PACKED with protein and bioavailable iron, zinc and vitamin B12 it may be but it is the company that beef keeps that makes it such a powerhouse food.
Food scientist Dr Anneline Padayachee, who trades as the The Food and Nutrition Doctor, says one aspect of beef that could be further promoted was the health benefits it tends to provide 'by association'.
"No one ever eats meat by itself. It is always accompanied by something else and that is usually vegetables, which makes it an important part of a very nutritious diet," she said.
"As a society, our biggest diet problem is we are not eating enough veges and fruit.
"The recommended daily intake is five serves of veges and 95 per cent of Australian adults don't meet that for veges. Up to 70pc don't eat two serves of fruit a day.
"If we eat these, by default we get rid of the stuff not meant to be everyday foods."
Dr Padayachee appeared at Beefex22, the annual conference run by the Australian Lot Feeders' Association, which attracted more than 600 delegates in Brisbane this month.
Feedlotting cattle was akin to nutritionists who manage athletes, she said.
"You get the animal when it has hit its peak skeletal size and give it this amazing personalised feed suited to its genetics and needs, allowing it to reach complete muscle potential," she said.
The end result was a 'powerhouse' food for humans.
"I don't like to use the phrase superfood because you can have a 95pc bad diet and then eat a superfood and think bob's your uncle," Dr Padayachee said.
"But if I had to list five foods people should absolutely have in their diets it would be oats, yogurt, tinned tuna, onions and lean red meat."
From carcase measurement technologies to building resilience into a team, Beefex22 covered everything emerging and entrenched in the beef industry.
Global speakers were 'zoomed' in from Ireland and the United States and Australia's leading meat, animal and food scientists were on hand, along with leading beef marketers and social media experts.
ALFA president Barb Madden said in the past four years - since the last Beefex was held - lot feeders and beef producers had experienced the full force of mother nature and every other challenge that might be imagined.
"We've had a one-in-a-hundred year drought, which rolled into devastating bushfires then widespread flooding, a global pandemic, war, record cattle and grain prices, record diesel and fertiliser prices, unprecedented labour shortages and, of course, heightened anxiety around foot and mouth and lumpy skin disease being on our doorstep," she said.
"Whilst we have faced significant challenges, and continue to do so, we have also experienced tremendous successes."
Grainfed production now accounts for more than half 50pc of total beef production - a statistic that shows the critical role lot feeding plays in the Australian beef supply chain, according to Ms Madden.
"We are supplying consistent high quality beef every single day," she said.
"We are an industry that promotes transparency and continual improvement. We strive to do what is right for the cattle in our care every single day. The cattle always come first.
"Lot feeders are a close knit community who genuinely love what they do - good honest people, authentic, capable and resilient.
"We work hard to nurture our cattle, land and communities. And our beef is first class protein."