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- A quality grade is a composite evaluation of factors that affect palatability of meat (tenderness, juiciness, and flavor). These factors include carcass maturity, firmness, texture, and color of lean, and the amount and distribution of marbling within the lean. Beef carcass quality grading is based on (1) degree of marbling and (2) degree of maturity.
Beef is the third most widely consumed meat in the world, this accounts for about 25% of meat production worldwide, after pork and poultry at 38% and 30% respectively. In absolute numbers, the United States, Brazil, and the People’s Republic of China are the world’s three largest consumers of beef and quality beef for discussion purposes. On a per capita basis in 2009, Argentine s ate the most beef at 64.6 kg per person; people in the US ate 40.2 kg, while those in the EU ate 16.9 kg.[3These quality grades are an indication of palatability characteristics such as tenderness, juiciness, and flavor.While there are eight quality grades for beef, the top three Grades available to most consumers are: Prime, Choice, and select.
USDA Grades of Beef helps determine beef quality
To attain quality beef -
consumers rely on restaurants to provide assurance that the beef they buy is prepared safely and of high quality. Below is a recent Government partnered research project that confirmed the importance of source verification, and practice that is seldom done in today's industry
To determine the essential elements of a beef source verification marketing program to restaurant patrons, both an on-line survey and in-restaurant taste testing were conducted in high-end restaurants in high-population states. The results offered insight into market share and premiums that could be achieved through source verification. About twothirds of the participants in the in-restaurant taste testing ordered the specialty steak described by either state or farm-of-origin. Compared to non source-verified steak, taste participants were willing to pay $4.74 more for the steak with the state-of-origin description and $8.75 more for the steak with the farm-of-origin description. This project focused on high-end restaurant customers because they typically have more disposable income and are able to pay a premium for beef that meets their needs. In addition, a trend that catches on in high-end restaurants has a good chance of being picked up and applied in casual-themed restaurants, thereby magnifying the impact of the program. Beef producers could differentiate their products and perhaps receive greater value by adopting source-verification systems, but they are unlikely to do so without financial reward. Nebraska has more than 20,000 producers and provides 20% of the U.S. beef, thus results from consumer acceptance and willingness to pay for source verification has the potential to benefit a significant population of Nebraska beef producers. This model could also be applied to other states and other agricultural commodities.
Essential Program Elements to Market Source-Verified Beef to Restaurant Patrons (or individual online consumers) A Pilot Study to Return Value to Beef Producers -Funded by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program in cooperation with: Nebraska Department of Agriculture University of Nebraska – Lincoln Program Year 2008 – 2010 Prepared by B. Lynn Gordon, Promotion Coordinator Nebraska Department of Agriculture Lincoln, NE 68509 Lynn.firstname.lastname@example.org Organizations Supported By QualityBeef.Org The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) The American Institute of Wine & Food is one of the few national organizations with the unique combination of dedicated wine and food enthusiasts and professionals. www.aiwf.org Bocuse d’Or USA Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and many of the country’s leading chefs have joined together to create Bocuse d’Or USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to recruiting, training and preparing the next American team for the prestigious Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest, held every two years in Lyon, France. www.bocusedorusa.org Certified Farmers’ Market – California Grown Supporting and preserving California family farms. www.california-grown.com http://www.qualitybeef,org/ 2012-10-01 monthly 0.1
- ^ Raloff, Janet. Food for Thought: Global Food Trends. Science News Online. 31 May 2003.
- ^ “Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade (October 2009)” (PDF). Retrieved 20 April 2010. USDA PDF