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Veal is the name applied to the meat of young catle. Though veal can be produced from a calf of either sex and any breed, most veal comes from male calves (bull calves) of dairy cattle breeds. This kind of meat is at its best in animals that are from 6 weeks to 3 months old when killed.

Types of veal:

  1. Slink veal comes from an unborn, premature or stillborn calf. Unborn calves are sometimes found when an adult cow is slaughtered and happens to be pregnant at the time of slaughter. Meat from unborn calves is now illegal for human consumption in the U.S., Canada and other countries

  2. Meat from a calf that has not reached the age of 3 weeks is called bob veal. Most bob veal is from calfs slaughtered when only a few days old and meat is pale, dry, tough, and hard to digest. In many countries the laws strictly forbid the sale of bob veal for food, but constant vigilance must be exercised to safeguard the public from unscrupulous dealers.

  3. Milk-fed veal (or formula-fed veal) is from calves that are raised on a milk formula supplement. The meat colour is ivory or creamy pink, with a firm, fine, and velvety appearance. They are usually slaughtered when they reach 1820 weeks of age, 450 to 500 pounds (200 to 230 kg).

  4. Grain-fed veal(or non-milk vea) is veal from calves that are raised on grain, hay, or other solid food, in addition to milk, and are slaughtered at an older age, 22 26 weeks of age, about 650 to 700 pounds (290 to 320 kg). The meat is usually marketed as calf, rather than veal and the meat may be darker with more fat.

  5. Pasture-raised veal (or free-raised veal) is from calves are raised in the pasture with unlimited access to mother's milk and pasture grasses. They are not administered hormones or antibiotics. The meat is a rich pink color. Free-raised veal is typically lower in fat than other veal and calves are slaughtered at 24 weeks of age.

  6. Special-fed veal is from calves fed a balanced milk or soy-based diet one fortified with 40 essential nutrients, including essential amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, and other dietary minerals and vitamins. As of 2013, the majority of veal calves in the USA are special-fed.

  7. Rose veal in the UK (generally called young beef in Europe), is from calves raised on farms in association with the UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Freedom Food programme. Its name comes from its pink colour, which is a result of the calves being slaughtered at or after 35 weeks (8 months up to 12 months).

The nature of veal can be more readily comprehended by comparing it with beef. Veal is lighter in color than beef, being more nearly pink than red, and it contains very little fat. The tissues of veal contain less nutriment than those of beef, but they contain more gelatine. Generally, veal is more expensive than beef from older cattle.

Veal Cuts
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Did You Know?
The flavor of veal is less pronounced than that of beef, the difference between the age of animals used for veal and those used for beef being responsible for this lack of flavor. These characteristics, as well as the difference in size of corresponding cuts, make it easy to distinguish veal from beef in the market.

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