Our Beef with Shoddy, Sensationalist, & Suspect Science: Consumer Reports & Ground Meat
If you’re checking Facebook, watching morning shows, or answering calls from your mom, you’ve probably already seen the latest headline grab from Consumer Reports, claiming that your ground beef is, inevitably, going to kill you. If you remember nothing else from this media frenzy, remember this: 1) Our meat supply is safe and tested by the USDA, 2) Safe food handling procedures, like washing your hands and cooking your meat, are what you need to keep your family safe, and 3) Safe food handling procedures are needed for both organic and conventionally produced meat- microbes don’t care how your food was produced, and the two are equally safe. After digging in to their report, here are a number of things they got wrong (and one they got right)
Growth promotants’ role in making cattle bigger unclear
The Western Producer
Research shows that slaughter steers are 29 percent heavier and heifers are 45 percent heavier than they were three decades ago. However, it’s unclear how much growth promotants have contributed to those gains.
Riding for the Diamond A
There was a Golden Age when cowboys rode the open range the way all the world would see them later in Technicolor films or on gaudy colored postcards. In South Dakota it was the age of the Diamond A Cattle Co.
UNL to Host Beef Feedlot Roundtables in February
University of Nebraska
Beef feedlot managers, owners, employees and supporting personnel will learn the latest in nutrition, the Veterinary Feed Directive and economics at the 2016 beef feedlot roundtables Feb. 9-11 in West Point, Lexington and Scottsbluff, with remote connections to locations in Iowa in collaboration with Iowa State University Extension.
Just How Bad Did the Replacement Heifer Market Crash?
As America’s cow herd dropped to 60-year lows two years ago, ranchers saw an economic incentive to save and breed replacement heifers. Demand for the young females spiked, creating a profitable niche market which now appears to have flamed out.
2015 a year of transition for the cattle market
David P. Anderson, Derrell S. Peel
Southwest Farm Press
Record high calf prices and drought ending rainfall in the Southern Plains fueled herd expansion. A modestly larger calf crop resulted in a few more calves hitting the market by the fall of 2015.
What declining oil prices mean for cattle and beef
Wall Street Journal
Though cattle and beef markets are connected to oil markets, the link is not the most direct. It can come into play in a number of ways on the domestic and international front.
Women expand their home on the range
For the past two years, she has ranched cattle across 100,000 acres on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in southern New Mexico with her husband. It is, she says, dangerous work compared with the farming she once did in Minnesota with her family. For one thing, should either she or her husband need immediate medical care, it would be a hard ride over 27 miles of uneven dirt roads that flood during monsoon season.
Bring on the Butcher Bots
But modern meatpacking comes with its own problems. Today’s large slaughterhouses process—by which I mean kill, dismember, and package—300 to 400 animals per hour. To reach that level of productivity, slaughterhouse workers must work like machines, performing the same repetitive, tiring motions over and over again.
Ranchers saddle up satellites to track herds; water-trough weigh-ins
Wall Street Journal
Murray Grey has a beef with traditional ranching methods. Each year in punishing heat, Mr. Grey has mounted a horse to round up some 5,000 cattle across a swath of the Australian Outback more than twice the size of New York City. Camping under the stars would be romantic if not for the buzzing of bush flies and the threat posed by venomous reptiles. The cattle often lost weight on the trek back to pasture after being weighed, costing Mr. Grey thousands of dollars in profit.