BEEF

Today marked the start of my senior year in college at The Ohio State University. As I prepared for what I hope is a fun-filled educational year, I began thinking how beef as a protein would empower me throughout my 15-week semester, long nights of homework, and early morning test days. In the spirit of school, I decided to create a poem using the word ‘beef’ and the essential products and nutrients that it provides us throughout our daily life, especially as another year of school lies ahead of us. Good luck to those getting back in the routine of listening in class and doing homework, and remember, you do not have to be a student to enjoy the numerous benefits of beef that it provides to you on a daily basis!

 

B- by-products from beef cattle allow 99% of the animal to be used. From automotive care, medical use, and sporting equipment, a by-product from the beef animal is sure to impact you in your daily life!

byproducts

Whether its an afternoon game of baseball, painting your fingernails before dinner, driving your car, or eating a gummy bear, beef is a by-product in all of these everyday items.

E- essential nutrients that your body needs to maintain health. Beef provides 10% of 10 essential nutrients, including zinc, iron, and protein, in less than 10% of the daily recommended caloric intake. Eating a three ounce serving of lean beef provides 25 grams (about half) of the daily value of protein we need to fuel our bodies.

BeefsBig10[1]

Beef is a great source of ten essential nutrients that help to keep you healthy and focused throughout your busy day.

E- energy! Start your morning off right by eating beef for breakfast to help power you through your day. B vitamins help maintain brain function and riboflavin helps convert food into fuel to help you stay awake and alert throughout both early morning classes and late night labs.

5207.00_Brkfst_Burrito 044

Why drink several cups of coffee in the morning when eating beef for breakfast can replace your tired feeling and give you the needed nutrients and energy to get you through your day.

F- fuel for the finish. Whether it’s finishing up your seven page paper or studying for an exam, with beef, you will feel energized and your brain will still be sharp because beef contains beneficial vitamins and minerals to help fuel you throughout your entire day. Beef provides you with that late night “kick” to help you ace your paper and test!

finish

As an excellent source of protein, beef gives you the fuel you need to stay alert, awake, and on task even late at night!

 

Remember, with beef, all things are possible!

Happy Tuesday!

Demi

Spice It Up!

One of my favorite dinners to make is quesadillas. They are very easy and delicious. Plus, who needs an excuse to eat guacamole?

Here is a recipe from Beef It’s What’s For Dinner:

Crazy Quesadillas

Steak USA
Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes

This recipe makes 4 servings.

1 pound Ground Beef (90% to 95% lean)
1 jar (16 ounces) prepared salsa with black beans and corn
1-1/2 cups shredded spicy Mexican cheese blend or shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 large flour tortillas (10-inch diameter)
Chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 350°F. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
Reserve 1/2 cup salsa. Add remaining salsa, cheese and 1/4 cup cilantro to beef; mix well. Spoon 1/4 of beef mixture onto half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half to close. Place on baking sheet.
Bake in 350°F oven 10 to 11 minutes or until filling is heated through and edges of tortillas are lightly browned and crisp. Sprinkle with cilantro, as desired; serve with reserved salsa.

I like to add extras into the quesadillas like tomatoes, refried beans, onion, or green chiles to spice things up. Quesadillas are a quick and delicious meal for people on the go!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Where your Meat Comes From

The bovine timeline, from the time an animal is conceived until it ends up on your plate takes a total of approximately two years. The final step of the timeline is the packing plant/distributor.

There are many different shapes and sizes of packing plants across America. Some process between 20-30 animals per day, while others process thousands of animals per day. In either case however, packing plants are inspected by the United States government where both sanitation and attention to details are the number one priorities. Employees are well-trained and understand the importance of keeping the facilities safe for all workers while making sure the products are safe and wholesome.

It is important that the cattle have minimum stress through the process of the packing plant. From unloading off the trailer with ramps for easier walking, into pens that have watering tanks and sprinklers to help cool the cattle, into a Temple Grandin style walking coral, the cattle are moved in a low stress and low noise environment.

Through the Temple Grandin livestock handling facility design, cattle corrals in packing plants are made as winding from the pen to the harvesting facilities. Through the designs, Dr. Grandin also has researched and stated in the layout rules that the holding pen must be level, cattle must walk through the ramp single file, and the animal must be able to see two-three animals ahead of it while walking through the chute before it curves.

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Through research and the study of animal behaviors, Temple Grandin designed a curvature type walking chute that the animals proceed through as they enter the harvesting facilities. This allows for a minimum stress movement pattern for the animals.

