Beef is in the news again this week, and I’ve rounded up four headlines that I think ranchers should know about. The topics range from a discussion on sustainability, to ways the Humane Society of the U.S. dupes its donors, to a look at the pescetarian diet, to a recap of beef prices and how consumers are responding to the high cost of beef. Here are four news items to read today:
1. “Why Organic Isn’t Sustainable” by Henry I. Miller and Richard Cornett for Forbes.com
This is a great read that endorses conventional agriculture as the truly sustainable option for feeding a growing planet. Here’s an excerpt:
“Sustainable has become a buzzword that is applicable not only to agriculture and energy production but to sectors as far afield as the building and textile industries. Sustainability in agriculture is often linked to organic food production, whose advocates tout it as a ‘sustainable’ way to feed the planet’s expanding population. According to the Worldwatch Institute, ‘Organic farming has the potential to contribute to sustainable food security by improving nutrition intake and sustaining livelihoods in rural areas, while simultaneously reducing vulnerability to climate change and enhancing biodiversity.’ This is wishful thinking, if not outright delusion.”
2. “My Family, The HSUS Donors” featured on the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance website.
It’s important to continue to spread the word about HSUS — a wolf in sheep’s clothing — because even the most well-intentioned folks don’t realize their money is being used for fundraising and anti-hunting and anti-agriculture efforts instead of supporting animal shelters. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“HSUS does an excellent job at fooling people with good intentions into giving up their hard-earned dollar to fund multi-million dollar pension plans, excessive salaries and a fundraising machine that ate up 41% of the $120 million HSUS spent in 2012. Another staggering figure from HSUS’s 2012 tax return is President and CEO Wayne Pacelle’s $347,675 salary. That’s almost on par with the $400,000 that our current president makes.”
3.“5 Reasons To Become A Pescetarian” by Chloe Spencer for the Huffington Post
There are so many holes in this blog post about the pescetarian diet that it looks like Swiss cheese. Regardless, I thought it was worth sharing with beef producers to see how some consumers are thinking about red meat. The author argues that fish feel less than land animals and that being a “partial” vegetarian is a step in the right direction.
4. “Another Year Of The Chicken: U.S. Beef Supply Will Fall Again In 2015” by Vanessa Wong for Bloomberg Businessweek
If fish isn’t your thing, many consumers are also eating more chicken as a result of higher beef prices. The sky-high price tag for red meat is in the news again. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“It’s been an expensive year to eat beef, and 2015 doesn’t look any cheaper. USDA expects the beef supply to decline 3.6%, or 1 billion lbs., next year as domestic production decreases and imports are constrained by tight global supply. It looks almost certain that beef’s downward trend will stretch at least another year. The retail price of ground beef was up 17% in September from a year earlier, and steaks and roasts also got pricier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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