Kansas

Beef Chat

Jul302015

Summer Heat Makes Winter Feed

Published by Katie Sawyer at 2:34 AM under Agriculture | General

According to the Weather.com app on my phone, it’s 102 degrees F on our farm and feels like 108 degrees F. That’s hot by anyone’s standards and when it comes after almost a week of 90-plus-degree days, the app should just state “oven-like conditions outside.”

 

In addition to our Angus cow herd, we raise crops on our farm outside McPherson, Kan. About half of our acres are irrigated, which means other half are at the whim of Mother Nature. Unfortunately this summer, she hasn’t been too giving with the rain. For our non-irrigated (or dryland) crops, high temperatures and little rain is a recipe for disaster.

 

But as the heat continues on, we are thinking cool thoughts, specifically about our mother and baby cows who will be home this winter and in need of quality, hearty feedstuffs to thrive during the cold winter months.

 

One of our successes in raising quality beef is the ability to use feed from our own farm. Outside of any dry distillers used, we grow all of the feed for our cattle on our farm. We control the quality and the nutritional value of that feed and can trace it from the field to the feed bunk.

 

Our cattle, therefore, have gained a reputation for being not only locally born and raised, but also grown on a diet of local crops, grains and grass. We love watching our cattle grow and thrive and its even better when you know exactly what’s going in the bunk.

 

Later this week, we will start chopping our dryland corn to create silage. The end product is a mixture of every part of the corn plant, from the stalk to the ear. The cattle end up with an energy-rich meal. In the past, we’ve also created silage from our milo and soybeans that have suffered from a lack of moisture.

 

We’re never happy to miss the rains but we’re fortunate to be able to put our failed crops to good use in feeding our growing cows. 



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Jul272015

Beef Production, More than Just Steak

Published by Robin Kleine at 8:21 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

Often when we speak of cattle production we only think about the meat we get from these animals. A juicy rib-eye is certainly a good supper (or breakfast or lunch for that matter), but sometimes we over look the MANY other products we get from cattle. These are called by-products, or secondary items that are produced in addition to the principal product.

 

Image courtesy of the Florida Beef Council

 

Obviously leather is a by-product, as it is made from the hide of animals. Therefore, items like car upholstery, wallets, purses, coats and footballs. Did you know that you can make 20 footballs with just one cowhide?

 

From the glands and organs of cattle, we get ingredients for making asphalt, plastic, insulation, medicines and soap. FUN FACT: Insulin is perhaps the best-known pharmaceutical derived from cattle. There are 5 million diabetics in the United States, and 1.25 million of them require insulin daily. It takes the pancreases from 26 cattle to provide enough insulin to keep one diabetic person alive for a year

 

Additionally, items like piano keys, chewing gum, knife handles and other candies are made from the bones and horns of cattle.

 

For more information regarding beef cattle and beef by-products, check out this handout from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service -- http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/outreach-extension/uploaded_files/4-h-files/files/beef-handouts/beef%20byproducts.pdf.

 

Besides beef, which cattle by-products did you use today?

 

Until next time,

Robin



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Jul092015

Brain food

Published by Heath Larson at 4:30 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

It has been a notably less active year thus far, in terms of my running.  Even though I've been able to squeeze in short runs 3-4 times per week, I haven't entered a single race.  Our family is definitely in a period of transition, as we welcomed our third child about six months ago.  Career wise, I have spent substantial time preparing for several important tests that are coming up this fall.  Our oldest child will be attending her first and only year of pre-kindergarten classes in six weeks.  From top to bottom, we are all learning about tasks and life experiences that we have never attempted before.  Mentally, we are all stretching to accomplish more than ever before!

 

No matter how busy we are though, we have to take a pause to eat.  Of course, this is especially true for our growing, perpetually-hungry children, but it's also true for me.  Whenever I've tried to "power through" without a solid meal, I find myself quickly falling flat.  My mood falls apart, my focus is gone, and my motivation falls to nil.  This is especially true if I haven't been able to squeeze in a satisfying meal featuring lean beef for some time.  Why is this?

