Today’s beef choices

Farm Forum

Farmers and ranchers have been producing wholesome, safe and nutritious beef across the United States for hundreds of years. Today you will find a variety of beef choices from which to choose. Many people ask, “Which beef choice is best for me?” Sometimes we need to take a step back and ask another question: “Why are there so many choices of beef available?”

Although many believe it’s because of consumer demand – which is partially true – another reason is because farmers and ranchers raise beef in different parts of the country and not all land and agriculture feed sources are the same from region to region. Thus, different areas are better suited for different production practices. Farmers and ranchers are good stewards of their resources and animals, and they strive to enhance their operations by looking for ways to make improvements using science-based solutions for food safety and sustainability reasons.

Today’s beef choices, such as grain-finished, grass-finished, natural and certified organic, are options to meet your personal needs. There is no one choice that’s safer or more nutritious. The main point to remember is all beef, no matter what type, is a wholesome and nutritious meal option that can be prepared in minutes. Here’s a great link to help navigate beef choices.

Try this delicious and fun twist on pizza! This Pesto Steak & Arugula Pizza combines whole grains and veggies with grilled steak for a surprisingly pleasing taste. This is a perfect meal for an outdoor grilling party! You could also use leftover grilled steaks for a quick family meal during the week.

For more specific information about beef choices and other great recipes visit or contact Holly Swee, RD, LN, Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council at 605-224-4722.

Pesto Steak & Arugula Pizza

• Total Recipe Time: 45 to 50 minutes

• Makes 4 servings


1 beef Top Sirloin Steak boneless, cut 1 inch thick (1 pound)

2 tablespoons basil pesto

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 refrigerated whole grain, whole wheat or regular pizza dough (about 1 pound)

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup yellow and/or red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Italian blend cheese


1 cup arugula or baby spinach leaves

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)


1. Combine pesto and lemon juice in small bowl. Evenly brush beef steak with 1 tablespoon pesto mixture.

2. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 13 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 10 x 15-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place dough on baking sheet and pat dough to edges of baking sheet. Spread dough with remaining 3 tablespoons pesto mixture. Top with tomatoes and cheese. Bake in 425°F oven, 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

4. Carve steak into slices; season with salt, if desired. Top pizza evenly with arugula and steak slices; sprinkle with red pepper, as desired.

*Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program