What's The Beef With Steaks?

US - The United States Department of Agriculture has designated eight grades for beef, but the three available to most consumers are prime, choice and select.
calendar icon 15 November 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Prime: The USDA determines prime, which is regarded as the highest quality beef, by its abundant amount of marbling (fat within the lean). Select butcher shops may carry prime beef, but most often consumers can find prime on the menu at high-end restaurants.

Choice: The second highest grade, choice is the grade most commonly offered at independent butcher shops. The majority of graded beef falls under choice.

Select: This meat is the leanest and least expensive of the three and is most often carried at grocery stores. Select meats are generally drier, tougher and less flavorful than the two higher grades.

Grain fed

Both choice and prime beef come from grain-fed cattle.

"Grain fed is what gives you the marbling and marbling is what gives you flavor and tenderness," said Eddie Wedell, owner of Jim's Quality Meats in Darien. "Farmers use a portion of corn, milo, millet and a high protein grain to feed cows."

Grain-fed beef has always been more expensive but has become even more so because of the demand for fuel composed of corn-based ethanol, Wedell said.

Grass fed

Select beef comes from grass-fed cattle. "Grass-fed beef was brought to the market because of a demand for lower calories and lower cholesterol," said Pat Falcone, owner of Josef's Elegante Meats and Deli in Geneva.

Source: Kankakee Daily Journal
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.