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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Here's a book that was probably signed up at the height of a mad cow epidemic in Europe. If you missed the horror stories at the time or if you haven't read Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation or its turn-of-the-century ancestor, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, now’s your chance to get up to speed.
Cloutier gives a straightforward account of the current research and findings, which confirm that mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BCE), comes from the bad practice of feeding cattle with the waste from slaughtered cattle. Its human equivalent, Variant Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), arises when humans eat infected cows -- cooking cannot eliminate vCJD as it does E. coli. In fact, contaminated beef gives no clues -- it does not smell bad -- and ground beef is particularly vulnerable to food-borne pathogens.
Beef Busters provides charts of beef-borne illness and much advice for safe handling of beef. Undercooking and cross-contamination are the main culprits, so Cloutier advises cooking hot dogs until steaming hot; cooking steaks until the meat reaches 145° and ground beef to 160°; washing cutting boards in soapy water and bleach; and washing your hands, washing your hands, washing your hands. She gives many alternatives to meat for adding protein to your diet, suggestions for reducing beef consumption, recipes for lean-beef and no-beef dishes, and a 14-day menu planner.
Still can't give up hamburger? Cloutier recommends you grind your own at home, using a professional-grade food processor on solid muscle meat (steak). (Ginger Curwen)