LiFT up the Lean Beef…
LiFT up the value of American Beef Cattle…
LiFT up the Power Of Your Pocketbook…
LiFT up your voice in support of Lean Finely Textured Beef! Help cattlemen like me to be efficient and responsible producers of beef—Help Eldon Roth and Nancy Donley continue to make food safety innovations that eliminate food borne illnesses.
Lean Finely Textured Beef–We use everything but the Moo!
The power of the spoken and written word is strong. The image in your head after reading the above passage is much different than if I had told you to “beware of the pink slime”…To be responsible users of the spoken and written word, we must always strive for the truth.
Here are my thoughts on a few lingering questions regarding Lean Finely Textured Beef…
- Food safety relative to ground beef: There is an ever evolving and multi-tiered process governing food safety in ground beef. From cleaning practices for live animals before they enter the packing plant, to cleaning and sterilization practices of meat during and after the harvest process, to rigorous “test and hold” procedures that ensure that meat is safe from food borne pathogens prior to shipment to restaurants and grocery stores—the advancements being made on food safety relative to ground beef are impressive and growing by the day. In fact, beef farmers are waiting on a pre-harvest food safety tool that is currently being reviewed by the government that may add another layer to the multi-tiered process. For more information of food safety practices relative to ground beef, click here: BIFSCo Document. Eldon Roth has created an additional food safety tier for his LFTB product which alters the pH of the beef and destroys food borne pathogens like Ecoli 0157:H7.
- The history of LFTB and why it is used as a blended ground beef product: Consumers for the last 15-20 years have been asking for leaner hamburger. From a supply standpoint, what we were lacking in the U. S. beef supply to fulfill consumers request for 90+% lean ground beef was a supply of very lean beef to blend with the higher fat content ground beef that we traditionally have provided. Eldon Roth’s technology which enables 12-15# of additional lean beef per harvested animal has been tremendously successful in providing the needed additional lean beef to fulfill this consumer request while also increasing the amount of lean beef that can be harvested from each animal. LFTB is very lean beef (94-97% lean) which is difficult to make hamburger patties out of on its own because the meat does not hold together (it wants to crumble instead of patty). However, it is perfect for blending into other ground beef to make the 90% lean beef product that people desire. Click here to see the nutritional labels of both LFTB (as a stand-alone product) and 90% ground hamburger containing no LFTB:
Nutritional comparison between LFTB and 90% hamburger containing no LFTB…
- To Label or Not to Label: Secretary Tom Vilsack of the Department of Agriculture stated in a press conference held on March 28th that there are two types of government mandated labels for food products in the United States, 1. Nutritional labels that allow consumers to see caloric levels, fat content, protein content etc. (see the above listed nutritional label for LFTB and 90% ground beef) and 2. Warning labels that allow consumers to be cognizant of a hazard or problem with the product (for instance, alcoholic beverages are labeled to state that consumption of alcohol has been shown to be harmful to unborn babies). An appropriate nutritionallabel for ground beef is listed on every package that is sold in the United States whether it contains LFTB or not. There is no hazard associated with any ground beef so a warning label would not be appropriate. An additional note relative to this discussion: Food products that contain “food additives” are required to carry a label, however, LFTB is NOT AN ADDITIVE and CONTAINS NO ADDITIVES. Therefore, it does not require “food additive” labeling. For a more detailed explanation of labeling, please click here: The Labeling Process
- The practical effect of reducing or eliminating the use of LFTB in ground beef:
- Jobs will be lost. As we stand today, there are 650 people out of work for an indefinite period of time. The uncertainty and loss of jobs will affect not only the families directly involved, but also the rural communities and agricultural economies that are tied to beef production.
- An entire community of people—from farm to fork— stands to lose from this current situation. I am no exception to this as I will see a decrease in the value of my cattle if the market for LFTB disappears—You are no exception either because the price of lean ground beef will rise. While this may seem strange (the value of my animal decreases as the price of that animal’s meat increases), but it is a reality because the process of making lean ground beef will be less efficient. The resulting shortage of lean hamburger will require certain higher priced lean roasts to be made into ground beef which will work to raise the price. At the same time, there will be more wasted meat because hundreds of millions of pounds of meat will be lost if LFTB is no longer used for ground beef.
- Beef Import (beef from other countries) numbers will rise as a shortage of lean ground beef prevails. Because of recent drought conditions throughout the southern plains and a weak economy, the current cow herd (reproductive herd) in the United States is the smallest we have had since 1955. A small reproductive herd means that the domestic beef supply is already tight—losing the hundreds of millions of pounds of lean beef produced annually with LFTB will further tighten this supply making us more dependent on foreign imports for our beef supply.
- Strides that have been made to reduce the environmental footprint of beef by efficiently harvesting more pounds of healthy beef (12-15#) per animal will be lost.
All of this because of an inappropriate use of slanderous words which created a fictitious food scare! … I ask you to please stand up for the truth and sign a petition to continue the use of LFTB in the United States ground beef supply. Click here: www.change.org/petitions/beef-is-beef. Additionally, please continue to help me to spread the truth about LFTB by sharing my blog posts and referring people to www.beefisbeef.com. Finally, contact your local grocery store and your Congressmen so that they know that you support the use of this nutritious and lean beef!
LiFT up your voices to help spread the truth!
Author ~ Anne Burkholder
Get the facts, http://beefisbeef.com/.