Probably no other single food evokes such discussion and controversy as does beef. When this began is difficult to determine accurately, but recommendations to reduce “red meat” consumption, which principally meant beef, became more commonplace in the late 1970s. Much of the discussion about beef dealt with its perceived contribution to fat, primarily the saturated kind, in the diet. Without question, beef from the past—through the way it was produced and merchandised—had excessive fat. Since the 1970s, changes in genetics, management, marketing, and merchandising have resulted in the leanest beef ever produced.

Beef in the Retail Case

Two nationwide surveys have been conducted to determine the type of beef being marketed in retail cases. The first survey in the late 1980s found that more than 40% of ...

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