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Monday, January 14, 2013

Is Bigger Always Better When It Comes to Steak

Yes and no.

As Americans, we tend to think bigger is better. More value for the dollar. Efficiency. More for less. That mantra has led to increased farm efficiency, bigger cows and therefore bigger steaks to feed a growing, hungry population.

But do Americans really want bigger steaks?

A recent article on BEEF Magazine's website calls this into question. Americans (or some of us) are striving to eat healthier. Prepare and consume smaller, more diet-friendly portions.

A 3 oz serving of lean beef provides 10 essential nutrients in only 154 calories and is about the size of a deck of cards (thanks Daren Williams and the Masters of Beef Advocacy program). While I personally would like to have more than 3 oz of meat on my plate during dinner, I can see how many people don't want a 16 oz T-bone for dinner every night. This presents a problem for an industry that has shrinking cow herd and has therefore learned how to produce more with less.

To combat the 'problem' (I don't consider efficiency bad) the article talks about taking larger cuts like the ribeye, for example, and breaking it down into more user and diet-friendly portion sizes. Not only does this create more smaller portions out of one cut but it also creates a chance to remove some of the extra bits of fat. Another form of efficiency, in essence.

So what do you think? Are you one who wants all the steak you can get or do you like to keep your plate balanced with smaller portions of meat and equal amounts of whole grains and veggies?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

7 comments:

  1. Honestly, I love steak and wish I could have a plate full of just that. However, I tend to lean towards having a balanced plate with fruits and veggies with my protein. I am trying to be healthy…we will see how long this lasts!

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  2. Love a big steak. I try to control myself and shoot for 6oz usually, with a potato of some kind and another veggie.

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  3. I, of course, like this post for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I am glad you are bringing attention to the smaller cuts. As a petite person, I have always had a smaller appetite and while I love steak just as much as the next producer, a 16 oz. t-bone is just too much for this girl. Our butcher started cutting petite tenderloins for us and they are my favorite -- 4 oz. of steak plus some veggies and such is the perfect meal for me! However, I do think as an industry we need to continue to work to inform consumers about these new cuts. The grocery store's meat counter can be such an intimidating stop and even I have a hard time keeping up with the new names and what type of cut to buy.

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  4. I think variety is where our biggest asset lies -- just because we break down some of the bigger cuts into smaller steaks does NOT mean our grizzy-bear-sized-appetite friends can't enjoy their full-sized steaks, too.

    I mean, from where I sit we have this situation:
    - I'm a small person. I can pack food away pretty impressively for me size, but, I don't WANT to.

    - I have virtually no self control when it comes to meat, because I love it so much. If I sit down in front of a 16 oz steak, you can dang well bet I will eat as much of that bad boy as possible, until I either fall out of my sleep to nap off my food coma or waddle away to find dessert.

    - 3 oz. of meat is actually about what I "need" in my current weight-loss mode. I know this is tiny, tiny, tiny compared to what most people would want -- a "decent" portion for me is 6 oz. I'd like to see more smaller portions available not only in stores but also in restaurants.

    - Leftover steak is delicious. Ordering a 12-oz steak and eating the leftovers for a few meals is never bad, but...the steak that have been cut up after cooking NEVER reheats well. Never. (I'll still eat it, it's still beef, and it's still tasty compared to a lot of other things. But reheating just...doesn't work.) So, I'd rather see options for steaks I can eat in one sitting, when I know I'll get all of my money's worth from that amazing piece of meat, than bigger steaks whose integrity will be compromised when I take it home and try to reheat it.

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  5. I love steak, but I've always been a lover of the filet mignon cut for a reason: smaller portions for this small girl AND less fat and bone. I have a fat phobia, to be completely honest. Recently, I went to my local butcher and they offered a petite sirloin steak wrapped in bacon. It was cheaper than my favorite filet, but the small cut was the perfect size for my husband and I to enjoy a side of salad and potatoes.
    I think that smaller cut of steak out of the larger cuts is a great idea...especially because that means that for the steak lover who can eat a lot of steak, they still have that option. Options are a beautiful thing that we get to experience in America!

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  6. I love a good steak!! But I do agree in moderation; like that saying 'too much of a good thing is a bad thing'. I tend to go for smaller portions because I hate throwing food out and sometimes I can't eat all the leftovers before they go bad so smaller cuts are perfect for me! Plus, I love my veggies to :)

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  7. Thanks for all the comments! I love steak too and used to be able to eat a larger portion 10-12 oz steak and a potato but metabolism has caught up with me so I try to stick to 8 oz or smaller. I don't usually pair anything but potatoes, green beans or corn with it but moderation is definitely something that needs to be taken into consideration for our American society. I agree Jamie, that all the new cuts are often hard to keep up with - even though they have city names attached to them!

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