The research done by Dr. Grandin has indicated that these methods are the most human and allow minimum stress on the animals and therefore are implicated at packing facilities.

Packing facilities are also sanitized every day and regularly inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure clean and sanitized work areas and employees. As a part of the packing plant, the meat is also inspected by the USDA to ensure a safe, quality, and wholesome product before it enters a grocery store.

USDA-inspector[1]

A USDA inspector looks at the quality grade of meat and labels it as she sees fit prior to the meat entering the foodservice chain.

Throughout the entire bovine timeline, sanitation, health, and treating the animals humanely are all top priorities of beef producers and meat packers. All sectors want to ensure a safe, wholesome, and nutritious product is produced for both their tables and other consumers. Knowing that in the year 2050, 18 billion people in this world will need to eat falls in the hands of all livestock and crop producers, therefore, they do their job diligently and respectfully to maintain the health and safety of their animals that are being raised so others can eat.

lifecycle

The beef lifecycle takes approximately two years from conception of the animal until it ends up on your plate. During every step and process of the lifecycle, beef farmers and producers are determined to produce a safe, quality, and wholesome product on four feet and on the dinner table!

 

Have a great day,
Demi

 

Life in the Feedyard

As the beef lifecycle continues, beef farmers and producers have the choice of how to continue raising their product after the backgrounding stage. From this stage, producers make the choice whether they want to finish their cattle as grain-fed or grass-fed. When looking at the sustainability, nutritional benefits, and overall product health, both grain-fed and grass-fed are comparable and offer the consumer a safe, wholesome, and nutritional beef eating experience.

Mature cattle, at approximately 700 pounds are transferred into what we call feed-yards, or feedlots. In this sector of the bovine timeline cattle spend four to six months, during which time they have constant access to water and room to move. In the feedlot, cattle live in pens that house between 100 to 125 animals and allow at least 125 to 250 square feet per animal. The cattle are free to graze at feed bunks containing a balanced diet of roughages, such as hay, grass, and fiber, grains, such as corn or wheat, and local renewable sources, such as beet pulp, dried distiller grains, or potato peelings. Each animal also has about one foot of bunk space to eat during the two times they are fed during the day. Cattle are raised to a market weight in a feedlot of 1,200-1,400 pounds in approximately 12-18 months of age.

feedlot[1]

Cattle finished out in feedlots have ample room to move, lay down, and eat grain. Producers follow the rule of one-thirds where one third of the cattle will be either laying, eating, or walking around.

feedbunk eating

Producers make sure that throughout the day their cattle can graze at the feed bunk with ample space for each head.

Feedlot cattle have a high percentage of grains, such as corn in their diet. The abundance of corn in the United States contributes to the economic viability of producing grain-fed cattle which is the contributing factor to why beef producers choose to feed corn. The availability of this product helps to raise a nutritious beef product for consumers at a lower cost. Raising cattle strictly on pasture grass takes longer for the animal to reach market weight and therefore, grass-finished beef can be more expensive than a grain-finished product.

feed

Feedlot cattle receive a balanced diet of grains, forages, vitamins, and nutrients to help sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Raising healthy cattle is the main priority of all beef producers. At the feedlot, veterinarians, nutritionists, and cattlemen work together to look after each and every animal. All cattle producers take the appropriate measures to produce a safe and healthy product and recognize the importance of animal health and well-being from both a moral and economic standpoint. Cattle producers accept the responsibility of being stewards of the land and protectors of their animals and their care.

 

Have a great Tuesday!

Demi

 

Don’t Break the Bank!

Up until this summer, I have never truly needed to cook for myself. I lived in student housing my first two years of college, and relied on the cafeteria to cook for me. This summer, I am living and working in Washington, D.C., so it was necessary for me to learn to shop for myself. Shopping for groceries, I have learned several lessons:

  • Plan Ahead. Set a budget before you go to the grocery store, and make a list. If I do not do those two things, I end up making several unplanned purchases.
Planning ahead saves time and money!

Planning ahead saves time and money!

  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach! If I shop without eating a meal beforehand, I end up buying a bunch of ready-made junk food instead of the groceries I went to the store to purchase.

Hungry

  • Do the math. Sometimes buying in bulk is a great way to save money! However, sometimes it costs the same or it might be more expensive. Be sure to compare the price per pound or ounce before picking a size.
It's important to look closer at the "deals."

It’s important to look closer at the “deals.”

