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Meat madness

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What message is shaping your opinions about beef? by Lynn Bliven

What message is shaping your opinions about beef? by Lynn Bliven


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  • LimousinWorked for 8 years in 4-H Youth Development.Past 17 year working in adult agriculture.Beef producer for 21 years; grass-fed 18 years.Pastured poultry and grass-fed lamb producer.
  • Beginning of the cycle.A newborn calf weighs 60-100 pounds.Calves can be born year round, but many farmers & ranchers plan for spring.
  • Hay: dried grasses & legumes.Haylage: Hay stored “wet” and fermented. Ensiled hay.Balage: Large wrapped bales of haylage. Ensiled hay.
  • Younger or lighter weight calves may be sent to a backgrounder or stockerto graze. 500-750#. Depends on the area of the country and the resources they have available (for example, California has a nearly year-round supply of grass). Utilize co-products (citrus pulp, cottonseed hulls, rice hulls)
  • Feedlots are used to efficiently put weight on cattle and control what, and how much, they are fed before they are sent for processing. Cattle usually spend four to six months in a feedlot, during which time they have constant access to water and are fed a scientifically formulated diet averaging 70 percent to 80 percent grain. The time cattle spend in a feedlot is often called the “finishing phase.”Cattle are checked daily for health and well-being by a “pen-rider,” also called a “cowboy.”
  • Grass-Fed: All cattle spend a majority of their lives eating grass on pasturesNatural: Most beef does not contain any additives and is not more than minimally processed.Nutritious: Beef is a powerful protein and an excellent or good source of 10 essential nutrientsSafe: Vigilance on farms, rigorous safety inspections and strict government guidelines ensure the highest level of safety3% of beef is Organic, Grass-fed, Certified Natural/ 97% commodity meat. More than 1 million farmers & ranchers raise cattle in every state in the country. They use the diverse resources available in their local areas to produce nutritious, safe and delicious beef. For consumers, that means there are a variety of beef choices such as grain-finished, grass-finished, natural and certified organic beef.
  • There are other voluntary labels for livestock products, such as meat and eggs. Animal raising claims must be truthful and not misleading. USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service verifies the truthfulness of these claims:Free-range. This label indicates that the flock was provided shelter in a building, room, or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water, and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle. The outdoor area may or may not be fenced and/or covered with netting-like material. This label is regulated by the USDA.Cage-free. This label indicates that the flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.Natural. As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.Grass-fed. Grass-fed animals receive a majority of their nutrients from grass throughout their life, while organic animals’ pasture diet may be supplemented with grain. Also USDA regulated, the grass-fed label does not limit the use of antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides. Meat products may be labeled as grass-fed organic.Pasture-raised. Due to the number of variables involved in pasture-raised agricultural systems, the USDA has not developed a federal definition for pasture-raised products. Humane. Multiple labeling programs make claims that animals were treated humanely during the production cycle, but the verification of these claims varies widely. These labeling programs are not regulated under a single USDA definition.No added hormones. A similar claim includes “Raised without Hormones.” Federal regulations have never permitted hormones or steroids in poultry, pork, or goat.
  • If you see “naturally raised” on a label, check further for what that claim is meaning. NATURAL: A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as "no artificial ingredients; minimally processed").
  • CERTIFIED: The term "certified" implies that the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Agriculture Marketing Service have officially evaluated a meat product for class, grade, or other quality characteristics (e.g., "Certified Angus Beef"). When used under other circumstances, the term must be closely associated with the name of the organization responsible for the "certification" process, e.g., "XYZ Company's Certified Beef."
  • The main difference in how grain-finished and grass-finished beef is raised is the diet fed to the cattle. Most beef that is grain-finished comes from cattle that spend most of their lives grazing on pasture and then spend four to six months in a feedlot, where they are fed a diet of grains such as corn, wheat or soybeans. Beef that is grass-finished comes from cattle that spend their entire lives grazing on pasture. Both types of beef come from cattle that may judiciously be given Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antibiotics or growth promoting hormones and also vitamin and mineral supplements (2). 
  • the animal cannot be fed grain or grain by-products and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season. However, a marketing claim of grass fed does not mean the animal was raised in free-range conditions
  • In October 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a voluntary standard for grass- (forage-) fed marketing claims (2). This voluntary standard established minimum requirements for cattle farmers and ranchers operating a USDA-verified program involving this claim. The grass-fed standard states that grass and/or forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animals, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. Forage consists of grass (annual and perennial), forbs (e.g., legumes), browse (trigs of trees and shrubs) or cereal grain crops in the vegetative (pre-grain) state. Hay, haylage, baleage, silage, crop residue without grain and other roughage sources (most commonly, forages that have been removed from the ground and bundled) also are acceptable feed sources for grass-fed cattle. Additionally, the animal cannot be fed grain or grain by-products and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season. However, a marketing claim of grass fed does not mean the animal was raised in free-range conditions (2).
