The Bulldog Award…

My two favorite blondes had their end of the year gymnastics performance last weekend.  At the end of the program, a few special awards were given to gymnasts who demonstrated remarkable character throughout the year.

My favorite 10 year old received the Bulldog Award.  The Bulldog Award is given to the gymnast with the most guts and the most determination.  The gymnastics coach stated that Megan “was never afraid to try anything that was asked of her.”  Quite honestly, I cannot think of a more perfect award to give to my little cowgirl / gymnast.

Determination…

Megan believes in herself and she is inherently trustful of others. 

She also inherited the 110% gene that I talked about last week.

When I try to view the world through Megan’s eyes, I get a very clear vision of hard work, trust and faith.  She exemplifies those qualities and also looks for them in the people that touch her life.  Those words, hard work—trust—faith, should resonate with all of you who read my “pink slime” blog series.  http://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/hard-work-trust-and-faith/

All the trust of a child combined with an astounding work ethic…She’d rather take care of cattle than plant my garden, but she still does it with care and a smile.

It has been almost two and a half months since the “pink slime” media craze began.  Regardless of our desires, it has–one way or another–affected all of our lives.  It will continue to affect all our lives for the unforeseen future…

I spend my days caring for cattle that will be harvested to provide beef for all of you.  Hard work is something that I love, and it is a steadfast reality in my life caring for food animals.  As I look to grow the safest and most nutritious beef using the fewest number of natural resources, I need technological advancements to combine with my hard work.  Equipment which enables more beef to be removed from each of my animals during the harvest process is critical to sustainable beef production.

He is raised to make beef—it is all of our jobs to ensure that none of it is wasted…

Beef Products, Inc. and their Lean Finely Textured Beef do just this.  Their state of the art equipment allows for 12-15 more pounds of beef to be effectively harvested per animal.  I harvest somewhere around 5500 animals per year—at 12# additional beef per animal that is 66,000# of beef!  This exceptionally lean beef is needed to make the lean hamburger that most consumers desire.

Every Action Has A Consequence…

What are the consequences of the Pink Slime craze?

  1. A high quality and lean protein source is currently being wasted (along with the natural resources that were used to grow it)…As I write this, hundreds of millions of pounds of lean finely textured beef sit in freezers waiting for retailers to resume purchase of them.
  2. The price of lean blend hamburger is rising as there is a shortage of it without the use of LFTB.
  3. A volatile and susceptible live cattle market (the price of my finished animals) saw a 9% decrease in the worth of my animals during the two week period following retail supermarkets removing the product from their shelves.  For each 1300# animal, that is a loss of $143.00.
  4. Beef Products, Inc. shut down several of their processing facilities because of lack of demand for their product.  This has resulted in approximately 900 Americans losing their jobs…

 While I have enough trust and faith to believe that eventually consumers will feel comfortable eating hamburger made with LFTB, I know that continued hard work and consumer outreach is the only way to accomplish this!

My blog brings my farm to you so that you can understand where your beef comes from…

 Today, I am asking all of you to do what I believe is the right thing for our country and its food supply.  Please take a minute to visit this website (http://act.beefisbeef.com/letter-stores) and write a letter to your retail supermarket asking them to resume purchasing hamburger made with LFTB.  It will only take a moment of your time, and it will allow my beef industry partners to continue to work hard to provide you with a sustainable and healthy beef supply.

She lights up my life as she learns to grow your food!

 We both need your hard work, trust, and faith.  Follow the example set by my favorite Bulldog Award winner, and determinedly keep the faith!

 

 

14 Comments

Filed under General, Nutrition (cattle and human)

14 responses to “The Bulldog Award…

  1. Thanks for the link to contact our grocery stores and representatives. You are so right that we need to speak out. We cannot let media scare tactics ruin people’s livelihoods. Thanks for what you are doing with your blog posts.

    • I agree that it is very important to always engage in the conversation. Someone once told me that “if you do not have a seat at the table, then you are on the menu”. I think that phrase is applicable here.

      I believe that it is vitally important for food producers to explain their technology and their product so that the consumer can make informed decisions. The Pink Slime craze showed us that the beef industry needed to do a better job at this!

      Thanks for commenting,
      Anne

  2. Mary Laura

    Anne,
    How do you feel about labeling? If the beef was labeled as containing LFTB, then maybe stores could feel comfortable carrying it – knowing that consumers would know what they were getting and could make their own purchase decisions.

    • Mary Laura-

      You make an outstanding point. I have been trying to educate myself about labeling, and find it incredibly confusing. It is my understanding that the meat can be “voluntarily” labeled as containing LFTB–although as a “voluntary” label, there would not be uniformity in the label across grocery stores b/c of lack of standardization.

      According to government labeling regulations (USDA), hamburger containing LFTB is not required to carry a label because it falls under the natural beef criteria. The USDA defines “natural” as: A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product.

