is meat obtained from a bovine.
is a taboo meat in a number of religions,
most notably Hinduism. Also, consumption of
beef (along with other meats) is frowned upon by many Buddhists, although it is not
contrast, beef is one of the principal meats used in European cuisine and
cuisine of the Americas, and is important
in Africa, East Asia, and Southeast Asia as well.
can be cut into steak, pot roasts, short ribs, or ground
into hamburger. Several Asian and
European nationalities include the blood in their cuisine as well -- the British use it to make black
pudding, and Filipinos use it to make a stew called dinuguan.
Other beef variety meats include the tongue, which is usually sliced
for sandwiches in Western cooking; tripe from the stomach; various
and thyroid—referred to as sweetbreads;
and the tender testicles of the bull commonly
known as "beef balls", "calf fries", or "Rocky Mountain oysters."
better cuts are usually obtained from steers, as heifers tend to be kept for breeding.
Older animals are used for beef when they are past their reproductive prime. The
meat from older cows and bulls is generally tougher, so it is frequently used
for ground beef. Cattle raised for beef may be allowed to roam free on grasslands,
or may be confined at some stage in pens as part of a large feeding operation
called a feedlot.
United States, Brazil, the EU, China, and India, are the world's five largest
producers of beef. Beef production is also important to the economy of Argentina,
the Russian Federation,
Mexico, and Canada.
United States, the USDA
operates a voluntary beef grading program. The grades are based on two main criteria,
the degree of marbling, or fat, in the beef and the age of the carcass. The younger
and more marbled receive the better grades. The more tender and juicy better grades
are used by restaurants and hotels and also, except for Prime, sold in
supermarkets. The lower grades
are used for processing or may be sold as ungraded ground beef. The USDA quality
grades are as follows:
section denotes the American system of beef cutting.
Other cultures have similar systems, but the exact cuts and terminology differ).
cuts of beef. -- Know your cuts of Beef
first divided into primal cuts. These are basic sections from which steaks
and other subdivisions are cut. The following is a list of the primal cuts, ordered
front to back, then top to bottom. The short loin and the sirloin are sometimes
considered as one section.
- one of the most common sources for hamburger.
- Short Loin - the
most tender, and the most expensive; from which porterhouse steaks, and filet
mignon are cut.
- less tender than short loin, but more flavorful.
see the #External links section
below for links to more beef cut charts and diagrams.
the English are
particularly associated with beef-eating, which is why
the French call
them les rosbifs (roast beefs).
fact, according to research carried out by the Museum of London amongst
Roman rubbish dumps in London, it seems that the English
acquired their first taste of roast beef from the Roman military as the city
expanded under their occupation. Despite this, it seems not to have become popular
amongst the population in general until the Middle Ages or later, and
only became a 'national caricature' in the 18th century.
(Observer Aug 6, 2000). Despite this image, England today has more vegetarians and semi-vegetarians,
in percentage terms, than any other Western country.
is also a (much parodied) song called The Roast Beef
of Old England.
over-intensive farming of beef resulted in the world's first recognised outbreak
of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE or, colloquially, "mad cow disease") in the United Kingdom
in 1986. Eating beef from cattle with
BSE is thought to have caused the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD)
in about 131 cases (2003 June data) in the United Kingdom and some few in France.
The perception of beef as potentially lethal caused significant damage to the
UK beef industry. The attempts to wipe out BSE in the UK by a kill-and-burn campaign,
although ultimately successful, did further damage from which the beef industry
is only recently recovering. Since then, a number of other countries have had
outbreaks of BSE. BSE is an illness that cattle can get by feeding them other
animals, including their own species, in order to consume more protein for growth.