Your Roadmap to the Right Cut
Do you know the wealth of information that’s listed on the beef packages in your supermarket? It’s all there if you just take a few moments to take a closer look at the small print. The meat package label identifies the kind of beef, the wholesale cut name and the retail cut name. It also includes the weight, price per pound, total price, sell-by date and safe handling instructions.
Labeling is evolving, and you may see labels that include a grade, nutrition information and recommended preparation information.
Other terms you may see on labels include:
Branded Beef Names
More beef in the supermarket is marketed with a brand name that carries with it a promise to the consumer for attributes such as consistency in taste, tenderness, juiciness and flavor. Every branded beef program is unique, but most have specifications regarding grade, aging and size.
Grain-fed beef is the most widely produced type of beef in the United States. Grain-fed cattle spend most of their lives eating grass in pastures, and then move on to a feedlot where they eat a high-energy grain diet for three to six months. Research shows most Americans generally prefer the taste of grain-fed beef because of its tenderness and flavor-enhancing marbling. Click here to learn more about grain-fed beef
All cattle spend the majority of their lives eating grass in pastures. However, grass-finished beef (sometimes labeled as grass-fed beef) comes from cattle that have been raised on pasture their entire lives. Grass-finished beef is often described as having a distinctly different taste. Click here to learn more about grass-finished beef
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition of “natural” as “minimally processed containing no additives,” all fresh beef is natural. Click here to learn more about natural beef
Certified organic beef must meet stringent USDA regulations and carry the USDA Organic Seal. Both grass-finished and grain-fed beef can qualify as organic. Click here to learn more about organic beef