The arrival of fall means the return of cooler temperatures and football season, both of which provide opportunities for grilling. Shalene McNeill, executive director of nutritional science, health and wellness for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says beef is a popular choice for fall social events, whether it is grilling with friends and family or having a tailgate party ahead of a game.
“The flavor of beef is unmatched, the aroma of beef cooking is rich, and the taste can’t be replicated,” McNeill says.
She says the variety is part of why the meat is a popular option.
“Beef is so versatile,” McNeill says. “It can serve as the perfect primary food of grilling or tailgating dishes — the star of the show — in the form of beef kabobs, cheeseburger sliders or beef back ribs.
“Beef can also be an ideal side dish, incorporated into easy-to-eat finger foods that require minimal prep like beef pinwheels and bourbon beef cheese dip. Beef dishes are crowd-friendly food that everyone enjoys.”
Advances in the cattle industry have made for a leaner product.
“Many consumers don’t realize that beef has become leaner over time,” McNeill says. “Thanks to improved cattle feeding and breeding and trimming excess fat from beef cuts at retail, nearly 40 cuts of beef met the government guidelines for lean protein. Beef is a favorite food for many, and the public is looking for ways to enjoy it as part of a healthy diet.”
McNeill says beef consumption all starts with livestock producers, who set high standards as they work to provide a reliable product.
“Eighty-five percent of beef producers are Beef Quality Assurance certified, which ensures consistent animal welfare and care standards are followed and consumers can trust they are receiving wholesome, safe, high-quality meat.”