BEEF Daily

SELF Magazine Calls Beef A Super Food


A consumer magazine encourages readers to include beef as a healthy part of a well-balanced diet.

For years, it seemed that every time I opened any popular consumer magazine, the health section would have an article beating up on beef. However, it now seems nutritionists are starting to change their tune regarding America’s favorite protein.

In SELF magazine’s “Superfood Of The Week” column for Feb. 5, writer Sarah-Jane Bedwell says steak is the real deal.

Bedwell writes, “Jam-packed with important nutrients like protein, iron and zinc, steak can definitely be a healthy choice as long as you choose a lean cut. And with 29 lean cuts of beef out there to choose from, it shouldn't be hard to find one of this superfood that you enjoy. Wanna know what makes the beef so darn super? Check out its starring nutrients.”

The article goes on to describe the importance of iron, protein, zinc and B-vitamins. Looking for something positive to tweet about today? Check out some of these beef nutrition facts provided by SELF:

  • One 3 oz. portion (approximately the size of your palm or iPhone) of lean beef provides 12% of your daily value -- three times the amount found in a cup of spinach!
  • Lean beef provides 25 grams of protein per 3 oz. serving.
  • One 3 oz. portion of beef provides a third of your daily value of zinc; you would have to eat 13, 3 oz. portions of salmon to get the same amount of zinc; crazy, right?
  • Eating a serving of beef will add between 10-37% of the recommended daily value of B-vitamins, which give you energy and help build muscle mass.

I love days where I can blog about positive mainstream articles about beef or the cattle business. I truly think we are regaining lost ground when it comes to building consumer trust and confidence in our products. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

As the price of beef continues to rise, put yourselves in the shoes of a consumer. A bag of skinless chicken breasts costs about $8 at my local grocery store. For a busy mom or college student, it’s easy to grab that bag and make several meals throughout the week. There’s no worry about how to cook it because the chicken takes on the taste of whatever you put on it. There’s no worry about tenderness or taste because it’s all the same; and if you burn it, it’s certainly not too much money down the drain.

On the flip side, beef comes in a wide range of prices, cuts and varieties. You can buy budget-friendly ground beef or boneless top sirloin steaks, or go for the more expensive bone-in ribeyes or prime rib. The consumer needs to decipher whether the cut should be grilled, roasted, marinated, put in a crockpot, cooked on high heat, low heat, etc. Then, there are many choices regarding marbling, brand labels and more. No wonder today’s consumer is confused and hesitant to purchase beef!

Our challenge isn’t to simply sell more beef, it’s to educate our consumers. And, the only way to do that is to put boots on the ground and get to work.

  • Post a favorite recipe on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Get involved with your local CattleWomen’s group; they often have in-store recipe demonstrations.
  • Talk to your butcher at the grocery store to find out the most commonly asked questions at the meat counter.
  • Lastly, be willing to put yourself out there to help explain that the versatility of beef isn’t something to be scared of -- it’s something to embrace and know that every day of the week doesn’t have to include a tasteless chicken breast doused in sauce.

From a slow-roasted chuck roast, to a seared New York strip steak, to juicy burgers, the possibilities are endless to include variety each and every day of the week when cooking with beef.

Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir here by talking about my enthusiasm for cooking with beef, but if there’s one thing I retained from being a National Beef Ambassador several years ago, it’s that our enthusiasm for our product is contagious. I hope you catch this enthusiasm and share it as well. Let’s really push our consumer outreach efforts during February’s “I Heart Beef” Month. Who’s with me?

Have you ever done an in-store demo or interacted directly with consumers about beef? What were they curious about? What did you learn from the experience? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Let's help each other out.

Discuss this Blog Entry 9

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 19, 2013

I love your description of flavor of chicken!! You are so right on, even though I do support our poultry friends and eat my share!

Randy (not verified)
on Feb 19, 2013

"...and if you burn it, it’s certainly not too much money down the drain."
No, just the tortured life of a chicken was wasted.

on Feb 19, 2013

Here are some current stats on the importance of Convenience in today's cooking needs:
More than 50% of dinner meals are prepared in 30 minutes or less, up from 44% in 1990
–Average worknight dinner expectations
►40 minutes from start to table is TOO LONG for 31% of consumers
►60 minutes from start to table is TOO LONG for 70% of consumers
–75% of meal planners make meal preparation decisions the day of (37%), or right before (38%) the meal.