 

First off, our brain uses 20% of the energy we put in our body.  That's amazing, considering it only accounts for 2% of body mass!  Our brain truly needs food.  But what kind of food?  A hugely important nutrient for brain function is vitamin B12.  Some proven symptoms of a small deficiency in B12 are fatigue and and poor memory.  Vitamin B12 deficiency has even been linked to depression and Alzheimer's.  Yikes!  So where can we find this all-important nutrient?  Interestingly enough, there are virtually zero plant sources of B12.  Now, for the good news!  Lean beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12, providing well over 30% of the recommended daily allowance per serving.  Therefore, in addition to the hunger-crushing, muscle-building benefits of protein, beef also helps fuel our most important muscle:  The brain!  So, whether you're crunching numbers for a new business venture, or trying to prepare your children for success in school, reach for lean beef.  Your brain is hungry!



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Jun252015

Healthy Grilling & Sides for Fourth of July

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 3:04 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

The Fourth of July is a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy delicious lean beef.  If you are watching your waistline, follow these simple tips to make your cookout tasty and nutritious.

 

Marinade – Lean cuts like sirloin and round are usually less tender and flavorful than a ribeye.  So, to boost flavor and tenderness try a marinade.  It is recommended to marinate in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Marinades only penetrate the surface of the meat; therefore, flat cuts of meat such as steaks will benefit more from marinades than large cuts such as roasts. 

 

Build a better Burger – if you are going the burger route make sure to choose 90% lean or leaner ground beef.  Many companies offer low-calorie bun choices that are 80-100 calories.  Toppings can make or break your burger.  Try choosing lower fat cheeses like provolone or mozzarella.  Better yet, Sargento® makes an Ultra-thin cheese slice to help with portion control.  Load up with veggies like lettuce, tomato, onions, mushrooms, peppers and pickles.  For condiments mustard is the best choice.  If choosing ketchup or BBQ, make sure to watch the sugar.  If you must have mayo or salad dressing, choose the olive or canola based ones, or a light option.

 

Slim up your Sides

 

Go Greek - Swap half or all of the mayo in your salad recipes for plain Greek yogurt.  Make sure to use a good quality brand like Fage® to avoid it being overly tangy. 

 

Watch the Sugar – Canned baked beans, and many recipes for baked beans have a ton of sugar.  Try making your own using a lower sugar BBQ sauce like Bigg’s or Jack Stack. 

 

Choose Whole Grains – If making a pasta salad, try swapping the enriched pasta for a less processed product like quinoa, millet or bulgur.  These grains will give your salad a fiber boost, plus they add a great texture and nutty flavor to your dish. 

 

Double the Veggies – Half of our plate should be fruits and vegetables.  Doubling the amount of vegetables in your sides will help you achieve this goal. 

 

 

Citrus-Marinated Beef & Fruit Kabobs

 

Makes 4 servings

 

Cubes of Top Sirloin are marinated for flavor in a mixture of fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange peel, cilantro and smoked paprika. They are then grilled alongside skewers of watermelon, peaches, and mango.

 

INGREDIENTS 1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 1 inch thick 1 medium orange 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional) 4 cups cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums Salt

Grate peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika, and ground red pepper, if desired, in small bowl. Cut beef Steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2-1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bags securely.Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once. Season beef with salt, as desired. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 1 inch thick

1 medium orange

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)

4 cups cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums

Salt

Directions

1.       Grate peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika, and ground red pepper, if desired, in small bowl. Cut beef Steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2-1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bags securely.  Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours.

2.       Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers.

3.       Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once.

4.       Season beef with salt, as desired. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs.

 

Nutrition information per serving: 239 calories; 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 70 mg cholesterol; 57 mg sodium; 20 g carbohydrate; 2.4 g fiber; 27 g protein; 11.3 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 2.1 mg iron; 31.0 mcg selenium; 5.0 mg zinc; 107.1 mg choline.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc and choline; and a good source of iron.