  • Look at the nutrition label. A product might be cheap for a reason. It is important to look at the nutrition label to see how much nutrition the product provides, and at what cost. Beef for instance is very rich in protein, zinc, and iron. For only 8% of your daily calories, beef provides almost half of the daily value of protein.
Check out here

Check out this link for more information on beef nutrition.

  • Shop sales, and freeze for later. Especially with beef, you can freeze the product to extend the shelf life. The video below shows a great method for freezing ground beef for later.

If you do freeze beef for later, this chart shows how soon you should use that product by.

 

 

 

Freeze

 

What ways do you save money at the grocery store?

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Live a Flavorful Life

As a generation, millennials like to show off their creative side when it comes to cooking. Not using a recipe to create a delicious meal can be fun and challenging, yet turn into a delicious new way to prepare a favorite cut of beef! As a summer campaign through the National Beef Checkoff, the entitled, “No Recipe Recipe” videos are a way to showcase to individuals the basics to remember when preparing a cut of beef, but allow the imagination and ingredients used by the chef to be an unlimited supply. The videos simply feature a cut of beef, a way to cook the beef, and simple rules to remember when cooking beef, such as how to check the temperature of a steak, or to season steaks after they come off the grill with salt to keep the flavors in the meat. From taco creations to mixing it up with stir-fry meals and salads, these new videos give everyone a taste of summer and a boost of confidence when it comes to cooking in the kitchen! Featuring easy, quick, and delicious meals, these new ideas are a great way to impress your friends and family alike. These simple 30 second to one minute interactive videos allows the chef to create their own recipe with their own ingredients of choice for a savory eating experience!

Below is the link to view the five different videos on the beefitswhatsfordinner website. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/easy-dinner-ideas.aspx  

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So go-ahead, you be the chef and create a masterpiece tonight!

Happy cooking!

~Demi~

 

 

Beyond Beef: Part 2

Last week, I shared a recipe to mix up breakfast. This week, I’m sharing a fabulous recipe to shake up steak! Most people either skillet cook or grill steaks, which is great! One of my newfound favorite ways to cook beef is by stir-frying it.

Apricot Teriyaki Beef Stir-Fry
Total Recipe Time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

While we were at the Southern Women's Show in Nashville, Alicia and I were able to cook this recipe on stage!

While we were at the Southern Women’s Show in Nashville, Alicia and I were able to cook this recipe on stage!

  • 1/2 cup (47% less sodium) teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
  • 1 beef flank steak (about a pound)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons butter, divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) frozen sugar snap peas, thawed
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice

Instructions:

  1. Combine teriyaki sauce, apricot preserves and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a blender container. Blend 30 seconds until smooth; set aside.
  2. Cut beef steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch thick strips.
  3. Whisk egg white, remaining cornstarch and ginger in large bowl until smooth. Add beef; toss to coat.
  4. Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1/2 of beef; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink (do not over cook). Remove from skillet. Repeat with 1-1/2 teaspoons butter and remaining beef. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
  5. In same skillet, stir-fry sugar snap peas 2 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Return beef to skillet. Carefully stir in apricot sauce. Cook and stir 1 minute or until heated through. Serve over rice.
Yum!

It is a very colorful dish!

Before I was assigned this recipe, I was not very familiar with stir-frying beef. Here are the biggest lessons I learned:

  • Try to cut the steak as evenly as possible! The more uniform the pieces are, the easier they will be to cook later down the road.
  • Put the steak in the freezer for about 30 minutes before you start cutting it. This will make it easier to cut.
  • Cut across the grain of the steak. This results in a more tender eating experience.
  • Do not put too much beef in the pan! Small batches are essential.
  • If you do not have teriyaki sauce on hand, do not panic. It is very easy to make from scratch. Here is a sample recipe. I made this sauce for my recipe, and it turned out great!
  • Instant rice is wonderful! It saves some time if you are in a hurry to get dinner on the table.

I was very skeptical of this recipe before I tried it. Once I made it, this honestly is going to be a recipe that I add to my list of favorites. It is the perfect blend of flavors, but it does not overpower the beef flavor I like so much. It is also done in 25 minutes, with minimal dishes to clean up! I would encourage you to try it, you will not regret it!

The final product

The final product

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Beef YOUR Way!

One of the coolest things about beef is the abundance of options! Another amazing thing is that we as consumers get to take advantage of those options. We all have our preferences. It is just a matter of making sure we are aware of recommend tips so that we can enjoy our preferences in the comfort of your own homes.

