Posted by Keith Reed on Apr 23, 2018
There were 34 members present.  Guests were: Ron Bernardi from Sunset Foods in Northbrook; and Laura Cunningham (guest of Marie Kuipers). Terry Dayson gave the “thought for the day”. Tom Nash presided and had a moment of silence in honor of former Rotarian, John Johnson, who recently passed away.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:    Members voted on the Club’s new Board and Officers for the coming year, and Marie Kuipers was formally approved by Club vote to be Club President for the 2019-20 Rotary year, as well as the full slate of other Board members also being approved.  Tom also reminded members of the District Conference to be held in Sheboygan from May 17 to 20.  Also, there is a special Rotary Assembly meeting at Harper College on April 28 from 8:30 to noon for newly elected officers of the Rotary clubs.  Bill Leske reminded people of our annual benefit on May 11.  Patti Van Cleave announced that she was the auction chairman for this event and welcomed auction items—she suggested that  bottled wine was always a good auction item.  Rich Lalley announced that this was the last day for our Club to sign up for the special Labor Day celebration at the Cubs-Brewers ball game honoring and hosting our military veterans, but that we needed 4 more reservations at $75 each to be recognized as a sponsor of the event. (At this time our members responded by at least 4 more contributions so that we could be a sponsor.) Brooke Peppey announced that on  the dining tables there were lists of the 18 charities selected by our Club’s Foundation for grants during the coming year, the total amount of grant money given being $14,500.  She also reminded the members that their donations to the Club’s Foundation designating one of the grantees as the beneficiary would be matched by our Foundation up to $200 per member, if such donations are made before our benefit on May 11.
HAPPY BUCKS:  Tom Nash contributed for the successful WYO benefit last weekend and he gave special recognition to Mary Komlofski and Christina Gikas for a job well done.  Liz Taylor contributed for the same reason and it was mentioned that Mary recently took an internet lesson on auctioneering and was quite professional in making the auction a real success.  Marie Kuipers contributed because her guest Laura was in attendance, as were Ron Bernardi and our guest speaker, Dan Humphreys. Ron Bernardi contributed in honor of Sam Badger, a former member of Ron’s Northbrook Rotary Club.  Ron suggested that with Marie scheduled to be our President in 2019 that our benefit should have a “roller derby” theme.  Eric Birkenstein handled the “dig and grin” by sounding like one of Art Linkletter’s old programs “Kids say the darnedest things”.
GUEST SPEAKER, DAN HUMPHREY FROM SUNSET FOODS IN NORTHBROOK:  Dan has been with Sunset Foods for 30 years, first heading up the fish department and then in recent years being head of the meat department. His presentation dealt with how meat is produced and processed and the different grades of meat products.  He explained that Sunset Foods sells meat approved by the Certified Angus Beef LLC (hereafter “CAB”), which is a non-profit association of angus beef producers that certifies meat produced from black angus cattle that meets certain quality standards.  Meat grades such as “grass fed” can be misleading because the diet of most beef is at least 90% grass.  Beef is fed grain only  during the last 30-60 days so that the fat created during that time can be graded.  Whereas USDA Prime and USDA Choice grades only need to meet two specifications, the CAB meat has to meet 10 specifications including modest or higher marbling; 10-16 square inches in the ribeye area; less than 1000 pound carcass weight; less than 1 inch fat thickness; superior muscling; and free of capillary ruptures.  The risk of getting a tough CAB steak is 1 in 50, whereas for USDA Choice and USDA Select, it is 1 in 13, and 1 in 6, respectively.  72% of consumers order their steaks medium, medium well or well done, and higher marbling in the meat makes these steaks more tender.
   Prior to 1970, there were many breeds and cross-breeds of beef cattle  used to produce steaks, which resulted in an inconsistency of meat quality. The producers of CAB steak decided at that time to use only purebred angus cattle to produce its certified meat. Most of Sunset Foods CAB meat is produced on small farms in Wooster, Ohio, where angus cows are artificially inseminated using only purebred angus bulls.  The brood cows are tagged so that the origin of all CAB meat can be traced in case there is a problem with a disease such as E. Coli.  Brood cows produce both male and female calves, some of which are kept to produce more angus calves. The cows and bulls who become incapable of producing quality stock are usually processed as beef.  Only about 1 in 4 black angus cattle meet the specifications to be CAB. Generally, about 60% of the CAB are female cattle.
     Dan also explained that retail stores no longer receive the big quarters of beef hanging in rail box cars like you saw in the old “Rocky movies”.  Instead the beef is slaughtered and cut up into smaller pieces (referred to as “boxed beef”) in processing plants (usually not located in the big cities) and shipped to stores like Sunset Foods where meat cutters do the more finishing type of work in preparing the meat to sell over the counter.  Dan’s presentation was certainly flattering to the quality of meat sold by Sunset Foods and covered lots of information not known to the general public.  Dan used an informative power point in his presentation; if you would like to see the powerpoint, which is titled "The Science Benhind the Sizzle," please send an email request to  and he will forward it to you.