 

Healthier Potato Salad

Serves: 5

Ingredients:


1 ½ lbs. red potatoes, cut into ¾ inch pieces

1 lb. radishes, cut into ¾ inch pieces

Salt and Pepper (can use celery salt)

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 cup light mayonnaise (I used Olive Oil Mayo)

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Fage)

1 celery rib, chopped fine

1 1/2 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish

1 Tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard

2 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin

Directions:

1.      Bring potato and radish pieces, 1 teaspoon salt, and enough water to cover potatoes and radishes by 1 inch to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes.

2.      Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain potatoes thoroughly, then transfer to large bowl. Drizzle vinegar over hot potatoes and gently toss until evenly coated. Transfer 3/4 cup potato/radish mixture to medium bowl; reserve. Refrigerate remaining potatoes/radishes until cooled, about 30 minutes.

3.      Using potato masher or fork, mash reserved hot potatoes/radishes with 3 tablespoons reserved cooking water until smooth, adding remaining cooking water as needed. Stir mayonnaise, yogurt, celery, relish, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into mashed potato. Refrigerate mixture until cooled, about 15 minutes.

4.      Add cooled potato dressing to cooed potatoes, stirring until evenly coated. Stir in scallions, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Nutrition Facts: 110 calories, 1 g fat, 24 g carb, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein

 

Lower Sugar BBQ Baked Beans

Serves: 15

Ingredients:


2-3 slices bacon

1 cup yellow onion, diced

1 can pinto beans, no salt added

1 can navy beans

1 can black beans, no salt added

1 can kidney beans, no salt added

8 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce

1 ½ cups Biggs BBQ sauce, or another lower sugar BBQ

1 Tbsp. molasses

1-2 pkts of stevia

1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

Directions:

Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan.  Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 3 minutes.

Combine bacon, onion and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.  Spray a 2-qt. baking pan with nonstick spray and place the beans in the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Note: this can be made in a slow cooker, just stir all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 4-6 hours. 

Nutrition Facts per serving: 115 calories, 3 g fat, 300 mg sodium, 17 g carb, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein



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Jun182015

Father’s Day Grilling Tips

Published by Katie Sawyer at 3:16 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General

My father has always been the grill master in our house. My mom does the prep work; my father makes it great.

 

But my dad always operated the grill with a more-is-better attitude. More heat, more time, more done. I thought it was fine. I didn’t know any different. That is until my farmer/rancher husband came along. He had a whole different take on grilling and it was, well, delicious. Thankfully, my father was a willing student and quickly amended his grilling habits to create delicious medium-done steaks we all love.

 

As we approach Father’s Day this Sunday, I know I will find at least one of the men in my life – my father or my husband – behind the grill. When you raise beef, you tend to incorporate it into a lot of family meals. Plus, summer is the perfect time to enjoy a big, juicy steak.

 

It took my 30-something husband to teach my 60-something father the tips to perfect grilling. Thankfully, the Beef Checkoff (www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com) has simple, easy tips and recipes to make anyone a better griller. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/grilling.aspx A few tips to make your Father’s Day grilling adventure the best one yet . . .

  1. Marinate your steaks and let them rest at room temperature before cooking. Don’t take your steaks directly from the refrigerator to the grill.

  2. Make sure your grill is nice and hot before adding the steaks. You want the heat to get to work immediately.

  3. Leave the steaks alone – quick poking, checking or flipping your meat. Closing the lid on your grill will keep the heat in and your fingers out!

  4. Steaks will typically require 3-7 minutes of cooking on each side, depending on thickness. You can also add marinade or salt and pepper while on the grill.

  5. Make sure your steak reaches safe internal temperatures. That’s 145°F for medium rare and 160°F for medium doneness.

  6. Don’t be quick to cut your steak. Let the steak sit for a minute or two before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and make every bit juicy and delicious.

     

 

While you are enjoying your steak, don’t forget to wish your father a Happy Father’s Day – a great dessert to accompany your steak might just do the trick!



