Lately I have been asked about what breed of cattle has the best quality of beef. This has actually struck me as an odd question. I was actually speechless for once in my life. You see, I never question what breed we butcher to eat. (Yes we have multiple breeds on our farm. We buy cattle from the sale barn to raise too!) I never think about the breed when I pull a rump roast (one of my favs) out of the freezer to cook for the Farmer and myself.
You would think as a beef producer I would. Well, here’s the thing. All beef is good. The genetics help make a better quality product, but not one certain breed is going to have better beef. There could be one line of Herefords that just produce the best steak you’ve ever had. And then there could be another herd of Herefords that just don’t have good marbling in any of their products. It just depends. Just like a book, you can’t judge it’s contents by its’ cover. Or in this case, you can’t judge a meat product by its’ breed.
Don’t let the breed of an animal decide for you whether it is going to be tasty or not. There are more factors to look into.
Genetics play into the it. Yes, genetics decide the breed of the animal. But, just like us, different genetics make for different animals. Think about it. I could be standing next to another Caucasian, blonde hair, blue eyed woman, but I might be taller. More busty. ‘Hippier’. We’re technically the same ‘breed’, but uniquely different. This is how it is in cattle. Every piece of meat is different. Unique. Every piece has it’s own qualities.
A lot of the animal’s nutrition makes up that great piece of meat. If an animal doesn’t have the correct nutrition it can’t develop that great muscling that creates great steaks. (On the farm you will see farmers mixing feed. This means that they are putting all of these great nutrients into one big ‘casserole’ for the cattle. They are putting in gluten, protein, ‘corn off the cob’, and other things that their herd may be needing.)
Another factor is living conditions. Think about it, if you were living in bad conditions you wouldn’t have very much fat on your body. Living in good conditions allows us to have a little ‘extra fluff’. The fat that cattle get on their bodies creates that great marbling that adds delicious flavor to your steak.
So when you’re thinking about getting a good piece of beef–don’t think of breed. In reality, there’s no need to worry about getting a quality piece of meat because farmers across the world are caring for beef animals in the best way they know how to produce that quality beef. They are going the extra mile to give them a great home, full of nutritious food. If you have questions about your beef, ask a beef farmer! We’re here to help!
By the way, did you know that Holstein and Jersey (mainly dairy animals) are great beef products too! They’re cattle too, after all!!
Thanks for stopping by guys! Let me know if you have any questions!