people to digest. The body typically uses protein to perform cellular repairs and generate new tissue. Protein may be a source of energy when the diet lacks carbohydrates and fat. It is also considered crucial to the regulation of immune function, electrolyte balance and other body processes,” said Palabyab.
The Know Your Meat caravan will be visiting different barangays until May.
“Our advocacy would like to ensure that no mother, father, househelp, cook or anyone is deprived of knowing how to choose and serve meat right. As today’s market leader, Monterey has a responsibility to make everyone aware of issues concerning not only the taste of the food they eat but also the role it plays when we speak of food safety,” said Palabyab.
The Monterey Know Your Meat caravan may be coming to your neighborhood this Saturday. If you want to know the schedule, go to www.facebook.com.page/KNOW-YOUR-MEAT-by-Monterey or follow @KnowYourMeat on Twitter.