Encyclopedia > Beef

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Beef is meat obtained from a bovine, usually a steer rather than a cow. Cattle raised for beef are often allowed to roam free on grasslands. Beef is one of the more common meats used in European and North American cuisine. Beef is an important part of Tex-Mex cuisine. Beef production is also important in Argentina. Beef can be made into steak and ground into hamburger.

Beef is taboo in a number of religions, most notably Hinduism. Also, consumption of beef while not strictly taboo is also frowned upon by many Buddhists in East Asia.

In Europe, the English are particularly associated with beef-eating, which is why the French call them les rosbifs (roast beefs). Embarrassingly, it is this love of beef that has led to over-intensive farming to meet demand, the result of which was an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or, colloquially, mad cow disease) in 1986.

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