      It is my understanding that creating a mandatory labeling requirement for LFTB would open up “a can of worms” because it would change the foundation for labeling that USDA uses. That opens up the political spectrum and involves many many other food products because of the fundamental definition change.

      A few retailers have stated that they are going to voluntarily label the product for consumers (I believe that Walmart and one other large chain have said this), but I do not know what the label looks like. It is my understanding at this point that the use of the LFTB product is very small today–most of it is sitting in freezer space waiting for a retailer to buy it. I would personally like to see voluntary labeling done at the retail level—that would be much better than completely refusing to carry the product! It will be interesting to me to watch and see if the consumer will buy a product with a LFTB label on it. As we stand today, that choice is not readily available–we went from one extreme to another (most lean hamburger having LFTB in it prior to the “pink slime” debacle to almost no use of the product at all today).

      You make a great point.
      Anne

      • Mary Laura

        Anne,
        Also – in the stores I shop in (generally Giant, Safeway Shop-Rite, Wegmans, Harris Teeter, and Food Lion) they often have cards or flyers about the cuts of beef, including nutritional info and how to cook them. If you could convince these stores to sell LFTB along with informational cards in the area where ground beef is displayed, perhaps you could make some headway. I realize this is probably a fantasy, but as a girl who nearly bought horsemeat in France that was meant to take home to dogs, I TOTALLY appreciate the value of labeling!
        :-)

      • Mary Laura

        Also, never underestimate the informational opportunities of the free sampling at COSTCO! You have a captive audience, since tons of people shop there just for the free food samples (I’m not kidding!).

      • Mary Laura

        P.S. The USDA is just up the street from me. Another reason for you to visit. :-)

  3. ted8910

    Mary, BPI is in the process of working with the USDA to voluntary label LFTB. As a BPI employee I can tell you there is nothing to hide. It’s just beef. I’m sure that most people who are reading this already know, but I will say it anyway. No bones, no tendons, no scraps, no organs, no additives and no fillers. Just 100% USDA inspected beef. Thanks for your support Anne! Another great piece!

    • Mary Laura

      I realize that it is nothing but beef and nothing is hidden, but labeling would allow those who feel strongly about the product to avoid it, while allowing the stores to carry it for everyone else. I’m glad you are working on the voluntary label.

    • Ted8910, if it has citric acid or other such things added, it is no longer “just beef”. I’m saying this from the perspective of being diagnosed with corn allergy. When the processors add citric acid(most commonly derived from corn in the US), the meat goes from being “just beef” to “beef with health-threatening corn added”. Yes, the derivatives of corn wreak havoc for those allergic to corn. Even in miniscule doses.

      Corn allergy is on the rise, and I have to wonder if it’s because it is hidden in so many of our foods.

      This is why I would like these things labeled on our meats.

      Just my .02. :)

      My take is being discussed on my blog: http://livinghealthyinthemodernworld.blogspot.com/2012/05/pink-slime-my-take.html?showComment=1338476015548

      • Hi Tanya,

        Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment. I actually read your post on facebook recently and I appreciate your take on the issue. I believe that BPI is voluntarily putting together a label to place on their product, so they are working to answer consumer concerns on labeling. BPI does not use Citric Acid at their plant, but Cargill does so it is a matter of which company produces the product. I do not know what Cargill is doing about labeling.

        I have visited the main BPI facility and I can tell you that it is immaculately clean and an incredible work of engineering genius. Mr. Roth (founder of the company) is a wonderful person and innovator. I am very impressed by his hard work and dedication to food safety.

        I do not have food allergies so am not challenged as you are in terms of food ingredients. I can believe that labels would be very important to you as you work to maintain good health. I agree that you have a right to know what is in your food, and my blog is my attempt to write about how cattle and beef are raised on my farm. I hope that you will continue to follow so that we can have a good conversation. Thanks so much for stopping by!

        Anne

      • Anne,
        Yes, I believe that if we take the “mystery” out of a lot of our foods, these issues might not come to a head and have the fallout like what has happened recently. :)

        As to labeling, generally I am not for more government regulations. But, if a company is able to voluntarily and honestly label their product as not containing LFTB, I can avoid the citric acid(corn) used by some companies in the process of making LFTB. I’d also be avoiding a lot of meat that doesn’t contain the citric acid used in Cargill’s process, but it would be one tool that I could use.

        Is there any way of knowing what company makes/produces/handles the particular package of meat (particularly ground beef) at the store, short of asking?

        I appreciate your blog helping to educate the public. It is interesting to discover the different “facets” and faces behind this issue.

        Always learning…
        Tanya

  4. Anne, you make important points in your consequences section that have not been successfully communicated to the consumer. There’s something very wrong with wasting perfectly good food. The other consequences are just as bad, but that one really gets to me. Unbelievable. Keep telling the truth. And telling it and telling it an telling it…

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