Beef 101: A Guide to What 25% of Americans Eat Everyday (Infographic)

You may have seen the post back at the end of March about how you can lower meat costs by purchasing sides of beef. This infographic is along the same lines, but contains more information about the health benefits of beef, and offers a simple breakdown of the different types of cuts you can buy at the grocery store, and some easy guides to shopping for beef.

I find that guides like these can be really helpful for novice shoppers and seasoned pros alike when it comes to meat—I think it’s never a bad idea to reinforce best practices. Read on for a basic guide to buying beef. I hope you find it helpful.

Beef Infographic


  1. I’ve loved reading your blog & info graphics for a couple months now… this has been the most helpful to me personally. I particularly always get caught up on the interchangeable names we use to call the exact same cut of something (and often pay more for)!

  2. Hi Megan, Thanks for the invite on sharing the beef but we raise pastured pork (grass fed pigs – just say no to commercial hog feeds/grain buying). We’re doing analysis research right now on Omega-3 fatty acids on our grass fed pork.

    Check out our Big Project which where we’re building our own on-farm USDA inspected butcher shop.


    Keep on promoting grass fed.


    -Walter Jeffries
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in Vermont

  3. hi Megan,
    Enjoyed reading this post, I also learned something new, now I know the benefits of eating grass-fed meats, than those of commercial feeds. thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the great info. We will share it with our grass-fed customers. Now to do the pasture raised chicken over industrial raised chicken.

  5. What a great infographic! As producers of grass fed beef, my husband and I thank you for educating! We always slaughter one of our own to share between families and it is amazingly wonderful to always have beef to pull out of the freezer to prepare. Beef, it is usually what’s for dinner at our home!

  6. very good infor. need to note prime beef has lots of health problems.that comes with eating all that fat.and pesticides and antibiotics this is why DR.tell people not to eat red meat! and the corn is kill us with the pesticides they drip the corn in before planting and with the fat and the growth hormones. 100%feedlots feed fat corn to cows.95%use growth hormones- there policy is no tell no ask!no meat label! BEWARE OF STORE MEAT! BUY DIRECT FROM THE GROWER ORGANIC HOME GROWN FARMER

  7. Hi Megan, thanks for the link and your note. We eat only grass fed beef from a local farmer. I will share this graphic with my Chronic in the Kitchen readers.

  8. I really have to disagree that buying a side of beef is frugal! Red meat is like junk food…there are a whole lot more negatives associated with eating meat than positives, so eating meat is expensive in ways that are not necessarily monetary. Why bypass the source of omegas (greenery) and get it from a much more expensive form in meat?
    Eating meat is the worst habit you can have in terms of destroying our planet too. All the CO2 pollution, cutting down rainforests, etc.
    Go vegan and you can spend your food budget on organic produce/grains/beans and be much healthier, plus spend less on food!! There are tons of imaginative cookbooks that will open a whole new world to eating healthy if you have an open mind.

      • Why would anyone ‘despise’ vegans? That sounds like a typically ignorant and hostile response from someone who probably doesn’t think twice about ANYTHING he buys, where it came from, at what cost, etc etc etc.

        I’m with you Jennifer.

        • Strong assumptions.

          I don’t care what other people eat. Personally, I eat food grown or produced in the US. I refuse to eat anything produced in China.

          Vegans are usually the first to tell someone how to eat.

    • Actually eating “vegan” is not healthy for every body. There are 2 basic body types in humans – hunter and gatherer. If a hunter body type goes pure vegan it can disrupt their internal balance, even causing cholesterol levels to go through the roof. Someone with this body type NEEDS to have meat in their diet, albeit not necessarily ONLY meat. For the gatherer body type, pure vegan tends to work best for optimal health.

  9. @jennifer you miss the whole point of eating grass-fed beef. The cattle — ruminants who can digest grass — eat food grown from sunlight and C02. They transform it into healthy meat full of nutrition that humans and hominids have eaten for hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.

    Eating grass-fed beef is the best way to support farmers and ranchers who are growing green pastures and handling their animals humanely.

    Note that the fat is YELLOW, not white, when the cattle are grass-fed. That’s because of the vit A that the cattle produce from the grass. And you ought to be eating that healthy fat along with the healthy meat.

  10. Hi jason, you have a really awesome site. The information is really good and helpful plus I like the visual graphics a lot. That’s really a good effort in doing all that. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Buying a side of beef will get you better quality of meat, but not a cheaper deal. My hubby is a butcher and the author of Confessions of a Butcher-eat steak on a hamburger budget and save$$$

  12. Your blog article is a wonderful education for readers!
    We raise all grassfed, free range Angus beef cattle, completely hormone- and antibiotic-free and sell direct-to-consumer ( We raise our own grass for wintering cattle as well, completely pesticide, herbicide free.
    Once people are accustomed to cooking with all cuts of beef, they will be comfortable with purchasing whole sides for use. Meat can be stored for 2 years without deterioration in quality or nutrients.
    My opinion is that most consumers would like full traceability for their food sources and most would prefer knowing their food is raised with the highest standards in the industry (again, my opinion is that Animal Welfare Approved represents the highest standard- see their website

  13. We used the above infographic in a follow up to a recent article on our first experience with pasture-raised beef

    As a follow up to our taste test, our readers found it very useful, as did I. Folks are becoming very interested in finding quality, grass-fed beef and are hungry for simple ways to understand what they are eating. Thanks Megan!

  14. Frugal Dad is obviously not a vegetarian :o) Of course when it comes to most things in life moderation is key. Living on beef is bad, but for some people eliminating it entirely is also bad. Surprisingly it’s easier and cheaper to eat meat than it is to be vegetarian, and significantly cheaper than going vegan. The highest quality foods tend to be more expensive. Personally I enjoy a little beef once in a while, but I find that veggie burgers have come a long way and taste as good if not better than beef and contains more nutrients. But to each his own. We certainly are not lacking choices in this country, and for this we should be very grateful because we are the minority; most of the world’s population do not have this luxury.

    • You should be able to right-click the image to download it. You can then print it. Just be sure to cite your sources 🙂