The beef consumed in the Virginia colony was more lean that English food. A cow or an ox designed for the butcher was allowed to run wild in the woods, scantily fed during the winter on straw, and when spring finally arrived for grazing on grass, the animal was quite lean. Before the close o the 17th century bacon was considered to be equal to that o Westphalia, the most celebrated in the world in that age. Source: Clayton's Virginia, page 36.
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