Think you know all there is to know about America’s favorite meat? A lot of people love eating beef, but there are some interesting facts that are not so widely known. Here are seven things you didn’t know about beef to get your mouth watering.
1. It’s the healthiest type of red meat
Due to its high content of vitamins, omega-3 fats, and healthy linoleic acid, a nice piece of lean beef that is ethically raised and grass fed is widely considered by nutritionists to be the healthiest single type of red meat.
2. It’s got real nutritional value
Did you know that a small serving of beef (approximately three ounces) can account for over half of the protein you need every day? It also contains valuable vitamins, iron, and zinc. People who insist that beef is not good for you simply aren’t looking at all the facts.
3. It’s not really bad for your heart
Beef has gotten a bad rap in the past due to concerns over heart disease; but recent medical research has found that moderate quantities of lean beef, even when eaten on a daily basis, does not actually bring about an elevated risk in terms of heart disease.
4. There are 50 different cuts
The way that cattle are processed and butchered is not accidental, but meticulous and systematic. There are actually 50+ different cuts of beef from a single cow. There are numerous different cuts of steak and types of ribs, as you know from looking at a steakhouse menu. But there are also areas of the cow that are used for ground beef, chuck beef, and roasts.
5. USDA Prime is the best
With categories like Prime, Choice and Select, it’s easy to get confused about the USDA’s beef grading system. They all sound good; but they rank in exactly that order. Prime comes from cattle that are fed the best diet, and are younger. The marbling on the beef is excellent. Prime and Choice are still good cuts of beef, especially when marinated and prepared by a pro. But for the record, Select is the top ranking cut of beef—and for good reason.
6. Marbling is a good thing
Speaking of marbling, the most expensive and prized cuts of beef around the world are virtually white before they’re cooked. Some people think this means the meat is more fatty and thus undesirable. They’re right about it being more fatty—but when cooked, that fat turns into pure tenderness and flavor. Some of those fats even have exceptional health qualities. Ask any high-ranking steakhouse and they’ll tell you that more marveling on a piece of beef is a very good thing indeed.
7. Quality matters
This might be obvious to you, but many folks (even some who consider themselves steak lovers) don’t really think it matters what the cattle are fed, or how they’re raised and processed. But if you look at all of the highest quality steaks in the world, they pay close attention to all of these aspects. When you taste a perfectly cooked piece of Wagyu beef and compare it to a lower-quality cut from a big processing plant that uses lots growth hormones, the results speak for themselves.
Where’s the beef?
If you’re going to enjoy beef, why not enjoy it the right way and go to a reputable steakhouse that really knows how to source and prepare a piece of beef that goes above and beyond the ordinary? Beef is certainly a staple of many peoples diet, but experiencing just how good it can be might require a trip to your local steakhouse.