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Save money and avoid hormones and other additives in commercial meats! Join generations of cooks who have learned to process and preserve their own meats at home. Simple, safety-conscious instructions, pros and cons, money-saving shortcuts and how-tos (even how to build smokehouses).
Excerpt from Chapter 1.
Some Basic Information: Processing Seldom does a family want to consume an entire beef as soon as it is slaughtered or an entire hog or wild deer. Not only would this cause the animal to lose it's welcome but it would not allow some of the beef and pork to be consumed later when market prices are higher venison to be eaten throughout the year or having meat available for a balanced diet. Neither would it allow for the enjoyment of the succulent ham corned beef bacon and smoked tongue that are high on the list of choice meats of most families; for it takes time to make these choice meats.
Spreading the availability of meat out over future months and to provide for a balanced died require that it be preserved or stored in some manner until it is wanted for the table. But to store meat requires that the growth of enzymes in it that cause negative food action must be halted and that harmful microorganisms be at least put into a dormant stage if not killed altogether.
It is easy to impede the growth of enzymes and of negative organisms and to kill them outright in some instances so meat may be preserved or stored for future use without its deterioration and spoilage. This is done in several ways: Canning freezing curing and smoking. It is also accomplished when meat is dried and when fat is rendered into lard. We call this processing.