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Body Fat Percentage of a Cow

Discussion in 'Nutrition & Supplements' started by guava, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    In calculating the nutrition content of beef, besides considering what cut of beef you consume, consider also what breed it came from, what rating it is, and what the cow was fed.

    First, some information about beef rating:
    The fattiest meat rates as Prime.
    The next fattiest as Choice.
    The leanest meat is rated Select.

    From Six Arguments for a Greener Planet by Michael Jacobson

    Angus, Hereford, and crosses with other breeds are the most popular breeds of cattle in the US because they have the largest amounts of external fat and the highest marbling scores. Limousin and Chianina breeds are far leaner, prized in Italy for its lean meat, and crossbred in the US to increase marbling.

    It's no surprise that people prefer the kinds of meat they grew up with: fattier grain-fed in the United States, and lean grass-fed in Argentina.

    Limousin steers fed grain for 209 days had about 27% body fat at slaughter, as compared to those fed hay who measured at 19% body fat.

    Grass-fed beef is rich in two special kinds of fat - conjugated linoleic acic and omega-3 fatty acids - that confer health benefits.
     
  2. Hort

    Hort Well-Known Member

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    The grass-fed beef I buy occasionally tastes better, is healthier, leaner...all of the above.

    But it also costs double what prime grade organic but grain fed costs...

    Just can't swing $15 for 6oz of rib eye that often. :eek:
     
  3. webwide

    webwide Well-Known Member

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    the price of regular beef is killing me - I got kinda hooked on boneless ribeye steaks when I was doing Atkins several years ago - now I just can't manage to spend the $8/lb it typically sells for. We do a lot less steak and a lot more other meats because of that.
     
  4. cyclone

    cyclone Active Member

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    I have learned to like London Broil and flank steak, they are much leaner. You can cook up a london broil, slice it up and eat it all week. Great bang for the buck.
     
  5. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Without getting too political, this is basically what the book says should be happening.

    It costs an enormous amount in feed, extra labor costs, transportation, and other costs to raise cattle.

    It takes about 7 pounds of corn to add 1 pound of weight to a cow, increasing the use of pesticides, fertilizer, and irrigation systems. The more beef a consumer eats, the more it costs, to you pocketbook and the environment, per calorie of nutrition.

    I enjoy beef once in a while, but I no longer prefer the taste of the fattier more marbled meats. We sometimes put an eye of round roast in the slow cooker.

    Here's a chart comparing the nutritional facts with chicken breast.
    Calories Total Fat (g) Sat Fat (g) Cholesterol (mg) Protein (g)
    Chicken Breast Various 120 1.5 0.5 70 24
    Eye Round Roasted 140 4.2 1.5 60 25
    Top Round Broiled 150 4.2 1.4 70 27
    Round Tip Roasted 160 5.9 2.1 70 24
    Top Sirloin Broiled 170 6.1 2.4 75 26
    Bottom Round Braised 180 6.3 2.1 80 27
    Top Loin Broiled 180 8.0 3.1 65 24
    Beef Tenderloin Broiled 180 8.5 3.2 70 24
    Rib Steak Broiled 190 10.0 4.0 70 24
    Chuck Blade Roast Braised 210 11.0 4.0 90 26
    Ground Beef 90% Lean Various 210 11.0 4.0 85 27

    Notice that the "90% lean" ground beef is fattier than most other cuts of beef. I always check the nutrition information on my ground beef before selecting it, because it can vary in huge amounts.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture says "lean" meat can have no more than ten percent fat (by weight), and "extra lean" no more than five percent.

    But these policies don't apply to ground beef. In fact, the average fat content of "lean" ground beef sold in supermarkets nationwide is not 10 percent, it's 21. The average "extra lean" is not 5 percent fat, it's 17.


    Note: the article I referenced directly above is from 1988. Labelling policies have likely changed, but it still pays to check.
     
  6. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    Kobe beef (or it's US relative American Wagyu cattle produced beef) is the fattiest and most expensive of all. They feed the cows sake and beer mash and give them massages to keep the meat tender :)

    I like bison which is lean and generally grass fed as an alternative to beef. I've also been buying beef flank steaks and cooking them in the crock pot quite a bit lately. My understanding is flank is the leanest cut, although it is not very cheap.
     
  7. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    I eat alot of top Sirloin and looking at the contents, i'm content. :)
     
  8. FBChick

    FBChick Active Member

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    Live in the country and buy the whole cow! About once a year the Hubby and one of his sisters buy a whole cow from a local farmer, let the butcher do his duty and then basically split the meat. Supllies pretty much enough beef for the family for the entire year.
     
  9. jeremya

    jeremya Well-Known Member

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    My mom and my uncles used to do this when I was a kid. It's great if you have the room to store it. I would like to do it some day when I have a house and a chest freezer.

    I try to eat a lot of chicken and tuna, but I try to pick up some lean steaks/ground beef when it's on sale. I repackage and vacuum seal them.

    -- Jeremy
     
  10. Hort

    Hort Well-Known Member

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    I feel I should point out that that article is almost 20 years old and the research in it older. I don't have proof that anything has changed, but, growing up in an ag state, I know that MANY standards have changed FOR THE BETTER and are stricter in oversight.

    Just food for thought.


     
  11. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Yes, I mentioned the date of the article on ground beef right in the bottom of that post. But, the book I mentioned in the first post was published just a few months ago. There are more than 40 pages of notes at the back with more than 10 sources per page, all from post-2000.

    This is who the book is from:
    www.cspinet.org
     

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