Beef and Nutrition
is an important part of a healthy diet. About 50 separate
nutrients are essential to good health. No single food
contains all of these nutrients. For this reason, dietitians
and health providers recommend consuming a wide variety
of foods daily from several different food categories.
One of the nutrients you need, Vitamin B12, can be
found only in animal foods, such as beef. Beef also provides
significant amounts of other important nutrients—protein,
riboflavin, niacin, iron and zinc.
and fish are not safe to eat until they have been cooked.
because they are particularly attractive to the kind of bacteria
that can make us sick.
Bacteria growth slows
down at temperatures below 40 degrees, so meats can be
stored for short periods of time at that temperature, in
Cooking meat at high
temperatures kills bacteria, but it must be cooked all
the way through. The only way to make sure it is done all
the way through is to use a meat thermometer. Meat and
poultry are not considered safe to eat until it has reached
a temperature of 160 degrees or higher, no matter what
it looks like.
- Most people are suspicious
of meat that is pink, but some turkey, pork, ground
beef or veal remains pink even after it has been cooked thoroughly.
Meat and poultry grilled or smoked outdoors can also
look pink, even when well done.
In 1921, the White
Castle restaurant was founded in Wichita, Kansas. It is
the oldest hamburger chain today.
Hamburgers were called "Liberty
World War I to avoid using words from the enemy's language.
Hamburgers got their
name from a village in Hamburg, Germany. They
were named for a style of preparing meat which originally
involved slicing the meat very, very thin and eating it
raw. That practice may have been safe when the meat was
prepared and eaten almost immediately after slaughtering
the beef animal, but most of us eat meat that has been
transported over many miles and stored in several places
before it makes it to our tables, so there are many more
opportunities for bacterial
Who invented the hamburger?
You decide -
- According to
Yale University legend, the hamburger’s inventor was
Louis Lassen, the owner and operator of Louis’ Lunch,
a popular lunch spot near the university campus. One day
a customer came in needing a quick lunch. Lassen had a broiled
meat patty on hand and simply slapped it between two
slices of toasted bread.
- St. Louis, Missouri,
claims the first burger was served in that town. On April
30, 1904, a food vender selling beef patties at the World’s
Fair ran out of plates. He convinced the vender next to him
to sell him a supply of bread and began selling his meat
patties between two slices of fresh bread.
- Residents of Seymour, Wisconsin, hold a “Home of the
every August 5. Residents of that town claim their own Charlie
Nagreen as the hamburger’s inventor. Better known as “Hamburger
Charlie,” Nagreen was
said to have been only 15 years old on August 5, 1885, when
he first began frying his hamburger patties in butter and
selling them from an ox-drawn cart at the county fair. The
Hamburger Hall of Fame is located in Seymour, Wisconsin.
- Oklahoma has its own claim to the hamburger’s origin.
On the Fourth of July, 1891, Oscar Weber Bilby built an iron
grill at his home in Bowden, Oklahoma, shaped some freshly-ground
Angus meat into round patties, and fried them on the grill
until they were juicy and done. He served them to his friends
on his wife’s homemade buns along with freshly-churned
ice cream and handmixed root beer.
The hamburger meat
we buy in the store is usually made from the less tender
and less popular cuts of beef. Trimmings from more tender
cuts may also be used.
the meat, and the fat reduces its dryness and improves
flavor. Grinding also exposes more of the meat surface
to the bacteria normally occurring in the air, on the
meat, on the butcher’s
hands and on the cutting equipment. For that reason
ground beef is more likely to be contaminated than large
cuts of meat.
Most ground beef is
ground and packaged in local stores. All meat transported
and sold in interstate commerce must be federally inspected.
The larger cuts are usually shipped to local stores, where
it is ground.
The dye used to stamp
the grade on meat is edible. It is made from grape skins.
All meat will shrink
in size and weight during cooking. The amount of shrinkage
will depend on its fat and moisture content, the temperature
at which the meat is cooked and how long it is cooked. The
higher the cooking temperature, the greater the
The small fine flecks
of fat in steaks are called "marbling." The
higher the grade of beef, the more marbling you will
- The Chicago stockyards
are widely credited with providing the inspiration
for industrial assembly lines. The slaughter process was
known as a "disassembly line." It is said that
Henry Ford observed it and reversed the process to put cars
together, instead of taking cows apart.