Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

To the Editor:

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback proclaimed May is Beef Month in the state of Kansas. May has been celebrated as Beef Month for 28 years. Beef is the largest agricultural commodity in the state of Kansas.

Did you know that Kansas ranked third nationally with 6.10 million cattle on ranches and in feedyards as of Jan. 1, 2012, according to Kansas Ag Statistics? That is over twice the state's human population of 2.818 million as reported in the U.S. Census.

The meat industry was responsible for as much as $10.8 billion in economic activity in Kansas during 2009, according to the American Meat Institute. Kansas ranked third nationally in total red meat production in 2010; beef represented 5.4 billion pounds of the total according to Kansas Ag Statistics.

One other interesting fact about the Kansas beef industry, as reported by the American Meat Institute, is that Kansas companies that produce, process, distribute and sell meat and poultry products employ as many as 19,242 people and generate an additional 51,210 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries. These include jobs in companies supplying goods and services to manufacturers, distributors and retailers, as well as those depending on sales to workers in the meat industry.

In honor of Beef Month, fill your grill this summer with healthy foods, including lean beef. Consider these grilling tips provided by the Kansas Beef Council.

* Go Lean with Protein: There are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean, including popular cuts such as T-bone steak and the Kansas City or New York Strip steak.

* Lose the Fat, Spare the Wallet: Lean cuts are healthy and affordable. The average cost per lean beef cut retails at about $5.19 a pound, or less than $1 for a 3-ounce serving.

* Perfect Pair: Many people fall short of dietary guidelines recommending two cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day. Try pairing mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes or carrots with lean beef for an added punch of flavor and nutrition.

* Marinades and rubs: Marinades add both flavor and tenderness to lean cuts of beef, while dry rubs add a whole new flavor experience. Try them!

* Lean and Trim: Choose lean, well-trimmed cuts of meat to prevent fire flare-ups and excess smoke formation. Should minimal overcooking occur, trim off any burned or charred pieces before eating.

For tasty, flexible recipes visit www.BeefItsWhatsforDinner.com.

Kyra O'Brien