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Grading Beef -- is it uniquely a United States system?

ipsedixit Dec 16, 2011 08:05 PM

The grades used to differentiate beef used by the USDA -- Prime, Choice, Select, etc. -- is it a purely U.S. thing?

Do other countries grade their beef on a (similar?) sliding scale based on intramuscular fat and age of the cattle?

If they don't, then are there no systems in place to differentiate one cut of beef from another -- other than perhaps by sight?

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  1. pikawicca RE: ipsedixit Dec 16, 2011 08:12 PM

    The Japanese take grading beef to an insane level. Not speaking as an expert, but IME, Europeans don't do this. Each region traditionally raises a certain breed of cattle (on grass). They are not finished on grain, so the marbling is low. Which is not to say that the beef is bad -- I love it. I suspect that all of this is changing, as the American model of factory farming spreads its nasty tentacles.

    1. h
      Harters RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2011 02:53 AM

      We certainly don't grade meat like that in the UK and I don't recall seeing anything similar in the other European countries I visit regularly.

      1. hannaone RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2011 07:09 AM



        1. f
          FEF RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2011 07:47 PM

          I think most developed countries have some sort of system. Canada does:


          And Japan does. In fact, on the Japanese grading scale, Certified Angus Beef is about like Select here in the States.

          2 Replies
          1. re: FEF
            Harters RE: FEF Dec 18, 2011 03:06 AM

            "I think most developed countries have some sort of system."

            I sort of realised that we're in the Third World here in Europe

            1. re: Harters
              ipsedixit RE: Harters Dec 18, 2011 11:47 AM


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