Posts Tagged 'beef'

Minimal input

Veterinary professor looks at beef production trends.

In some cases, animal care has been overlooked, and demand for some veterinary services has declined.

He said higher vet costs and lower animal values mean sick and unproductive cattle are more likely to go untreated.

Deaths and illnesses that occur on the range or in the feedlot are often viewed as inconsequential.

“Raising cattle is not fun like it used to be,” Janzen said. “Guys used to get out there and pay (closer) attention … because there was value in it.”

He said the new system of beef production is part of a larger trend that is sometimes called minimal input animal agriculture.

Worth eating

Review of Mark Schatzker’s Steak.

You may think you don’t need to read a whole volume about one man’s quest for succulent pieces of a cow. Maybe you’re a vegetarian who objects to the very notion of steak. Maybe you think that yet another book about yet another guy’s deep obsession with yet another small corner of human existence is simply too much.

You’d be wrong. “Steak” is well worth reading, and not just for those of us whose mouth is set to watering by a cover that depicts four pieces of perfectly broiled steak skewered on a fork.

What Schatzker has done here, in this trip around the planet by a peripatetic carnivore chasing a meaty McGuffin, is nothing less than offer an impassioned, cogent, even humble defence of why the steak — and, by extension, meat in general — is worth eating.

Zero doubt

A review of Mark Schatzker’s Steak.

In Texas, Schatzker learns about meat grading and marbling, and that “fat is flavour.” He also visits a feedlot where 32,000 crowded-in cattle, shot up with hormones and antibiotics, gorge themselves on flaked corn feed, and release clouds of lung-clogging fecal dust into the surrounding air. The sights, sounds and scents of the feedlot might be enough to turn some meat eaters off beef, but Schatzker does not (later) abandon grain-fed “commodity beef” on principle; he rejects it on taste, firm in the belief that “despite the veggie-friendly urgings of lentil-eating university coeds and the grumblings of bearded vegans who lurk at the edges of cocktail parties, there is zero doubt that humans are designed to eat meat.”

Cow stimulus

Federal government pays $6 million for steak.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the funds Tuesday for a sector he says has been through a “tough year” because of the recession.

“We know that the economy has taken its toll on meat consumption, so we’ve stepped up to the plate.”

The money goes to research on reducing production costs, increasing feed efficiency and tackling animal health. Agriculture Canada also said the research money will be used to help increase demand for beef domestically and globally.

Uniform products

A look at Alberta’s beef industry.

According to the Canada Beef Export Federation website, “many feedlots have become larger and more highly mechanized over the past 15 years to specialize in cattle feeding. It is estimated that over 80 per cent of the grain-fed cattle in Canada are produced in feedlots with capacities over 1,000-head. This produces uniform and high-quality beef products.” The key words here seem to be “uniform” and “products.”



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