Human Marbling

Take a look at these images:

The USDA assigns grades to cuts of meat based upon the degree of what’s known as marbling. The cut on the lower right is considered to have “slight” marbling, while the one on the upper left has “moderately abundant” marbling. And the higher the marbling, the higher the grade of meat.

The key point to note here is that marbling is simply intramuscular fat that has built up as a result of the accumulation of unexpended triacylglycerols. And the most effective way to produce marbling (intramuscular fat) in livestock is to feed them high amounts of cereal grains such as corn or barley, and to limit their total energy turnover (physical activity).

So if you’re consuming a grain-based diet with limited physical activity, you are essentially “marbling” your own muscle tissue.

4 Comments

  1. srhernan
    January 21, 2009

    Hey there! Glad you liked the post.
    FYI, these ratings come from the same organization that gave us the infamous food pyramid.

  2. Chris Hernan
    January 20, 2009

    Hey Steve, this is your bro, from AZ; great post , especially interesting and not suprising to say the least how our own government (USDA) are not serving the public interest of our health!
    C

  3. srhernan
    January 7, 2009

    Hey, send some of that ultra-lean grass-fed stuff my way!

  4. Dr Dan
    January 7, 2009

    Great post. Luckily all the meat in NZ looks like the left picture. Phew. I was suprised when I went to the USA to see meat that looks like the one on the right. I was even more suprised to find out that this is what people actually liked. This would be considered a very cheap cut of meat in NZ and probably wouldn’t sell.


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