Wednesday, March 11, 2015
USDA Prime, Choice, Select Grade, and Certified Angus Beef
At any rate, instead of me rambling about each grade of beef set by the USDA, I'll mainly provide some resource links. I currently work as a butcher and, when it comes to beef, I mainly cut Certified Angus Beef. Which is kinda cool because it is the only meat market around here that offers it within miles and miles. The shop/store must first spend thousands of dollars to get licensed to even sell the Certified Angus, and when you do get licensed, nobody can sell the stuff within a certain radius of your store. Pretty neat, eh?
The 8 primary grades of meat set by the USDA are as follows: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner. Where's the one I mostly work with? Well, according to these standards, Certified Angus Beef is a cut above the rest. Read more about that, here: http://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/cuts/grades.aspx
Read more about the other grades, here:
Now, am I buying into all of this hoopla & ballyhoo from the USDA? Of course not; ha! Sure, the Prime and Certified Angus has more marbling and fat, juice, and sometimes flavor, but how did they get that way? Were they force-fed corn toward the end of their fat cow life? What if I like leaner cuts of meat from a lower grade and actually know how to cook a steak? LOL! What if a healthier steak from a farm-raised and grass-fed cow that hasn't been injected with antibiotics and growth hormones but has less marbling, is much leaner, and tastes way better, doesn't pass the USDA's test? Ha-ha! You see what I mean?
Plus, doesn't Japan suppose to have the best, most fattiest beef on the planet? I don't know much about Kobe beef or Wagyu, but just saying...
Here is an excellent starting (menu) page that covers various subject like this: culinaryskills2.wikispaces.com/
The bottom line: Before you sell out and spend a lot more money for extra fatty beef from overly fed young cows, you may want to do your homework first. Is this seemingly interesting subject overrated or what? Speaking of that, what's for dinner?
Image Credit: Fair Use - The logo image is being used solely for non-commercial reasons and is also found on millions of meat packages, magazines, and websites online. In fact, you can buy these stickers online; ha!
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