Beef "marked with charcoal" ?????????????????

    • Gold Top Dog

    Beef "marked with charcoal" ?????????????????

    I found what seems to be a great local source for buying raw foods in bulk.  Primarily I have been feeding Baily chicken but really want to add other proteins into the mix.  Beef seems to be the most readily available, but more expensive.  What are your thoughts on the product below?  Keep in mind that I have not actually ordered from here yet, and I have not spoken with them either.  Anybody know what “marked with charcoal” means? 

     At 75 cents per pound I feel like this is a steal compared to what else I have found.  I think the 20% organ meat is high...but I could also buy the 20 lb box of lean beef for $28.00 and mix the two.  Then I would have about 15% organ meat.......  yikes !  That's 60 lbs of food !  I don't think my freezer can handle that !!


    Pet Food Ground Beef Organ Mix - 40 lb case


    Pet food product. A mixture of 80% lean beef and 20% organ meat. Usually kidney or liver is the organ product but this can vary. Case contains 8 - 5 pound chubs. This product is marked with charcoal and is taxable.
    btw...I don't know why the formatting is so goofy ........sorry
    • Gold Top Dog

    DH (Monroe Magee) says that beef that is "marked with charcoal" means that it is unfit for human consumption.  It can't be sold for people to eat, not sure why.

    • Gold Top Dog

    You know, I'll be honest.  I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.  The whole point of homecooking or doing raw is to give them BETTER food. 

    This is likely stuff culled from rendering plants -- how much BHT, BHA and ethoxyquin have they added to it (before it is sold they often don't have to label that it's been added unless THEY add it, if it's bought that way they don't have to). 

     You could be actually doing the opposite of what you hope to achieve. 

    • Gold Top Dog

    EWWWWWWW.........don't wanna do that !

    They do have the better grades of meat still much cheaper than I see in the typical grocery stores around here.  Aside from beef.....I don't think I have many (if any) alternatives to chicken.  Is turkey different enough to be worthwhile ?

    • Gold Top Dog


    Is turkey different enough to be worthwhile ?

    This website may be helpful; it lists nutritional information for just about any food you can think of, so you can compare different meats;


    • Gold Top Dog

     It is not from rendering plants.  This is usually beef from adult cull cattle - breeding or dairy stock usually.  Dairy cattle "wear out" in anywhere from four to as little as two years' production, so dairies sometimes will offer this product for pet use.  Breeding stock farms also often do this as well.

    Sometimes you can find real jewels in these offerings.  There's a place down south of here that sells beef from their all-natural dairy cattle herd, for about that price, charcoal marked, and the cows have been 100% grass fed and hormone free.

    Don't forget tripe (green tripe) is also "unfit for human consumption."  I feed my dogs downer calf, lambs, and sheep.  Nothing at all wrong with it since I know what brought the animal down.

    Charcoal, by the way, is a perfectly safe additive.  It's excellent for the digestion. 

    • Gold Top Dog

     I know that the tiger reserve I consult for gets "USDA condemned chickens" to feed the tigers since it is free, and they are all marked with charcoal.  Pretty sure the beef you are mentioning is either 1.) unfit for human consumption, or 2.) adult cull cattle as mentioned above.    I would call and ask to be 100% sure before feeding it.  But just as a side note, the charcoal cannot hurt in small amounts--if anything it will work like peptobismol.  lol

    • Gold Top Dog

    I sent them an email asking for more information on this....No phone # listed on the site.   Will let you know what I found.

    • Moderators
    • Gold Top Dog

    There's a place down south of here that sells beef from their all-natural dairy cattle herd, for about that price, charcoal marked, and the cows have been 100% grass fed and hormone free.

    go on do tell (via pm or email if it is a personal number Big Smile )

    • Gold Top Dog

    I don't have the information any more because it was way, way south west of Charlotte and the gas would have made it not worth my while.  They did not ship at the time.  I'll see whether the friend who put me on to it many years ago still gets beef there.  I don't think so, I think she went to Blue Ridge. 

    Okay, no, she said she doesn't even feed much beef anymore - she does whole prey - her sheep, deer, and poultry.

    Do you need beef?  I'm trying to find a couple more people to divide a 700 pound cull calf that a friend has.  It'll be "veal", hormone free, antibiotic free, pasture raised, for around $1.25 a pound.  It'll cut down to about 45% of the 700 pounds, so we're just looking for people to take 50 to 75 pounds or less each.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Here is my email question to the supplier:

    Hi, I have joined this website but have not actually placed an order yet.
    I have a couple questions regarding the 40 lb case of beef/organ mix. The
    description indicates it is marked with charcoal. I assume this means it is
    unfit for human consumption. Can you tell me what the source of the beef
    is? Also, how much charcoal would be used to mark each chub?

    The first respose I got was not terribly helpful:

    We use 2 oz of water and charcoal in a 400 lb batch of pet food. The charcoal is completly innert and harmless to your pet. Our beef is all completly USDA inspected for human use.

    So.......... I asked again:

    Thanks for getting back to me. 
    Could you please tell me the reason that this particular product is marked with the charcoal?  Somebody else suggested that the charcoal indicated it would not be fit for human use.  If that is not the case...why is it marked ?  Since I have not purchased from you as of yet, I  just need some education on your products.

    The second response was actually from a different person responding to my inital inquiry:

     Actual you could eat it if you wanted to, there is not bone in the
    beef/organ mix . The marking is for the in house use at the plant because
    human food is processed there also. The amount of charcoal is dependant on
    the USDA inspector on duty the day the mix is made. None of the charcoal
    will hurt animals; it is the least harmful of any marking material. You can
    buy charcoal tablets for your pets if they ingest something they shouldn't.
    The beef is the same as used in the other human products, most being USDA
    Choice or Prime.

    If you are uncomfortable with this you can just buy a case of ground beef
    and a case of some organ meat and mix it on your own. That way there would
    be no charcoal in it.

    I never did hear back from the second inquiry to the first person.  I am satisfied that the beef is of good quality.  I do think the 20% organ is too high.  Now I just need to figure out the freezer space !

    • Gold Top Dog

    Oh, I get it.  The USDA doesn't allow organs to be ground with meat.  That's true. I bet that's why that place with the dairy cattle marked with charcoal too.  They ground in bone.  They were not USDA but wanted all their ducks in a row in that respect.

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