From the Ground Up: Research leads to increased beef tenderness

KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 9:21 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas Beef Council’s checkoff program has conducted research over the past 30 years to ensure the best beef flavor. According to the council, today, it tastes better than ever.

“Back in the ‘90s, checkoff research showed that consumers found 25% of beef product that they consumed – steaks, roasts – they found it to be unacceptable,” said Molly McAdams, Executive Vice President of the Texas Beef Council. She added, “It was primarily because of tenderness.”

These findings rallied McAdams’ organization and for years, the council conducted research to ensure that beef was the highest quality possible.

“We got into action around tenderness-related research, and everybody came to the table. It involved AgriLife Extension, cattle producers started making different decisions in terms of genetic selection, choosing bulls and choosing their cow herd. We also looked at aging mechanisms.”

“Well, we no longer have a tenderness problem.”

As beef quality increased, McAdams says that demand continues to follow, even though beef costs are typically higher than other protein options at the store.

“Beef demand has really been stronger than it has been in 30 years,” she said. “And it’s continuing to be very resilient, even in light of exceptionally high beef prices at retail or food service. That has to do with the drought.”

She says demand is so high partly because of research and consumer feedback.

“We have overwhelmingly tender steaks that we offer to consumers, and all of that means that consumers will continue to choose our product because they know it’s consistent, and they know it’s going to be a great eating experience. It all started with checkoff research.”