 

Here are a few of the many options we have when eating beef:

 

  • Cut – Whether you prefer tenderloin, brisket, round roast, tri-tip, flat- iron, or a burger, you have endless opportunities to find your favorite flavor and personal  preference when eating beef!
    cuts of beef
  • Degree of Doneness – The degree to which a steak is prepared greatly affects the flavor. Some may prefer rare and others may prefer well done. To ensure you achieve your personal preference, meat thermometers are life savers when it comes to getting the most out of your beef eating experience at home.

doneness chart

  • Raising Method – Grass-fed and grain-finished beef both have very distinct flavors. Even though there is very little nutritional difference between the two options, consumers have yet another level of variety to determine their favorite. Whether the beef is natural, organic or conventional, it is important to remember that all beef is nutritious and delicious.

grainvsgrass

  • Seasoning – There are endless opportunities when it comes to enhancing beefy flavors. If you are looking to liven up your beef, you can get creative with your own mixture of spices! You can put Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Italian, and countless other spins on traditional rubs and marinades.

spices

  • Cooking Method – Some cuts of beef reap more desirable results when prepared in specific ways. For instance, more tender cuts like those from the loin are better suited for dry-heat cooking methods such as grilling and searing. Similarly, tougher cuts such as roasts are better suited for moist-heat cooking methods such as braising and stewing. Making sure that the cut is prepared properly can ensure a better beef eating experience!

cooking methods

  • Marbling – Marbling is the fat flecks within the meat that influence the degree of tenderness, juiciness and flavor of the meat. If you enjoy more juicy beef, you may prefer a higher quality grade (Prime or high Choice), but if you prefer more lean beef, a lower quality grade (lower Choice or Select) may be your preference.

marbling

 

Moral of the story: Just like every single person is unique, every person’s beef preference is unique. It is just a matter of figuring out your favorite way to enjoy beef’s incredible flavor. No matter what your preference is, all beef options offer essential nutrients that our bodies need in order to operate perfectly. For more tips on how you can enjoy beef, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com!

 

God bless, folks!

 

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe

#truthTuesday

An ongoing conversation within the beef industry regards to hormone usage in the beef animal. There has been a graphic circling around social media that I wanted to share with you today for #truthTuesday.

As consumers we often hear that beef is not safe to eat because it is “loaded with hormones.” This chart allows us to see and understand the levels of grams that are in other foods we eat daily, as well as a steak. Some perspective can be found showing the levels of hormones in beef, in nanograms, which is 1 billionth of a gram. Hormones are naturally occurring in the body, and this chart shows the final level of hormones in these products, ready to eat.

chart

From within conversations had on facts about beef, feed additives can be added in small amounts at specific times in the cattle’s’ lives to help them make the most of the food they eat resulting in more lean muscle instead of fat. It is important to understand that all feed additives, also called beta-agonists or growth hormones are reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prior to use to ensure that the product is deemed safe for the animal, the environment, and ultimately humans.

As individuals, eating a balanced diet including all food groups is important. I choose to share this chart simply for perspective for all of us as consumers because I view it as eye opening and it is my hope that you do as well.

 

-Demi-

Go Lean with Protein

Incorporating lean protein into your diet does not have to be boring! Just remember-when shopping for a cut of beef that is lean, just look for the words loin and round. There are more than 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean. Many of America’s favorite cuts are even lean! A good goal to set is to try to get 25-30 grams of lean protein (like beef) per meal. Protein gives your body many benefits such as: building and replenishing muscles, preventing overeating, and maintaining a strong and lean body. One 3-ounce serving of beef provides 25 grams of protein and ten essential nutrients!

Protein is critical to giving your body the fuel it needs to

Protein is critical to giving your body the fuel it needs participate in whatever you choose!

I know that I personally have trouble finding time to balance my diets. Some days, I am just happy if I eat three square meals. This is not conducive to planning a wholesome meal plan that my body needs to fuel me through the day. Luckily Beef, it’s What’s for Dinner came up with a 30 day protein challenge. If you sign up for the challenge, you will receive emails every day with goals, tips, and inspiration to keep you on track for your protein goal. I tried this challenge, and it really helped me start on the path to eating a more balanced diet rich in protein. If you sign up for the protein challenge, but decide you do not wish to receive the daily emails anymore, opting out is very easy.

Go

Don’t know what 3 ounces of beef looks like? It’s about the size of a smart phone.

Join in the conversation, and use the hashtag ‪#‎ProteinChallenge‬ when you post about your adventures during the 30 day protein challenge! After I started this challenge, I really noticed a positive difference in the way I felt, especially after I exercised.

U

See for yourself, sign up here!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer