Monday, December 2, 2013

USDA Inspected?

Well folks, two back-to-back blogs! I know, I promised I would have my life back after judging ended. So, now it is time to begin my "Farm Girl's Fight" for agriculture, and what a better topic to begin with than my very favorite - beef!

It all started last night when I stopped by McDonald's to grab a bite to eat. Our freezer was empty after returning from Thanksgiving break, I don't try to eat out often, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, and McDonald's fries are my weakness (I confess!). I almost didn't catch this little quirk - but then I did, and I knew it was destiny.

On the corner of my McDonald's bag, this gem was printed. Now, I applaud McDonald's for sharing beef's story with the public. Yet, the truth is: all beef is USDA inspected. Whether you're grabbing a late-night snack from McDonald's, or Wendy's, or Applebee's, or are slapping some Wal-Mart purchased T-Bone steaks on the grill, it's all USDA inspected beef. Check out the awesome USDA informational sheet if you have any further questions.

But, in case clicking on the link is a little much, I'll summarize for you! Here's a few great facts about beef:

Fact #1: "Beef" is the term given to cattle that are two years of age or older. One live steer will produce about 450 pounds of edible meat. Not to mention, the by-products of hide, fat, and organs, which will eventually be used for everyday products like footballs (leather products), insulin (for diabetics, from the pancreas), and crayons, waxes, and candles (made from fats and fatty acids).

These guys are all considered "beef" and will soon provide American's with a safe, wholesome, nutritious food product.

Fact #2: Beef provides many of your daily nutrients. For instance, a three-ounce serving of lean beef provides most people with half their daily recommended protein. Beef is a good source of iron, in fact, it is the food supply's most readily available and easily absorbed source of iron. It is a great source of zinc and B-vitamins, which help build the immune system and fight infections.

Alongside being a great source of vitamins and minerals, steak is pretty tastey in my opinion!

Fact #3: Inspection of beef carcasses is mandatory. Inspection of carcasses promises wholesomeness and safety. It may or may not include grading, which is determining the amount marbling - or white flecks of fat inside the meat. If graded, it will include one of the following stamps: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial or Utility. The majority, 94.5%, of beef grades Prime, Choice or Select.

If a carcass is graded, it will include one of these stamps signifying the amount of marbling inside the meat.
Every sold beef carcass will include this stamp, ensuring that it is safe and inspected by a United States Department of Agriculture beef inspection agent.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed this time, discussing the safety of beef. Don't forget - America has the safest, most abundant, and most affordable food supply in the world.

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