The Rise of Steak: What's the Difference Between Angus, Ribeye, and More? - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-09-14
The Rise of Steak: What's the Difference Between Angus, Ribeye, and More? - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Food Agriculture
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 2021 words
17 min read


There nothing better than a good steak on the grill or at a steak house restaurant. Americans love steak prepared in many ways; it is what we love. In the past years, people are asking the question of what kind of steak this is Angus, Ribeye, New York strip, or T-Bone. Is the cow's grass-fed? These are the questions people are asking when purchasing steaks from grocery stores and restaurants? The consumption of steaks has risen over the years, and so has people's concerns about where the beef comes from.

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The first question is where the beef cows come from? What state? As every state is different when it comes to how the cow is treated. Was it humane in the processing of the beef? Were the cows grass-fed, grain-fed, or even fed on a mixture of hay roughages or long-stem forages? When we take a closure look, the particular type of feed contributes to the meat's taste when it is being cooked. Most cows here in America are grain and soy-based fed and given antibiotics and growth hormones to help them mature faster for processing. Since 1999 Europe has put a non-hormone treated cattle program in place, and the use of growth hormones is not the natural way for cows to grow, but due to the rising demand for beef, these things are being done to produce more beef.

As of January 1, 2017, the FDA passed a new law called Veterinary Feed Directive. The growth hormones, such as progesterone, testosterone, and trenbolone acetate, can only be administered by a licensed veterinarian. The growth hormones, such as progesterone, improve feed efficiency, protein deposition, and cattle growth rate. When implants such as pellets are used on the animals, by placing them on the ear of the cattle, then the ear is discarded upon harvesting. According to an article written on the Guardian on February 8, 2018, cattle raised in the United States are dosed with antibiotics five times more than animals raised in the United Kingdom. The resulting difference in the rate of doses steadily rises to 9 times in the case of cattle raised for beef and may also be found to be 16 times higher in animals raised in the United States in comparison to the cattle grown in the United Kingdom.

In the United States, agriculture and food are the key areas in trading. According to the WHO (world health organization), antibiotic administration can lead to antibiotic resistance that would eventually have a rapid spread through eating affected beef products. In the United States, it has been quite notable as of 2018 that there was an overuse in the number of antibiotics in use.

The emphasis on grained-base diet a reliance on the crop filled the land. The farmers us grain instead of grass. The grain is mass-produced, and lawn takes time to grow, so the farms feed the cows more grain to give the grass time to grow back in individual sections on the farms. Framers depend on the grain and the Antibiotics to keep the calves growing till mature age to be slaughtered. Grass-fed calves have a healthier diet, and the meat is more robust for humans to eat.

The question as to whether the addition of growth hormone and antibiotics is safe in meat can be tackled by using the example of Canada. It is in this country whereby the use of growth hormones and medicines as well has been approved for use in the rearing of beef cattle to enhance vigorous growth and wait gain. Nevertheless in doing this the farmers must put in place some careful considerations such as having limits to the number of growth hormones used at a time and the number of antibiotics used in an area. Moreover, routine tests are done to ensure that the beef is safe for consumption as per the Canadian food inspection agency.

Grain-base food for livestock significantly comes from crops which are monocropped in the farms due to the inefficient use of available land. The lands are scarce hence forcing the farmers to use the available portions sparingly to accommodate all their agricultural needs. However, it should be noted that grain-based feed should only be incorporated in the instances of drought and famine. Additionally, the farmers should consider using them as supplemental feeds for the cattle or even in the case of lot feeding. As beneficial as this is in the scenario of a drought, grain feeding can be harmful to the animals. Inappropriate grain-feeding does not guarantee the farmer customization to feeding on the grain; hence the feed can result in grain sickness. Such is an unhealthy diet for cows, and the grain that is produced plays a big part in the nutrients in the meat and the fatty acids in the flesh. Therefore, grain-based feeds are unhealthy for cows and humans. Additionally, these types of feeds must be properly stored by the farmer to ensure that they do not come into contact with moisture as they may form toxins known as the aflatoxin which is detrimental to the health of the animals as well as the human beings.

The inhumane treatment of cows before being brought by slaughterhouses is not allowed. The cows are placed in feedlots knows as CAFOs. These are confined stalls with limited space. They are rapidly fed with grain-based foods to fatten the cow up to be sold. The cows typically live in the feedlots for a few months before being sold to the slaughterhouse. The unhealthy grain-based food puts on the weight because the cows are feeding three times a day to get bigger and add muscle. In 2013 according to an article written on the modern farmer, humane slaughter in 1958 became law in a bid to prevent unnecessary suffering to the animals.

