Meat refers to animal tissue, especially that which is consumed as food. There are various kinds of meat, classified by the animal from which they come. Animal meat provides humans with all the needed proteins. Fish is not normally classified as meat. Whale meat is, as whales are mammals, not fish.
Most common meats
The following are the main meats consumed in the Western World (Europe and North America).
- Beef (meat from a cow)
- Pork (meat from a pig). Ham is a name for cured pork.
- Chicken meat.
- Lamb (meat from a lamb or sheep).
Less common meats
The following are eaten less commonly in the Western World. Only on special occasions or only in certain areas.
Game is meat produced from wild animals, not frmed animals. the term has been extended to include animals which are normally wild, but are farmed, for example deer.
White and red meat
Meat can also be classified as "white" or "red". chicken and Turkey are White meats, beef is a red meat.Some meats, such as ham and pork resist such strict classification.
Meat is also used in English expressions to mean the important material. To "get to the meat" of a topic means to arrive at the important points. Other foods are often used in this way, such as "the pith of the matter" or also "chew the fat."
In Early Modern English, such as that of the King James Bible or Shakespeare, the word is used to refer to food generally.