UA Meat Sales provides quality products
Calling all carnivores: Get your fix at UA Meat Sales, an all-meat market that runs every Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Imagine a classroom converted into a crowded market with freezers full of beef tenderloins, New York strips, T-bones, rib eyes and, of course, bacon.
Run by UA Food Products and Safety Laboratory under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Meat Sales is located on Campbell Avenue just off Roger Road. People eagerly move past each other, pointing out their favorite cuts of meat and waiting excitedly to make their purchase.
While the room might be drab and gray, the atmosphere is anything but dull.
Kelsee Becker / Arizona Daily Wildcat Meat Science Graduate Associate Samuel Garcia assists customers with steak purchases. The Meat Sale has a limited supply of beef, bratwurst, bacon, steak, sausage, lamb, jerky, and other types of meat available for purchase every Friday from 3pm-6pm.
The safety lab also offers learning and research opportunities, according to Samuel Garcia, a meat science PhD candidate who works in the Food Products and Safety Lab.
Meat Sales sources its animals from V Bar V Ranch in Camp Verde, Ariz., owned by the UA. The grain or grass-fed livestock are eventually sent to the UA feedlot, where they remain until they reach a desirable weight for harvest, Garcia said.
Meat Sales cures product by injecting them with a brown-sugar cure and putting them in a smokehouse, Garcia said. This is essentially a huge oven in which meats are cooked at around 160 degrees for up to four hours. The time and temperature depend on the type of meat and the desired effect. For instance, a drier product that must keep more easily will be cooked for a longer period of time, Garcia said.
It was Maria Armendariz and Susan Worley’s first time going to Meat Sales, but they were already stocking up.
“Our friend brought bacon [from Meat Sales] into the school and it was delicious,” said Worley, a teacher at Catalina Foothills High School. Along with the abundance of meats available for purchase, the Food Products and Safety Lab also offers chances to learn about food production through cooking demonstrations and various related classes.
In the “Carcass Evaluation” competition, high school students learn how to look for a high-yield grade (or how much meat a carcass can supply) as well as the quality of a meat, according to Kevin Whitehurst, an animal sciences major at the UA. High school students involved in this competition are usually part of a Future Farmers of America chapter, Garcia added.
The “Cutting Class” teaches people who are unemployed how to become butchers, said Whitehurst, who has also been managing Meat Sales for the past year.
Whether you’re looking for a class or a choice cut, if you’re ready to beef up your Fridays, check out Meat Sales.