In reflecting on recent consumer news about beef, it’s hard to tell whether March came in like a lion or a lamb. Here is a roundup of four beef headlines circulating in the mainstream media lately that ranchers should know about this week.
1. “6 ‘unhealthy’ foods that blast fat” featured on Eat This Not That
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) isn’t going to have the last word about beef. After releasing its recommendations for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the DGAC says Americans should skip red meat in their diets. However, it doesn’t look like all nutrition experts agree. According to this article, beef has a surprising superhero nutrient – conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – that doesn’t get enough credit. Here is an excerpt:
“Another fat-blasting ‘bad’ food is beef. Beef contains CLA, which is a superhero nutrient that hardly anyone talks about. CLA can promote fat loss, decrease body fat and reduce cholesterol levels— oh, and it happens to be found in burgers. The nutrient (its real name is conjugated linoleic acid) goes hand-in-hand with protein, another fat-burning component in burgers. And a beefed-up slider contains another supernutrient that most of us, particularly women, don’t get enough of: iron. Being short on iron causes your body to burn fewer calories, yet as many as one in five American women are iron-deficient. To keep the metabolism humming, a woman needs 18 mg/day (men need about 8mg/day). Just one average-sized 4-ounce burger gets you 25% of the way there.”
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2. The documentary Farmland will be available on DVD on March 3rd.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll’s feature-length documentary, Farmland, will be available on DVD beginning tomorrow, March 3, at Walmart and walmart.com. The film offers a firsthand glimpse inside the world of farming by showcasing the lives of six young farmers and ranchers in their 20s.
Produced by Allentown Productions, Farmland was made with the generous support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. Check out the official trailer and more information about the feature-length documentary at FARMLANDfilm.com.
3. “There’s bad news about your favorite burger” by Benjamin Snyder for FORTUNE magazine
Beef prices continue to make the news, week after week. However, despite the uptick in prices, Americans still want their favorite protein. Here is an excerpt on the latest article relating to the rising cost of beef:
“Have a hankering for a cheaper burger or a less pricey steak? Too bad. Beef prices are unlikely to dip any time soon for American carnivores. The government believes that beef output may drop to a 22-year low this year. The surge in beef has the USDA weighing in with ominous news for consumers: Retail prices for beef are expected to increase another 5% to 6% this year. That’s a bigger jump than any other food group.”
4. “Is grass-fed beef really better for you, the animal and the planet?” by Tamar Haspel for The Washington Post
What’s great about the U.S. beef industry is there are so many ways to produce beef, and there are many different kinds of consumers out there who are willing to purchase that beef -- whether it’s natural, organic, grass-fed, or corn-finished. The problem I have is when one segment of the beef industry bashes another. This leads to confusion and guilt among consumers when making their beef purchases. The bottom line is that all beef in the U.S. -- no matter how it’s raised – is safe, wholesome and nutritious. Here is an excerpt from an article that breaks down the pros and cons of grass-fed vs. corn-fed beef:
“Grass-fed beef is the meat of the moment. The image of cattle dotting green hillsides is an appealing counterpoint to the thought of herds corralled in crowded, grass-free feedlots. Advocates claim a trifecta of advantages: Grass-fed beef is better for you, for the animal and for the planet. Is it?
“Almost always, when I talk to scientists and farmers about food supply issues — whether it’s farm size, organic methods, animal welfare, GMOs, climate impact — the answer is complicated. When it comes to feeding people, there is never one right answer. It depends on the farm, the area, the animal, the crop, the weather, the market and a bazillion other things. Most scientists are quick to tell me that grass-fed isn’t the only way.”
What do you think about this week’s headlines? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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