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Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner…and Breakfast and Lunch

February 18, 2010

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau

Supermarket sales of American beef have been a bright spot during the recent economic downturn. While the media have recently focused on other proteins as food prices have increased and budgets have tightened, beef continues to lead fresh meat category sales.

Last November’s numbers are a strong example of the current trend in beef sales. Beef sales accounted for 29.9% of total fresh meat pounds sold, while chicken made up 22.4% in November.

And beef is just plain good for us. A three-ounce serving of lean beef is an excellent source of protein, supplying more than half the protein most people need each day. In addition, the protein in beef is a complete, high-quality protein, which means it supplies all of the essential amino acids, or building blocks of protein, the body needs to build, maintain and repair body tissue. Muscles also form hormones and enzymes, and increase resistance to infection and disease. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that eating more protein can benefit weight loss (see our earlier blog article on this), muscle mass maintenance, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and satiety.

And you can find your healthy beef right on www.fillyourplate.org. Currently, Arizona Farm Bureau’s online directory of direct market farmers and ranchers has approximately 22 Arizona beef producers that raise everything from exclusively grass-fed to specialized natural Angus beef.

For example, one of our first fillyourplate.org participants is Sharla and Gary Mortimer of Ash Creek Ranch. Ash Creek Ranch raises Black Angus Cattle. These cattle are selected for their genetics, performance, and beef quality. Their cattle are born and raised on the ranch. The calves are with their mothers for the first six to nine months. At this time their diet consists of cow milk and gradually increases to natural vegetation forage with supplemental mineral, protein, salt, vitamins and lots of clean fresh water. When the calves are weaned the milk they were receiving is replaced by additional forage. When the calves weigh between 750-800 pounds they are given a high corn diet. This continues for 120-140 days to finish the cattle to our extremely high standard.

For the beef aficionado who loves their beef finished on a special corn meal diet, Ash Creek Ranch beef is the place to go and they’re easy to find on www.fillyourplate.org.

When you go to the online directory you can search by product ─ in this case beef. You can also search by zip code or city. But if you know beef is what you want, a product search is your best bet. Sometimes the producers will deliver to you or meet you at a designated location.

For fresh, Arizona beef, fillyourplate.org is one of the best places to go. It’s what’s for dinner!

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Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activities, programs and services.

For more information contact Julie Murphree at   (480) 635-3607 or go to http://www.azfb.org.

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