It should be noted, however, that slaughter, according to Dr. Temple Grandin, who is an animal welfare advocate, is a philosophical issue as much as it is systematic. In her opinion, how the beef was handled before and during slaughter affects the beef's outcome. It should be noted that Dr. Temple Grandin is a meat-eater. In her book on the slaughterhouse, she talks about different slaughtering ways that have been eventually incorporated into the slaughtering of cows used in most well-known steak houses and burger restaurants.

In addition to the inhumane treatment of the animals, CAFOs raise environmental questions on industrial agriculture. Because the cows raised on factory farms. The impact on the environment from so much manure from the cows in the confined space consuming so much grain-based food a day leads to a waste build up in the stalls. When the rain comes, the residue build-up washes down into waterways and the ground. The cows are treated with antibiotics, so it is in the manure that can lead to contamination of waterways and plant life from so much waste running-off the CAFOs. Base on some estimates in 2010, 4 million dollars was spent on trying to clean up the run-offs.

It cost more and has and impact on the environment for a grain-base diet for cows, and it is unhealthier for cows and humans. The inhuman way the animals are confined to a small space which leads to mass waste pile from the cows that can contaminate the earth and waterways.

According to an article written by the health line, the different feeds given to a cow can have different nutrient composition when it comes to the beef. Australia is a crucial producer of meat from grass-fed cattle. Grass-fed beef also comes with some benefits to the environment, the animals, and the consumer. Most grass-fed cows rely on damaging environmental mono-cropping. The grass-fed beef forage comes from local farms and ranches. It lessens the impact on the environment. Grass-fed beef is seen to be better in that it contains fewer calories as per studies done; the composition of fatty acids is also different. It also contains vitamin A and vitamin E, thus coming at an extra and potentially inconveniencing cost. Grass-fed beef has also been found to be much leaner and has a different texture. Are the damaged crops any better than grain- corn -base food for cows?

While grass-fed beef is on the rise, farmers in Northern California and the Midwest have the winter seasons to worry about with the snow on the ground. There is no grass to eat in the winter months, so the farmers came up with a grain-based rotation with the cow’s diet for the winter months with organic hemp, so the cows are still grass-fed mostly the grain is added to get them through the winter.

The Midwest farmers have the summer dry season as well trying to keep the grass-fed cows eating grass through the season. Organic hemp plays a part and having enough land to plant the natural grass for the cows through the dry season. Farmers who don't have the area are buying property to plant the organic grass to keep the cows on the grass-fed diet and not go to the grain-based rotation. The farmers buy land to plant and harvest for the winter months to keep the grass-fed food going through the season

Either way, you slice it grain-based beef or grass-fed beef; both of them have an impact on our environment, and it consumes fossil fills and greenhouse gases. As a result, the environment is put at a risk of pollution. Our environment is paying the price because of the increasing demand for beef, and our natural resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. A better solution is needed now, so all of the natural resources are gone and will not have the ability to grow food.


During marketing of the beef to clients as in the case of retail, then the meat is indeed not sold as hormone-free. FDA, since 1950 has approved several numbers of steroids as mentioned above. Approval was done after careful studies proved that the animals were safe to feed on, and the product was effective on food suitable for human consumption. The studies did not show any evidence of harm to the health of a human being who feeds on meet from a cow that has been reared using hormones and other substances. However, it is advisable that farmers adopt organic methods of farming to ensure that those people that will consume their produce are safe. Not all people are safe after consuming meat where the cow was brought up using substantial amounts of steroid hormone. People react differently to these substances and might be the reason why a person’s health would deteriorate. Thus, farmers should not be materialistic such that they care more about money at the expense of fellow human being’s wellbeing.

It should be noted that the choice of meat highly depends on consumer preference, whether the beef is grain-fed, grass-fed, or even placed on antibiotics during rearing. The farmers have their goal in question, whether it is for the real financial benefit and whether they have the consideration of the consumer in question. If the United States can ensure there are regulations put in place for the consumption of all beef products, then there can be regular health practices that will provide an excellent general outcome on the beef consuming population at large.

However, it is of crucial importance that during met production, the FDA regulations on the use of hormones and antibiotics are carefully instituted by ensuring there is a follow up on the use of products as it is in Canada. If the consumer faces more challenges in his or her diet, they should opt for what they would feel like a better option for themselves. The range of food is enormous from chicken, mutton, fish, and even a vegetarian diet. Overall, it is the duty of the meat lovers to carefully decide whether they will continue consuming the type of meet produced by farmers or ditch them. However, for those that cannot afford to quit meat, studies have indicated that it is still healthy for them.


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