Dirty Job: Meat Processing In West Texas

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Ever wonder how the meat on your table got there in the first place? What does it have to go through before you can call it dinner? Well, you're about to find out and it requires a whole lot of dirty work. 
    
Naturally Fresh in Midland has been processing meat for 23 years. Each week they process about 18,000 pounds.

"In West Texas, hunting is popular. We actually don't own any of the meat, we just process it for our customers. They shoot the animal and bring it to us and we'll process it for the individual hunter and they pick it up here," Ron Stitt, Owner of Naturally Fresh in Midland, said. 

NewsWest 9 was curious as to how meat is processed, we decided to get our hands dirty at processing meat!

The first stop was the chopping board.

"I'm cutting out fat to get it ready as cutlets. This will go grinded into hamburger meat, chili meat, and sausage," Stitt said.

Diane: "I've never had deer meat before, does it taste like chicken like everyone else says?"

Ron: "Haha, no. It tastes nothing like chicken. It's healthier because the fat content is low, so you have to watch how you cook it."

Ron thought I was too much of a rookie to handle slicing up meat, and quite frankly I didn't trust myself with a knife either, so on to the grinder I go.

After the meat is sliced up, some of it gets blended in with jalapeno, seasoning, and chilies.

"Yes, and grind it all up and made into sausages," Stacie Hatfield said. 
     
After the meat's been processed, it's then taken to the packaging department; something I thought would be a lot easier than slicing and grinding the meat.

Once it's all wrapped tightly it's stocked in the freezer; ready to be picked up.

There you have it; an example of a 'dirty job' right here in West Texas. I've decided to leave it to the experts and stick to my day job.