  • Cattle can be grain-finished or grass-finished, as long as the feed is 100% organic. Have never received antibiotics or growth promoting hormonesMay be given vitamin & mineral supplements. Must be certified by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.Look for the official label.
  • NO HORMONES (beef): The term "no hormones administered" may be approved for use on the label of beef products if sufficient documentation is provided to the Agency by the producer showing no hormones have been used in raising the animals. NO ANTIBIOTICS (red meat and poultry): The terms "no antibiotics added" may be used on labels for meat or poultry products if sufficient documentation is provided by the producer to the Agency demonstrating that the animals were raised without antibiotics.
  • Dry Aged Fresh Meat is held (without vacuum packing) for various periods of time (usually 10 days to 6 weeks) under controlled temperatures (34°F to 38°F), humidity, and airflow to avoid spoilage and ensure flavor enhancement, tenderness, and palatability.
  • How is ungraded beef different?All beef is inspected for wholesomeness. The overall quality of ungraded beef may be higher or lower than most government grades found in retail markets.
  • What is marbling?Marbling is white flecks of fat within the meat muscle. The greater amount of marbling in beef, the higher the grade because marbling makes beef more tender, flavorful, and juicy.
  • How & why is some beef aged?Beef is aged to develop additional tenderness and flavor. It is done commercially under controlled temperatures and humidity. Since aging can take from 10 days to 6 weeks, USDA does not recommend aging beef in a home refrigerator.
  • Saturated fat is a function of total fat contentSaturated fat varies in beef products from 38% of total fat to 44% of total fat depending on the quality grade and the cut (USDA Nutrient Database)Saturated fat content does not vary in grain-or grass-fed beef at the same level of edible fat content (quality grade and marbling)Grain-fed = 43.4% of total fatGrass-fed = 44.2% of total fat (Duckett and Paven, 2007)Nutrition claims such as "lean" and "extra lean" are sometimes seen on beef products. Here are their definitions:"Lean" - 100 grams of beef with less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol."Extra Lean" - 100 grams of beef with less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
  • names for various cuts can vary regionally in stores, causing confusion over the choice of cooking method. For example, a boneless top loin steak is variously called: strip steak, Kansas City Steak, N.Y. strip steak, hotel cut strip steak, ambassador steak, or club sirloin steak.
  • Wholesale cuts are those which are shipped from the packing plant to Butchers and Grocers for further Processing into smaller cuts.
  • Retail Cuts are the smaller cuts that consumers buy at the Grocery Store, Butcher Shop or local farmer.Nutrition claims such as "lean" and "extra lean" are sometimes seen on beef products. Here are their definitions:"Lean" - 100 grams of beef with less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol."Extra Lean" - 100 grams of beef with less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
  • Buying beef in large quantities can result in significant cost savings. Savings are not always realized and the quality of the beef varies. The carcass represents about 60 percent of the market weight of a beef animal. Example, a 1,000-pound market animal = 600 pounds of carcass.Hindquarter-This is about 45-50 percent, the hindquarter from a 300-pound side should weigh about 135-150 pounds. Frontquarter-This is about 50 -55 percent, the frontquarter from a 300-pound side should weigh about 150-165 pounds.
  • You need to understand break down of carcass and value of part regardless of marketing channel.
  • People, profit, planet, maybe also the animals? The local economy?
  • Simmental
  • Transcript

    • 1. Meat Madness: What Message is Shaping Your Opinions about Beef? Lynn A Bliven Association Team Coordinator Cornell Cooperative Extension Allegany/Cattaraugus County
    • 2. Where life begins the Cow-Calf Farms • Cows are bred & give birth to a calf every year. • For the first few months of life, calves drink their mother’s milk & graze on pastures. • Calves are weaned at 6-8 months old, weighing 400-500 pounds. Then eat grass & forages. • 1-in-3 female calves are kept on the cow-calf farm as breeding animals (“replacement heifers”).
    • 3. What is forage?
    • 4. Stockers & Backgrounders • Stockers and backgrounders graze cattle on many different kinds of pastures all across the United States. These cattle gain weight and, in effect, convert forage and grass into protein.
    • 5. Types of feeds: • Silage, corn silage: The entire corn plant, chopped and stored “wet”, fermented. Ensiled corn. • Shelled corn: Dry, whole kernel corn. • Cracked corn: Dry, whole kernel corn which is ground into smaller pieces.
    • 6. Feedlots • Mature calves are moved to feedlots. • Typically spend 4-6 months. • Have constant access to water, room to move around & are free to graze at feed bunks containing a carefully balanced diet. • Veterinarians, nutritionists and cattlemen work together to look after each animal.
