I love beef. I love the cattle industry that beef represents, and I love Arizona beef!

Arizona’s beef industry has been hard hit on several levels including enduring supply disruptions and poor on-the-hoof prices for beef during the pandemic, statewide droughts, subsequent flooding when rain did come this summer and more. Despite all this, my Arizona ranchers possess an endearing and enduring quality: perseverance. 

To celebrate their perseverance, I decided to list the top reasons I love beef!

  1. Arizona beef farmers and ranchers produce enough beef to feed more than 8 million Americans every year. 
  2. Arizona beef ranks top when it comes to quality and taste! 
  3. Not only is raising beef cattle one of Arizona’s largest agriculture commodities, but it is also the largest area of all American agriculture.
  4. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef is an excellent source of protein, supplying more than half of the protein most people need each day.
  5. Beef is a complete, high-quality protein, which means it supplies all the essential amino acids or building blocks of protein, the body needs to build, maintain and repair body tissue.
  6. To get the same amount of protein found in a 3 oz. serving of lean beef at 150 calories, you would need to eat 1 ¼ cups (236 calories) of raw soy tofu cubes, 1 ½ cups (374 calories) of black beans, or 7 tablespoons (670 calories) of peanut butter.
  7. Beef is a nutritional powerhouse. It would take 8 ounces of chicken breast to get the same amount of iron as 3 ounces of beef, and it would take close to 7 times the amount of chicken to get the same amount of zinc as a serving of beef.
  8. The U.S. is a leader in efficient and sustainable beef production, providing 18 percent of the world’s beef, with only 6 percent of the world’s cattle.
  9. A steer of around 1,150 pounds bears approximately 500 pounds. of beef. Most of the remaining weight is salvaged as by-products, enabling us to use around 99% of the animal.
  10. Many of America’s favorite cuts are lean, including Top Sirloin, Flank Steak, and 93% lean Ground Beef. If looking for a lean cut, look for “round” or “loin” in the name.
  11. According to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com and the USDA, to be lean the beef cut has to have less than 10 grams total fat, less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams (3.5 oz.) of meat, and have less than or equal to 4.5 grams of saturated fat.
  12. To ensure a safe and delicious eating experience, you should cook all Ground Beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. An instant-read thermometer is one of your best tools in the kitchen.
  13. There are at least 50 breeds of beef cattle, but fewer than 10 make up most cattle produced. Some major breeds are Angus, Hereford, and Brahman.
  14. There is more fat marbling in USDA Prime beef, which makes it the most flavorful and tender. It also means that it is higher in fat content. Most of the beef sold in supermarkets are graded USDA Select or USDA Choice. Regardless of grade, the mineral, protein and vitamin content are similar.
  15. Beef is considered red meat because of the amount of myoglobin (a protein in meat that holds oxygen in the muscle) that it contains. Other “red” meats are lamb, pork, and veal. (There is less myoglobin in “white” meats such as fish and chicken.)

These facts come from my ranchers, the Arizona Beef Council, and my nutrition friends. If you’re a beef fan like me, go to Fill Your Plate’s recipe section and also the Beef Council’s recipes at Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.com.


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