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Jun102015

Grill Your Fruit & Eat it Too

Published by Robin Kleine at 8:34 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

One of our favorite summer time meals is a grilled steak, accompanied by fruits and vegetables. Any time this office working girl gets outside is a plus … and around the grill is one of my places to be. As an added bonus, June is fresh fruit and vegetable month.

 

Watermelon is a summer staple at our house; there is always one in my fridge. But sometimes it can be monotonous, so I wanted to find a new way to eat the juicy red fruit.

 

I had heard good things about grilling watermelon and decided to try it myself. Result: it was delicious.

 

Plus, it’s easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

 

Here’s how:

  • 8 slices seedless watermelon wedges, cut 1 ½ inches thick, no rind
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper

 

Lightly sprinkle the wedges on both sides with the salt. Stand the wedges on their edges on a rack over a sink or pan and let them drain for half an hour.

 

Preheat the grill to high.

 

After the watermelon has drained, rinse each piece under cold running water. Place each piece between two folded paper towels and gently but firmly press to remove excess water. You should stop just when you feel the watermelon begin to crunch.

 

Brush the watermelon lightly on both sides with the olive oil. Grill over high heat until grill marks have formed and the melon is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

 

Remove from grill and sprinkle with sea salt and a little fresh ground pepper.

 

*Recipe courtesy of JanuaryBride on www.food.com [http://www.food.com/recipe/grilled-watermelon-317554]



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Jun052015

Perfect Summer Time Taco Salad

Published by Kiley DeDonder at 3:03 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

Summer time seems to be a hectic time on our farm. With the warmer temperatures and longer daylight, we often end up pushing supper back until well after dark…just in time to hit the hay! For me, a hot, time-consuming meal to prep is the last thing I feel like fixing on a long summer day. Any opportunity I get to fix a quick salad is just fine by me. Plus, we always have beef in our freezer and for this particular recipe you can’t go wrong with lean ground beef for added protein!

Total Recipe Time: 30 minutes

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 pound Ground Beef

1 package (about 1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix

3 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 package of salad greens (about 8 cups) I often have a head of iceberg on hand

Toppings:

Sliced ripe olives, sliced red onion, prepared ranch or French dressing

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEF TACO SALAD

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings. Stir in taco seasoning mix according to package directions; remove seasoned beef from skillet with slotted spoon.

Combine seasoned beef, tortilla chips, cheese and tomato in large bowl. Line 4 plates with salad greens. Top with beef mixture. Top with olives, onion and dressing, if desired.

Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.

Since I normally cook for two, I like to use this leftover seasoned ground beef for quick soft tacos or enchiladas for another meal. It’s a great option to have in my arsenal of quick, simple and nutritional recipes!

For more quick and delicious recipes, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com

Enjoy, Eat Beef!

Kiley



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May292015

Reach Your Goals

Published by Heath Larson at 11:04 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

 

We athletes often do strange things in order to reach our goals.  A case in point would be my stretching routine.  While I still don't stretch quite as much as I should, and am about as flexible as a sheet of plywood, I have amassed several "must do" stretches before and after my runs in order to ward off various injuries that have troubled me in the past.  Others that watch my brief, targeted stretching routine, comprised of stretches they've never seen, probably thinks I'm out of my mind.  But it works, so I keep doing it!

 

Other strange practices haven't been so fruitful.  I once tried to use jelly donuts and cold cheese pizza as primary "fuel" during a 30 mile training run.  While the pizza worked fine in limited amounts, let's just say that jelly donuts will never, ever, be a part of another training run again.  On another day, I decided to head out for my two mile run completely barefoot.  On concrete.  That made for some pretty impressive blisters...and the calf pain was off the charts as well.



In regards to nutrition, I've seen athletes try some pretty radical (and bad tasting) dietary practices in hopes of running a faster time at their next race.  Such diet routines never last long, and often hurt more than they help.  When it comes to my diet when training, I'm a believer that meals should be enjoyable and healthy for the whole family.  That's where beef fits in perfectly.  Since I have been eating beef my whole life, I have many tried and true recipes that I know will be healthy and taste great, with no need to spend hours on preparation.  Protein, B-vitamins, and great taste, with minimal calories and minimal effort.  What more could an athlete need?