    • 7. Marketplace Confusion Grass-Fed Low Calorie Reduced sodium Fat-Free Organic Sugar-free Natural Local Gluten-free Enriched Whole Grain Low-Fat High Fiber Fortified Added Protein Free Range No GMO Sustainably Raised
    • 8. All Beef Is… • • • • Grass-fed Natural Nutritious Safe
    • 9. So what is: Natural? Grass-fed? Organic? Dry-aged? Pasture raised? Free range? Humane? Prime?
    • 10. What is: Natural? • “minimally processed, no artificial ingredients”. • Commonly used on products raised without antibiotics or hormone implants. So, is feeding expired baked goods “natural”? Potato peels? Citrus rinds?
    • 11. What is: Certified Naturally Raised? • Cattle can be grain-finished or grass-finished (look at the label for details) • Have never received antibiotics or growth promoting hormones • May be given vitamin & mineral supplements • Must be certified by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service
    • 12. What is: Grain-finished? • Cattle spend most of their lives grazing on pasture, then spend 4-6 months in a feedlot • Fed scientifically & healthy balanced diet of grains, such as corn, wheat or soybeans • May judiciously be given FDA-approved antibiotics or growth promoting hormones • May be given vitamin and mineral supplements • Have continuous access to clean water & room to grow & roam
    • 13. What is: Grass-fed? • Varies, implies a grass diet. • Sometimes specified as “ 100%” or “strictly”. Grass (Forage) Fed – Grass and forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. The diet shall be derived solely from forage consisting of grass (annual and perennial), forbs (e.g., legumes, Brassica), browse, or cereal grain crops in the vegetative (pre-grain) state. Animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season. Hay, haylage, baleage, silage, crop residue without grain, and other roughage sources may also be included as acceptable feed sources. Routine mineral and vitamin supplementation may also be included in the feeding regimen. Grass (Forage) Fed Marketing Claim Standard (October 16, 2007, Federal Register Notice (72 FR 58631)) PDF So, are steers fed hay inside a barn all winter grass-fed? Does grazing in a field of “young corn” mean grass-fed? Where is this grass fed beef coming from?
    • 14. What is: Grass-finished? • Cattle spend their entire lives grazing on pasture • May judiciously be given FDA-approved antibiotics or growth promoting hormones • May be given vitamin and mineral supplements • Can be difficult to produce year-round in North America due to changing seasons & weather conditions
    • 15. What is: • • • • Organic? Certified organic feed, can include grain. Housing, health, & handling specifically defined. Processing done at a certified facility. No antibiotics, no hormone implants allowed. Could this farm be certified organic?
    • 16. What is: Pasture Raised or Free Range? • “Access to the outdoors”.
    • 17. What is: Dry-Aged • Most locally raised beef carcasses “hang” 10-14 days in the cooler. • Technically, “dry aging” is for individual primals for a period of 21 days or more.
    • 18. What is: Prime? • Only USDA Graders can assign USDA Quality Grades. • There are NO USDA Graders in NYS. % IMF (intramuscular fat): % of US Beef Supply in the 3 top USDA Grades: 2.5-3.9% 31.5% 3.9-8.5% 61.5% 8.5-12+% 2.7% Beef Research Report, Iowa SU 1998 NBQA 2011
    • 19. Slight Moderate Small Slightly abundant Modest Moderately abundant
    • 20. Define what is important to you, seek it from local sources. 1. “What do I want?” Common answers are “affordable, healthy, safe, humane meats.” 2. VISIT farmers’ markets, ASK around, and TALK with area farmers. 3. If you like what you see/hear…buy it! Buy small quantities to sample, figure out what you like.
    • 21. What is important to me? Healthy animals, healthy feed • Pasture, when it is available. • Haylage, balage, some grains, but not straight corn. • “Free choice” hay. • No food waste from industrial food processing. • Treat sick animals as needed.
    • 22. Clean, humane farm conditions • Animals have access to the outdoors, shade/ shelter, water, feed, and pasture (seasonal). • General farm and livestock appearance.
    • 23. High Quality Meats • A good eating experience! • Adequate marbling & fat cover. •Animals of the appropriate age. •Beef: 16-32 mos. •Lamb/goat: <1year •Pigs: <1year •Poultry: <1year
    • 24. Humane, clean processing • Properly wrapped for long freezer life. • Beef animals should “hang” between 1-2 weeks. • USDA inspected is good, not necessary.
    • 25. USDA & NYS Regulations • USDA Inspected: Livestock (beef, pork, goat, lamb) meat can be sold to the public. • “Custom” & NYS 5A: Livestock meat cannot be sold. Consumers can buy a live animal (or portion of live animal) from a farmer & have it processed at a 5A. • NYS 20C: Can process (butcher) & sell livestock killed at USDA inspected facility.
    • 26. What about claims? • • • • • • • Higher in CLA Lower in cholesterol or saturated fat. Sustainable scale. Family farms. Grass-based. Humane. Lean.