Wonderful how well an Easy Steak fits into our current lifestyle -- grill, pan-fry or thinly sliced for stir-fry or fajitas!

Bubba Bain (not verified)
on Feb 19, 2013

The iron, protein, zinc and B-vitamins are all great points and need to be conveyed to the consumer.. But I will disagree with Ms. Bedwell's comment in the 3rd paragraph where she states that "steak can definitely be a healthy choice as long as you choose a lean cut". Key word being "lean". There is beef in the marketplace that is highly marbled yet extremely healthy. Containing high levels of Oleic Acid (Olive oil), CLA and a higher concentration of Monounsaturated fat to Saturated fat. Ms.Bedwell needs to expand her knowledge of beef and discontinue her bias against cattlemen producing highly marbled, healthy beef. All cattlemen are in the "Beef Business".

on Feb 19, 2013

Bravo! I'm glad you brought this up. It is so good to see somebody else paying attention to the fat conversation in nutrition. We put America on a low-fat diet in the early 80s because of a flawed study and since then we've become an obese heart deceased society. There is a joke going around that the current USDA recommended food pyramid is a recipe for a heart attack.

Fat in beef
30% steric acid
40% Oleic acid
both lower small dense LDL and raise HDL
remaining 30% neutral
fat in beef is heart healthy

Results of 50 years of low fat/high carb diet strategies
15% of children between six and 19 are overweight
70% of Americans are overweight
one half of this figure is nearing obese
19 million adults diagnosed with type II diabetes, one half of all adult Native Americans
79 million are pre-diabetic
90 million suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease
2010 American Journal of clinical nutrition
Authors: Harvard University
In a meta-analysis of 21 clinical diet studies
Is there an association between saturated fat intake and heart disease?
Major risk factors for CHD? Refined carbohydrates and excess adiposity

Kenny (not verified)
on Feb 19, 2013

So why is it that beef always gets the bad wrap? Those same people usually eat mostly chicken and some pork. They are so quick to point out hormones, antibiotics, feeding grain and animal welfare. We all know that beef cattle spend the biggest part of their lives grazing in their natural environment with only the finishing phase which is typically less than %25 of their life in a feedlot eating grains though still being fed grass and living in the outdoors. Chickens however spend virtually none of their lives in their natural environment ( free range is really no different contrary to popular belief ) living totally indoors eating a diet of nearly all grains and additives. They have been manipulated to grow at a rate beyond comprehension ( it now takes about %25 of the amount of time to raise a fryer that it took just 20 years ago! ). The only daylight they see in their lives is if they are shipped to processing. Pigs are pretty much the same story. I just can't comprehend why the majority of our consumers can be so totally blinded.
The only explanation to me is that the poultry and pork industry is so totally integrated that they are better with propaganda. While we in the cattle business are busy bickering among ourselves they are busy brainwashing the consumers.

on Feb 20, 2013

Most of the time, when dealing with not all, but much of the public, no matter how much they say it's about nutrition, it's not about nutrition, it's about ideology.

No matter how hard we try, we will never unlock the ideology door with a nutrition key.

The most we can do is present the scientific facts and nutrition data in an amicable manner and hope the consumer realizes what's what. One of the most important things is informing youth with the proper information through good science and helping them understand modern production practices.

Stephie H (not verified)
on Feb 20, 2013

I don't see where they are getting that SELF is calling beef a "superfood". A superfood is a food that has multiple health benefits, phytonutrients and no negative effects on the body. The article itself says choose lean cuts only. Why? Because it contains saturated fat, which can cause heart disease, high cholesterol, etc. That's why there are very few actual superfoods out there! The author of this article needs to check these details before it comes to naming their articles...

on Feb 23, 2013

Stephie H, I don't want to hurt your feelings but just like many others, you have been misinformed. I refer you to my previous post in this blog. I suggest you "Get with the science".

Fat in beef
30% steric acid
40% Oleic acid
both lower small dense LDL and raise HDL
remaining 30% neutral
fat in beef is heart healthy

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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