Red Meat Makes Comeback in U.S.
Red Meat still remains the world’s favorite food despite this country’s vegetarian population and of late the even more contentious and dogmatic Vegans.
Today’s red meat is leaner than ever before, with less fat, fewer calories and a healthy jolt of nutrition in every serving. Meat is an outstanding source of protein, which can provide essential amino acids to humans. Fat is the culprit that raises cholesterol not the lean in red meat and when the separable fat is cut off and not eaten, the caloric value is greatly reduced. In this way it is higher in nutrients than calories. Cuts of beef and other red meat contain minerals and vitamins such as phosphorous, potassium, copper, zinc and selenium that are essential to growth and health. The advantage of ingesting them in meat rather than from other sources is that they are exceedingly more absorbable.
While taking supplements of zinc is one option, a better alternative is to increase the consumption of foods high in zinc, such as meat. It has been shown that relatively mild zinc deficiency can impair cognitive function in adults, and it has been suggested that the human brain is sensitive to the level of both zinc and iron. Greater selenium consumption resulting from higher intakes of grains, fish and meat products such as veal, lamb, pork and edible offal, may be beneficial not only in increasing the intake of this trace element, but also may provide other dietary disease reducing factors. Extremely low intake of selenium in human beings is associated with an increased frequency of cardiac disorders and research and laboratory studies support selenium as a naturally accruing anti-carcinogen.
Other contenders in the red meat field are super-lean Venison, Ostrich and Emu, which are farmed mainly in Australia and New Zealand although production has started in the United States.
The finest beef in the world, the seriously high-priced Matsuzaka and Kobe beef from Japan, fetches up to $300 per person for 100 grams in certain Tokyo restaurants. Grass fed Charolais beef from France is also very good and the breed has been introduced in many other countries. No other breed has impacted the North American beef industry as significantly as the introduction of Charolais.
Charolais cattle have changed beef production concepts as much or more as the original British breeds did for the grant Longhorn in the American Southwest more than a century ago. In less than 30 years, Charolais changed the nation’s thinking in regard to efficient beef production standards.
In less than 15 years, Charolais demonstrated a definite superiority in growth ability and today Charolais tops all breeds in nearly every category of performance in the records of beef performance testing organizations. One of the oldest of the several breeds of French cattle, Charolais is considered of Jurassic origin and was developed in the district around Charolles in Central France. The breed became established there and achieved considerable regard as a producer of highly rated meat in the markets at Lyon and Villefranche in the 16th and 17th centuries. There also is historical evidence that these white cattle were being noticed as early as 878 A.D. The cattle were generally confined to that area until after the French Revolution. However, in 1773, Claude Mathieu, a farmer and cattle breeder from the Charolles region, moved to the Nievre province, taking with him his herd of Charolais. The breed flourished there, so much so that the improved cattle were known more widely as Nivernais cattle for a time than by their original name of Charolais.
The Count Charles de Bouile started one of the early influential herds in the region in 1840. Breeders in the Charolles vicinity established a herd book in 1882. The two societies merged in 1919, with the older organization taking the records of the later group into their headquarters at Nevers, the capital of the Nievre province.
At the start of 1997, there were more than two million heads of registered and recorded Charolais in the United States.
The Belgian Blue Cattle satisfy the Belgian consumer who wants prime choice cuts of extremely tender low-fat meat. Of local, domestic origin, the Belgian Blue predominates in the southern half of the country. The result of advanced and perfectly mastered genetic research, the Belgian Blue of today is the champion breed in prime meat production.
Beefalo is a species cross between Bison (buffalo) and domestic or exotic cattle of any
breed. The purpose of the species cross was to blend the outstanding qualities of the Bison with outstanding qualities of the bovine breeds of the world. Many individuals have tried to cross the Bison and bovine but it was not until the
1960s that a major breakthrough took place. The cross between the Bison and the domestic and exotic beef breeds resulted in the best of both species coming together to produce a superior animal.
The cross between the Bison and beef breeds combined the superior hardiness, foraging ability, calving ease, and meat quality of the Bison with the fertility, milking ability, and ease of handling from the bovine. The cross has also given increased meaning to the term of hybrid vigor. Beefalo animals can be more efficient, which can cut input costs and improve profits. The basis of the Beefalo program is the full blood, an animal that is exactly 3/8 Bison and 5/8 bovine. There is no stipulation on the breed used to make up the 5/8 bovine, but any of the beef breeds is generally used.
The grand-enjoyment of eating meat once again without a guilty conscious combined with the proliferation of steak houses across the country indicates that vegetarians will primarily be confined to ultra-trend conscious California and other small enclaves.
It is interesting to note, that if it were not for cattle and other ruminant (four-stomach) animals, more than 800 million acres of range and pasture land would not have a productive food use.