I cook with hamburger at least three days a week. It makes for a great combination because I can make it many different ways and it is priced reasonably. The added bonus is that my girls love it which reduces the amount of “sit time” in those great padded chairs at the dining room table waiting while my favorite 1stgrader eats her dinner…
I want to share with all of you the nutritional break down of the different types of hamburger that you find at the grocery store, as well as some things that cattle producers (like me) are doing to constantly improve on food safety issues related to hamburger.
Hamburger comes in many different varieties in terms of lean content, and can be either primal cut specific (only taken out of one specific type of muscle cut) or lean ratio specific (taken from a blend of muscle cuts and formulated to a certain lean/fat ratio). The type of hamburger that is one of the 29 Cuts Of Lean Beef endorsed by the American Heart Association is a 95% lean, 5% fat ratio. A three ounce serving of that contributes about 140 calories and offers the following nutrient profile:
Zinc = 5.8 mg (39% daily value) Niacin= 4.7 mg (23% dv)
Iron= 2.6 mg (14% daily value) Selenium = 19 mcg (27% dv)
Protein= 22.3 grams (46% daily value) Total Fat= 5.4 grams (8% dv)
Vitamin B12= 2.1 mcg (35% dv) Saturated Fat= 2.4 grams (12% dv)
Vitamin B6= 0.3 mg (15% daily value) Cholesterol= 62 mg (21% dv)
Phosphorus= 169 mg (17% daily value) Calories = 148 (7% dv)
Hamburger can be made from many different muscle cuts—the three primary ones are the round, the sirloin and the chuck. It is made from both whole muscle cuts and a blend of whole muscle cuts and trimmings (trimmings are what are left over after some whole muscle cuts have been made into other steaks and roasts). All hamburger, just like all cuts of beef, is fabricated under the supervision of the USDA and its FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service) to ensure that the beef is safe for human consumption.
The safety of the beef that I produce is of paramount importance to me. It is feeding my children as well as yours! Cattle producers created a group known as the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo) more than fifteen years ago in order to collaboratively and effectively research and promote food safety issues related to beef. The group uses scientific advancements to create best management practices for all segments of the beef chain (from the cow/calf rancher– to the feed yard– to the meat packing plant– to the butcher/grocery store or restaurateur…) in order to reduce food borne illnesses. In other words, they work to make beef SAFE! I had the honor of speaking at the BISFCo Annual Summit a couple of years ago to explain the practices that I employ at my feed yard to do my part in ensuring that beef is safe—it was an amazing experience, and the teamwork and innovation that I saw at the meeting made me proud to be a part of such an amazing group of people.
Each year the collective beef industry spends $350 million on testing, safety interventions, and strategies to protect beef from harmful bacteria. We work hard, at all levels of the beef production chain, to make sure that the hamburger you purchase at the grocery store is safe and healthy. Each one of you can help us in our quest to continually improve food safety in hamburger by cooking your burger to 160 degrees before feeding it to your family!
Ironically, the 2012 BIFSCo Annual Summit was last week—the same time that sensational popular media sources inaccurately disparaged a technological advancement which both improves our ability to maximize the amount of beef that can be harvested from each bovine while also improving the safety of the additional beef that is harvested.
This advancement allows a type of beef called Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) to be garnered. LFTB is a great source of lean beef that can then be blended into hamburger to increase the lean ratio. These LFTB come from the trimmings of whole cuts of beef. They are made from the beef that remains after larger cuts are trimmed down and divided into different steaks and roasts. This process was the “brain child” of Eldon Roth who owns and operates a small, family owned meat fabrication and distribution company. Roth (age 65) has dedicated his life to improving food safety through research and innovation.
Tgarnering LFTB has been in place for many years, and the food safety process employed by Mr. Roth to ensure that harmful bacteria is not present in the meat has been used for more than 20 years in other types of food production, it has resurfaced recently in television shows and popular news media as a few individuals try to create sensational stories through inaccurate depictions. I am going to take a couple of blog posts to describe Lean Finely Textured Beef so that you all can feel comfortable about the hamburger that you are purchasing. I am excited to share that Dr. Russell Cross is going to take part as a “guest blogger”. Dr. Cross, a previous Administrator for USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service, was involved in the approval of this process. It is my desire to leave NO DOUBT in your minds that Lean Finely Textured Beef is safe and healthy to eat, and put some closure to the sensational term of Pink Slime…