You’ve seen the symbol right? Perhaps at your local grocery store in the butcher section or the meat counter? Or maybe you saw it on the menu at your favorite restaurant. According to a 2013 Firebox Research and Strategy report, 94% of people surveyed recognized the logo. That makes it the #1 most recognized brand of beef in existence.

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We all recognize the logo and we assume that it probably means the beef associated with the logo is better than the other beef available but, what does it really mean?

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I got invited to pay a visit to the Certified Angus Beef® Education and Culinary Center to find out first hand. The CAB® ECC is located in the North East part of Ohio in the Micro City of Wooster, OH. According to the last US census, Wooster has about 25,000 residents and is most known for the being the home of the College of Wooster as well as an agricultural center for the state.

I got to spend 24 hours immersed in all things Certified Angus Beef® from understanding the brand, to their connections to Cattlemen, to learning about how they distinguish cuts of beef, to tasting the difference, I learned firsthand the answer to the question, what is Certified Angus Beef® ?

Certified Angus Beef® is a trademark.
At the end of the day, that’s all that they own. They don’t own Cattle, they don’t own farms, they don’t have restaurants or any of that. They own a trademark but arguably, it’s one of the most significant trademarks in the business. But it’s not the trademark that makes the difference; it’s what’s behind that trademark.

Certified Angus Beef Mission Statement:
Increase demand for registered Angus cattle through a specification-based, branded-beef program to identify consistent, high quality beef with superior taste.

Certified Angus Beef® has 10 quality specifications
Dr. Phil showed us exactly how the USDA graders determine whether the cattle is worthy of the CAB® brand by going through all 10 quality specifications. Grading is determined by the amount of external fat and it’s done a the ribbed surface between the 12th-13th ribs.

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Marbling and Maturity
1. Modest or higher marbling – for the taste that ensures customer satisfaction
2. Medium or fine marbling texture – the white “flecks of flavor” in the beef that ensure consistent flavor and juiciness in every bite
3. Only the youngest classification of product qualifies as “A” maturity – for superior color, texture and tenderness

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Consistent Sizing
4. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area
5. Less than 1,000-pound hot carcass weight
6. Less than 1-inch fat thickness

Quality Appearance and Tenderness
7. Superior muscling (restricts influence of dairy cattle)
8. Practically free of capillary ruptures (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
9. No dark cutters (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
10. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches (safeguards against cattle with more variability in tenderness)

Certified Angus Beef® only works with “farmers and ranchers across the country who are committed to caring for their cattle and producing safe, wholesome beef for your family and theirs.”
By example, Trowbridge Family in Corfu, NY, established in 1957.

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Certified Angus Beef® is a not for profit business
The company is subsidiary of the American Angus Association, and every dollar that comes into the company, is spent on maintaining, building and marketing the brand.

So what does that all mean? When you see the Certified Angus Beef® registered trademark on a burger, it means superior taste.

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