The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grades beef for meat packers. Marbling is the chief criteria for how beef is graded and priced in U. S. The more marbling throughout beef, the more tender, flavorful, and costly the beef will be. The highest quality, prime beef is rarely found in grocery stores. Most of the prime cuts go to the high classed restaurants. Choice meat which is well marbled and tender can be found at the quality markets and butchers.
Select meat, with contains little or no marbling, is the most commonly stocked grade of beef. For the best taste and tenderness, buy USDA choice beef over select meat. Officially graded beef will carry the USDA designation; otherwise the grade has been determined by the grocery store you are purchasing the meat from.
Grass fed beef is becoming more desirable and available in some markets. As the public becomes more informed about the additives being fed to the beef they are purchasing, the more popular grass fed beef is becoming. Grass fed beef is a bit lower in marbling and fat then corn fed beef. However, grass fed steaks can be quite tender and have a wonderful beef flavor.
Copied with permission from: http://plrplr.com/7953/choosing-the-best-cuts-of-beef/