    • 27. Beef Primal Cuts
    • 28. There are eight wholesale cuts that are then used to make retail cuts.
    • 29. Beef Cuts
    • 30. FORE SHANK AND BRISKET The fore shank and brisket come from the shoulder and chest of cattle. It’s most common retail cut is the brisket.
    • 31. Beef Brisket The Beef Brisket is a very course textured muscle. The heavy layer of fat and the sternum or breast bone have been removed. Due to the course texture of this muscle, cooking in liquid is recommended.
    • 32. THE ROUND The round is the hind quarter of cattle, similar to the ham of a hog. The rump roast is a common example of a retail cut from the round.
    • 33. Round Steak This steak is identified by the round leg bone and three muscles. At the top of the screen is the top round, at the lower left is the bottom round, and lower right is the eye of the round.
    • 34. Rump Roast- Boneless When the rump is removed, boned, rolled and tied, a retail cut called the Beef Round Rump Roast is made. This represents a cut only moderately tender, moist heat is often used. However with a cut from choice and prime cattle, it is often cooked with dry heat.
    • 35. Tip Steak The Tip Steak is cut from the tip roast. Like the roast this steak is identified by four individual muscles within one large muscle mass.
    • 36. THE CHUCK The chuck is the neck region. You may recognize the boneless chuck roast as a retail cut from the chuck.
    • 37. Chuck Blade Steak The Beef Chuck Blade Steak is similar to the beef chuck blade roast. It is usually cut less than one inch thick. The blade bone shown in this slide has the typical shape of the "sevenbone", a term frequently used in the meat trade.
    • 38. Chuck Arm Roast The Beef Chuck Arm Roast is identified by its thickness as a roast, the large round bone in the center of the cut and the many small muscles of which it is made. This roast may or may not have a cross cut rib bones showing but if present would be at the bottom of the picture.
    • 39. Shank Cross Cut The Beef Shank Cross Cut is identified by a cross section of the arm bone and many very small muscles, each surrounded by connective tissue.
    • 40. THE RIB The rib cut is the rib section of the animal. We derive several retail cuts from this area including prime rib, and back ribs.
    • 41. Rib Eye Steak The Beef Rib Eye Steak come from the large end of the beef rib and is made by removing back and rib bones.
    • 42. Rib Roast, Small End The Beef Rib Roast, Small End, contains several ribs, a portion of the backbone and one large muscle, the rib eye.
    • 43. Back Ribs
    • 44. THE SHORT LOIN The short loin consists of the loin and short ribs of the animal.
    • 45. T-Bone Steak This steak has the characteristic "T" shaped vertebrae and the large eye muscle. The smaller muscle located below the T-bone is the tenderloin.
    • 46. Porterhouse Steak The Porterhouse Steak is similar to the beef loin T-bone steak. However the tenderloin muscle is much larger and an extra muscle is located in the center of the porterhouse steak on the upper side.
    • 47. Tenderloin Steak (Filet Mignon) The most tender retail cut from the entire beef carcass is the Beef Loin Tenderloin Steak. This steak has a fine texture, is circular in shape and is usually about three inches in diameter.
    • 48. THE SIRLION The sirloin is the waist of the animal, located between the ribs and round. The top sirloin steak is the favorite retail cut from this section.
    • 49. Sirloin Steak, Round Bone The Sirloin Steak, Round Bone is located further back on the sirloin area of the beef loin. This particular sirloin steak has the greatest amount of lean and the least amount of bone.
    • 50. Sirloin Steak, Round Bone The Sirloin Steak, Round Bone is located further back on the sirloin area of the beef loin. This particular sirloin steak has the greatest amount of lean and the least amount of bone.
    • 51. FLANK AND SHORT PLATE The flank is the area between the body and the hind legs. You may be familiar with the flank steak often used for beef jerky.
    • 52. Flank Steak The Beef Flank Steak is the only steak in the carcass containing an entire large muscle. Also, although most other steaks are cut across the muscle fibers, the flank steak fibers run the full length of the steak. To help tenderize these long fibers, you will notice the knife scores across the cut. Since the flank steak is one of the less tender steaks, it should be cooked with moist heat cookery.
    • 53. OTHER CUTS Other cuts consist of less desirable sections and are often cubed as stew meat or ground.
    • 54. Ground Beef
    • 55. Pricing On the hoof On the rail By the piece
    • 56. Pricing
    • 57. The important message • Shopping locally allows you to choose based on a relationship rather than a claim. • You want a good eating experience. • Buying local has many benefits (the “triple bottom line”). • Talk to farmers to learn more.
    • 58. Questions Credit for content and photos: Michael J. Baker, Cornell University Beef Extension Specialist Matt LeRoux, Ag. Marketing Specialist CCE - Tompkins County Audrey Monroe, RD, LD Kansas Beef Council