05.26.08

The NCAA Recognizes The Importance Of Brisket Research

Posted in Baseball, College Spurts, Food, Medical Science at 12:00 pm by

A few weeks ago, it was suggested in this space the University Of Texas might not receive an invite to the field of 64 for this spring’s national baseball championships. However, after winning 12 of their final 14 games, including yesterday’s 15-7 victory over Kansas State to claim the Big 12 Tournament crown, it seems pretty unlikely the Longhorns won’t receive an at-large bid when the full selection of squads is revealed later this morning.

That said, Texas’ bid to host a regional later this week at the newly refurbished Disch-Falk Field wasn’t recognized by the NCAA, who instead named Lincoln, Stillwater and College Station as the Big 12’s representative venues. I thought the committee’s choice of Texas A&M’s home field was curious in light of the Aggies losing 4 in a row to the Longhorns over the season’s final 9 days, but perhaps the NCAA are for once, acknowledging serious academic achievement? From the Austin American-Statesman’s Ben Banta :



Aggie graduate student Stacey Turk’s master’s thesis shows that fat from brisket contains significant amounts of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that can promote good cholesterol in people.

The study was publicized by A&M officials in late April. Stephen Smith, the professor who supervised Turk’s study, says it shows that oleic acid in brisket “is like olive oil, and, as far as I know, has no downside to it.”

Smith, whose doctorate is in biomedical research, said the acid’s “effects are either neutral or positive (in a diet). And other studies confirm that good cholesterol goes up in men who consume fat high in oleic acid.”

“We did not know we could get that kind of fat from brisket,” Smith said.

Smith, who has been at A&M for 25 years, said the cut’s fatty ridge generally is trimmed off by butchers and tossed aside. But he thinks that meat processors should save the beneficial fat and use it when they produce ground meat.

“It could make for a healthier hamburger,” Smith said.

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