BEEF bits

Aug 7, 2009
by WLJ



Project will study flavor enhancement

A research project funded by the beef checkoff will try to ascertain how fat is deposited both inside and outside muscle tissue. Scientists at Texas A&M University, the University of Idaho, and Texas Tech University submitted the proposal, titled “Regulation of Marbling Development in Beef Cattle by Specific Fatty Acids.” Joint Product Enhancement Committee Chairman Glen Dolezal said the committee funded the project because it will illustrate how to put more taste fat, or marbling, inside the muscle, while depositing less waste fat around the outside of beef cuts. The study will determine if concentrations of proven healthful fatty acids can be increased. Texas A&M’s Stephen Smith, the project leader, said applying the findings could increase consumer perceptions and acceptance of beef as a natural source of protein, vitamins and healthful fatty acids.

Asian market access

U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng recently said cattlemen are interested in a number of global market access issues. A particular topic of interest is whether the U.S. beef industry will be receiving relief anytime soon from Japan’s 20-month cattle age limit on imports of U.S. beef. Seng added that most Asian trading partners prefer a phased approach to reopening their market to U.S. beef. The U.S. government, however, has been more focused on agreements that fully reopen markets to beef from cattle of all ages.

South Dakota names beef ambassador

Calli Pritchard of Aurora, SD, was selected 2009 South Dakota Beef Ambassador during the state-wide contest July 24 in Huron, SD. Pritchard, who will be a freshman at South Dakota State University this fall, is the daughter of Robbi and Therese Pritchard. As winner of the contest’s senior division (age 17-20), she will be representing the state in the National Beef Ambassador Contest in Fort Smith, AR, in October. The Beef Ambassador Program strives to provide an opportunity for youth to educate consumers and students about beef nutrition, food safety, and stewardship practices of the beef industry. Contestants on the state level were required to present a five- to eightminute speech, be interviewed, do an in-store demonstration-type presentation, and write a response to a negative news article concerning the beef industry.

Organic not nutritionally superior

A recent study conducted by the University of London showed there is no significant difference between organically produced foods and those produced through conventional means. The school participated in a review of scientific papers dating back more than 50 years and found no proof that organic foods are better that normal food. More than 50,000 papers were searched during the project. One of the report’s authors, Alan Dangour, said, “A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance. Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority. Research in this area would benefit from greater scientific rigor and a better understanding of the various factors that determine the nutrient content of foodstuffs.”

Idaho Beef Council elects officers

Idaho Beef Producers Laurie Lickley, Jerome, ID, Brenda Richards, Murphy, ID, and Kim Brackett, Castleford, ID, were named to leadership positions at the June 1-2, 2009, Idaho Beef Council (IBC) meeting in Boise, ID. Lickley, Richards, and Brackett are volunteer leaders and will hold these positions for fiscal year 2010. Their responsibilities include setting IBC’s priorities and providing direction for the spending of Idaho checkoff dollars in order to maintain and build consumer demand for beef through support of integrated state, national and international programs. IBC also welcomes Cevin Jones to the IBC Board of Directors. Jones is a feeder out of Eden, ID, and replaced Dan Hinman, a feeder out of Caldwell, ID. The IBC Board of Directors is an eight-member board with representatives from the cow/calf industry, dairy industry, feeder industry, and Idaho’s auction markets.

Cattlemen celebrate 25 years of service

The Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters, a favorite dining destination for many who attend the Iowa State Fair, marks its 25th year of service to Iowans this year. “A visit to the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters is a tradition for many who attend our great state fair. We are proud to serve the highest quality beef to our customers and proud to have established ourselves as a true staple of the fair experience,” said John Mortimer, manager of the dining destination. According to Mortimer, the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters began its 25-year journey at the fair to serve as an advocate for beef producers and their product. It is comprised of 69 county cattlemen’s associations and is staffed by some 1,200 beef industry volunteers each year. These loyal Iowans serve about 70,000 customers annually and prepare some 35,000 pounds of beef during the 11-day event.