In addition, May is beef month!  There couldn't be a better month for it.  While we grill year-round at our house, we spend as much time as possible grilling during these warmer months.  It keeps us from heating up the kitchen with our oven, and is the perfect way to cook just about every lean cut of beef!  Plus, between graduations, high school state tournaments, and weddings, there's plenty to celebrate in May.  Make sure to celebrate with healthy food that's a true crowd pleaser:  Lean beef!

 



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May202015

How Do You Celebrate Beef Month?

Published by Kassie Curran at 7:54 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

May is full of reasons to celebrate – finishing school, graduations, weddings, and rain. May is also Beef Month so there is even more to celebrate! I’ll share some of the ways I like to celebrate Beef Month and I hope you will celebrate it too.

 

Grill Out – Throw some burgers or steak on the grill, enjoy the beautiful weather and time with family and friends. There are plenty of great recipes here and here.

Enjoy the Scenery – Take a drive out to the country and take in the beautiful scenery. In Kansas, we’ve got lots of green grass at this time of year so I love to go out and enjoy the sights of cattle on grass.

Learn More About Beef – There is always more to learn about everything and many ways to do so. I like to ask questions of people who are more experienced than me in the beef industry. The Beef Council would be happy to get you connected to a rancher who you can talk to about raising beef or even going out to see how and where they raise beef. Another way to learn more about beef is by watching videos on the internet (from trusted sources of course!). This website has a great video on how beef gets from pasture to plate, as well as lots of other educational materials about beef.  

 

These are just a few ways I like to celebrate Beef Month, but there are so many more. I hope you enjoy these and will find your own ways to celebrate Beef Month. Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

 

Happy Beef Month!

 

Kassie



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May072015

Beef: A Mom’s Secret Weapon

Published by Katie Sawyer at 2:58 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

By Katie Sawyer

I’m a runner, a professional, an advocate and a wife. But most importantly, I’m a mother. I have a two-year-old son and he keeps me on my toes. In any given day I balance work, graduate school assignments, household duties, mom responsibilities and other odds-and-ends. I need energy to keep me going and meal options that keep me full without expanding my waistline.  

This Sunday, I will celebrate my mom and all of the moms who carry the weight of their kids, spouses and jobs on their shoulders; women who hit the ground running and don’t stop until the work is done and find the time and energy to fit 25 hours of work into a 24 hour day. For those mothers, time is at a premium and nutrition is everything.

In addition to celebrating mothers this weekend, the entire month of May is dedicated to celebrating beef. So it only makes sense to treat mom to a great, lean cut of beef.  Beef is a great protein source for busy mothers and the variety of cuts and preparation options means there is a beef option for every taste and budget. 

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board provides a guide to 29 cuts of beef classified as lean, meaning a single serving has less than 10 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat. That’s important for those moms watching their waistlines.

And for those moms who need energy, all day every day, quality, low-calorie protein is essential. Every single cut of beef is loaded with protein. A single, three-ounce serving contributes less than 10 percent of calories but more than half of the daily value of protein and more than 10 percent of eight additional vitamins and minerals. Protein is vital to staying full and satisfied throughout the day and providing the energy moms need to tackle those tough, and sticky, jobs.

Beef is packed with 10 essential vitamins and nutrients and research shows that about 50 percent of women aged 20 years and older are not meeting their daily recommended intake of iron or protein. Sounds like it should be steaks for all. Women are often so busy taking care of others they forget to care for themselves and quick nutrient boost and well-rounded diet can go a long way in improving women’s health and well-being.

Every mom has one eye on the clock and the other on the family budget which means food choices must be efficient and cost-effective. Beef offers a variety of options, from steaks, to hamburger to roasts and ribs. The variety allows for beef at every meal and for any occasion.

Enjoy your mother this Mother’s Day, treat her to a quality beef meal and let her know how much you appreciate all she does.

101613Nutrient Power Fact Sheet.pdf (524.71 kb)



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