What Do We Eat? Beefiniroom Casserole!

Squash Casserole on the plate

Tonight was “dad’s night to cook.” We just picked up some fresh zucchini and yellow squash from the local farmer’s market last night (I stuffed and barbecued a big one last night for supper), had some hamburger thawed in the fridge, so I probed my memory and decided on a casserole.

Squash Casserole ready for the oven

The recipe is fairly simple, brown a couple of pounds of ground beef and set aside. Slice and sauté a couple large squash in olive oil, I use oil grown by my friend Irv Leen of  Gold Rush Farms, and set aside. Mix thinly sliced mushrooms, a couple of cups of sour cream, a cube of melted butter and a roll of crushed Ritz crackers with the beef. Spread the beef evenly in the bottom of a 9 x 14 casserole dish. Spread the sautéed squash on top of the beef and then add a couple of cups of shredded cheese over the top. Place in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes and supper is served!

Squash Casserole out of the oven

While waiting the 20 minutes for the casserole to bake, I began to think about the past several weeks… I have been to Washington D.C. to meet with reporters and writers about the use of antibiotics in livestock, discussed organic and conventional production and grassfed vs grainfed beef…PEW held a discussion in Chicago on antibiotic use and superbugs…and Panera launched a campaign insinuating that farmers who use antibiotics are lazy. I recommend you take a look at a well written post by my friend Carrie Mess “Dear Panera Bread Company” and “Here’s What Panera had to say…

Now you are probably asking yourself, what in the heck does this have to do a squash casserole?

Well, remember that ground beef I used, here is the back story.

On April 6, 2011, an Angus bull calf, 133, was born to an Angus cow, P50. Bull calf 133 was out on pasture with his mother when on July 20, 2011, he came down with a case of pink eye. I treated him with 1 cc of penicillin under the lining of the sclera and applied a couple of puffs of eye powder (this is the treatment we have had the best success with through consulting with our veternarian. The eye heeled and he remained on pasture with his mother until he was weaned on September 12, 2011, he weighed 607 pounds.

Upon weaning, he was moved to the bull pen with his brothers and was fed supplementary grain, about 4 lbs morning and night, and ranch raised alfalfa hay. On March 12, 2012, we recorded yearling weights and 133 weighed 1023 pounds.  Then, on April 11, 2012, he developed an abscess, just above the hoof on his right front foot. I brought him back in, and after consulting with our veterinarian, lanced the abscess and gave him 22.5 cc’s, subcutaneous, of LA 200 (Each mL contains 200 mg of oxytetracycline base as oxytetracycline dihydrate). He received the same dose again on April 12th and April 13th. The abscess healed and lameness went away.

On October 4th, 2012, our veterinarian came out and we tested the sale bulls. All of the bulls passed their semen and blood tests with flying colors. Then, on October 13th, bull 103 turned up lame again and had a repeat abscess, in the exact same location, only on his left foot. After consulting with my veterinarian, I lanced the abscess again and he was treated with 30 cc’s of LA 200 on the 13th, 14th and 15th. He heeled up and was doing well, until November 1st, five days before the Shasta Bull Sale…he was lame again (should have called him Murphy!). Needless to say, he did not go to the sale and rather than treat him again, on November 27, after the 28 day withdrawl period from the October treatment, he was butchered.

Why am I sharing this story about bull #133 and squash casserole?

I merely want folks to know that farmers and ranchers are judicious in their use of antibiotics. Administration of antibiotics to our livestock is done after consulting our veterinarians for the best treatment to get the animal back to full health. We feed our families the same product that we grow and provide to our customers. We are not “lazy” as Panera claims. We care for the health and welfare of our animals, despite the weather, time or cost.

Feel free to check out an earlier post I wrote on antibiotics, “Denmark, Antibiotics, The Rest of the Story” and a well written article on MRSA by my friend Dr. Scott Hurd, “A good paper about MRSA with a bad headline.

On a side note, the grain that bull #133 was fed contained GMO soybean meal and GMO corn, but that is story for another time.

  1. October 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    What a great article! I was drawn in by the delicious-looking squash casserole lol.

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