I completely agree with Darin and Rob that understanding your ingredients is essential to cooking and thus asking a question about how meat is graded is certainly on-topic.
Furthermore, a question does not need to be formatted in the best possible way in order for it to attract expert answers. Perhaps the person asking about USDA grading of meat only cares about it for trivial value and not because it effects how they will select their ingredients for their next beef bourguignon. It doesn't matter. An expert answer can still be provided and prove valuable to future visitors of the site who will use their newfound knowledge in their next recipe.
As a community responsible for moderating the site, it's not our job to predict the intent of the OP and thusly smite with the close-hammer every question to which we don't have a "good reaction." If we don't like the way a question is formatted, we have several options:
- Add a comment to ask the OP for clarification.
- Edit the question to help make it better.
- If you must, down-vote the question (if it's really a poor question)
- Ignore it. If no one answers or addresses the question, the community has effectively shown it to be of little value.
I would do all of those things before I voted to close. I would exhaust my intellectual brainpower trying to think up ways the question could be redeemed before I voted to close. It would have to be crystal clear that the question is off-topic before I voted to close. Why?
Because having your question closed really sucks. I understand we don't want the site to get filled up with crap questions, but there's nothing worse than being a new user who is excited to engage a community of experts and having your question closed and receive comments from a high-rep user about how off-topic your question (or answer) is. It says to the new user, "the community doesn't welcome you here."
I know I'm coming on kind of forceful in my answer, but I feel very strongly that those who have earned the right to moderate the site excercise temperance and exhaust all positive means of fixing questions/answers (commenting, editing, etc.) before resorting to negative ones (closing, downvoting).