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Editor's note: Today, I compare free-range, grass-fed Australian beef to domestic beef; describe another visit to Costco Wholesale, and recommend a meatless rice-and-beans breakfast.
At the Englewood ShopRite on Wednesday, I picked up a Nature's Reserve whole trimmed beef tenderloin for filet mignon from free-range, grass-fed cattle raised in Australia.
The price was $8.99 a pound or $6.99 a pound with my store card, and my tenderloin weighs 4.32 pounds.
On a shelf in the same refrigerated case, I saw a USDA Select trimmed whole beef tenderloin from cattle raised conventionally for $11.99 a pound. It was being sold under the Excel name, a brand from a conglomerate called Cargill.
I plan to slice my tenderloin thinly and put it into freezer bags with Korean barbecue marinade. The beef will cook quickly on a stove-top grill for wrapping in red-leaf lettuce leaves with rice, kimchi and sliced garlic.
It's a fun family meal, though I won't be taking part. I'll likely prepare shrimp to wrap in lettuce and eat Korean-style.
Costco Wholesale in Hackensack opened at 10 this morning, but the parking lot was already filling up fast. Inside, it was calmer and there was no waiting at checkout.
I picked up two packages of Vita Pure Coconut Water from Brazil -- 12 containers of 11.1 ounces each -- for $15.79.
I have been buying coconut water from Amazon.com, where a 12-pack costs $17.60. Buying it at Costco eliminates the packaging and energy used to ship it to me.
The fish case held fresh fillets of wild-caught haddock, flounder and Pacific cod, each for $7.99 a pound. I bought the wonderful cod, a meaty fish that breaks apart into big flakes when cooked.
I also found a 17.6-ounce package of Galil-brand organic shelled chestnuts for $3.89, a product of China. Preservative-free pitted dates from California were $5.75 for 2.5 pounds.
Today's rib-sticking breakfast relied on leftover organic brown rice with lentils, and black beans with diced tomato and mussels -- all topped by two eggs prepared sunny side up.
There's nothing like breaking the yolks over the rice and beans, and eating them together.