Beef is one of the most consumed meats in the world, with over sixty percent being consumed by only a handful of developed countries. The average beef consumption in the United States falls between sixty-five and seventy pounds of beef per person per year. Beef is priced and sold in the United States by a grading system. Nearly every part of a cow is used in the production of beef cuts and other beef products. There are six major sections that produce the various cuts of beef available, with the more tender areas of the cow producing the most expensive cuts of meat.
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The loin is the most tender part of the cow and produces the finest cuts of beef as well as the most expensive. These cuts include filet mignon, sirloins, T-bones and the porterhouse.
Round steaks are cut from the hind portion of the cow and produce such cuts as the traditional round steak, the eye and bottom round steaks, and several roast meats, including the popular rump.
The rib section is home to the famous rib eye steak beef cut as well as the flavorful rib roast.
The chuck portion of a cow is at the front, just below the neck, and produces pot roast, arm steaks and the cross rib roast.
Brisket and foreshank
The brisket and foreshank produces popular cuts of beef such as the short ribs, cross-cut shank and whole brisket.
Variety and Ground Beef Cuts
Other cuts of beef include chunks for stew and ground beef. Typically, higher quality ground beef will be called ground round and will come from the round section of the cow. A hamburger or ground beef label comes from a tougher section of the cow and contains more fat.