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Just Your Standard Bull...

published: September 6th 2019
by: Michael Sturgess

At this year’s Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I’ll explain further. Most years, I spend my time in our booth visiting with customers, current clients and business associates from around the industry. However, I make it a point each year to at least sit in on the part of the program that our meteorologist Brain Bledsoe is asked to give. And just like each year, Brian did a superb job.
    But this year, there was another speaker just after Brian that came on by the name of Dr Frank Mit-loehner, a UC Davis Pro-fessor and Air quality specialist. His talk was on greenhouse gases and the myths centered around agriculture. It was very enlightening, and I’ll admit, got my dander up a little bit. Not at Dr. Mitloehner, but at us as an industry for not speaking out more and fighting back.
    If you are on twitter, I highly recommend that you follow Dr Mitloehner @GHGGuru. Not only will you find the information inciteful, but it can help you with providing factual information to help combat the mountains of misinformation out there today. And by following him, it has led me to others who do a pretty good job in providing factual data about beef in a healthy diet.
    Misinformation. We see it on TV, in articles, on the internet. What you rarely see is the WHOLE story, or the rest of the story that may or may not support one’s position. I ran across an article on Twitter au-thored by Nicola Dennis, for the New Zealand Farm Life Media. The title for the article is “Unsavory sciences behind lab-grown meat.” We are talking about the craze created by Beyond Beef. If you google Beyond Beef, you will observe the main tag lines that state each serving contains 20G of plant protein, no GMO’s, no soy or gluten.
    However, what do they not say?
    For as long as I can remember, there have always been these sorts of tag lines, either written or spoken to get your attention and to attest to their quality or wholesomeness. For years, we have one sector that claims to be hormone free. Another sector is the organic sector, where the use of antibiotics and hormones are prohibited. Why? Because that particular sector will invest time and dollars to convince you that their product is healthier and better for you. Right?
    According to the aforementioned article, cells from the muscles (myo-cytes) on an animal are put into a “smoothie” of nutrients and incubated at body temperature for days on end. Lab-grown myocytes have to be dosed with antibiotics like Penicillin and Streptomycin. To feed this culture, they add things like fetal calf serum and chicken embryo extract, and more than 40 other ingredients to keep the cells alive. “You would have to be severely optimistic to think all of these ingredients would be coming from sustainable and ethical sources.”
    The article goes on to point out the large amount of sugar needed to produce cultured meat. Cattle convert a natural resource like grass into something we can eat, and the land we use to raise them is not suitable for the production of sugar or the other 40 ingredients needed for cultured meat.
    READ THE LABEL PEOPLE! Beef is a better product, it’s a safer product. It’s better for you—NO SUGAR ADDED! I still prefer my steaks at medium rare, and my burgers at medium. For you Beyond Beef eaters—I recommend a temperature well north of well done!

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