6 Sensational Facts About Ground Beef

Beef frequently appears on the supper table at our ranch house – it’s a mealtime favorite for us and our kids love it, too. If you have questions about ground beef and how it can fit into your lifestyle, I’ve got answers! Here are some facts you may not know about one of your favorite cuts of beef.

Ground beef may not contain any added water, phosphates or binders. Bottom line: ground beef is beef! It comes from trimmings of steak and roasts – ground beef has become so popular that some people choose to completely grind those steaks and roasts to fill their freezer with wholesome ground beef.

Ground beef must be at least 70% muscle. This means the maximum amount of fat in ground beef cannot exceed 30%.[1] If you see a package of ground beef that says 90/10 or 80/20, the first number in the fraction is the percentage of muscle in the product. Rancher tip: for a leaner meal, choose 90/10 but for a juicier burger, lean towards 80/20.

Ground beef is lean and fits into a heart-healthy diet. Beef is considered lean when it contains less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 3-ounce serving. The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet showed that including lean beef every day was effective at lowering LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and overall cholesterol just as well as the gold standard diet for heart health, the DASH diet.[2] 

Ground beef is extremely versatile. It fits into countless different styles of cuisine from Mexican to Chinese to Italian and much more. Ground beef is also easy to prepare and appreciated by all age groups and demographics.

Ground beef should always be cooked to 160°F. You may prefer a medium rare steak – that’s definitely my preference – however, medium rare ground beef probably isn’t the best idea. You should always cook ground beef to 160°F because pathogens like Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 die when they are exposed to that level of heat for a specific amount of time.[3] Color is not a good indicator of the doneness of ground beef, so make sure to cook your beef to a safe and savory 160°F using a food thermometer!

Ground beef is the most popular cut of beef in the United States. Similarly, to how versatile it is, it’s also available on most menus across the nation – from fine dining to fast food to home cooking: ground beef is a nutritious and flavorful protein!

I hope these tips were helpful and answer your burning questions about one of America’s favorite meals. As always, if you have any questions about your beef, where it comes from or how it’s raised, please don’t hesitate to ask a farmer or rancher (hint, hint: me!).

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

[1] https://meat.tamu.edu/ground-beef-labeling/#:~:text=The%20maximum%20fat%20content%20in,be%20labeled%20as%20ground%20beef.

[2] * https://meatscience.org/docs/default-source/publications-resources/rmc/2012/bridget-wasser-reciprocation.pdf?sfvrsn=0

[3] https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/meat/color-cooked-ground-beef-it-relates-doneness#:~:text=Pathogens%20(including%20Salmonella%20and%20Escherichia,that%20can%20cause%20hemorrhagic%20colitis