March 8, 2019

Sources of meat

Of the many foods obtained from the land, humans tend to prefer animal foods, mainly beef, pork, poultry and mutton as well as their by-products e.g. cheeses, milk and eggs.

With the exception of pigs, meat may be obtained from animals specifically raised for meat production, or from animals surplus to other requirements. Thus beef may be obtained either from specially raise animals, male and other surplus calves or cows at the end of their milk-producing career.

The most important sources of meat in the United States is cattle. Horses have not been an important source of meat, except during wars when meat shortages have occurred.

However, in Africa, Middle Eastern and some Asian countries, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, camel meat is regarded as a main source of animal protein that equals and in some cases surpasses other meats in commercial importance.

The term red meat refers to flesh from beef, pork, lamb and goat. The term white meat refers to meat from poultry like chicken and turkey.

A market exists for domestically produced game-type meats. These include buffalo, bear, elk, kangaroo and rabbit. They are usually expensive and selected mainly as gourmet items. The meat is generally tough and very “gamey”. In general, this type of meat is prepared in moist heat. Meat usually contains 20-35% protein (weight basis).

Meat and meat products can be important sources of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, zinc and selenium. The fat content varies from below 1% to above 40%. The fatty acid composition also varies between species.
Sources of meat

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