Monday, January 17, 2011

Response to Article from Men's Health

The following is my response to an article published in the men's health section and posted on the Fox News website. Please read and respond. The article is inaccurate and unfair.,4_0_cf67f9da_{%22method%22:%22cookieFailure%22,%22params%22:[],%22jsonrpc%22:%222.0%22}

I am a fifth generation rancher in the Flinthills of Kansas and I am also one of the small producers that the article speaks of. However, I feel the need to stand up and say that the article is both misleading and inaccurate and the facts must be set straight. The meat in the grocer case is both safe and nutritious. Most importantly it is affordably priced for all consumers.

I direct market a significant number of the beef cattle I produce locally. The beef I market is a premium product priced at a premium level. My customers are middle to upper class and can afford my product. However, many cannot and that is why we need larger farms producing a more affordable product.

The safety of meat is also questioned in this article. That is absolutely false. E-coli can simply be avoided through proper handling and cooking of meat. Consumers who properly handle meat making sure to clean utensils after each step in the cooking process and who cook their meat to the proper internal temperature are protected from e-coli. The truth is that e-coli were much more prevalent 80 years ago when production practices were more closely aligned to the ones supported by the article.

The truth of the matter is that there is a need both for locally raised, premium foods and for the products produced on a larger scale for distribution in larger stores. Small farms simply cannot produce enough food for the ever growing, ever more urban population.

We are incredibly blessed in this nation to have a safe and abundant food supply. Farmers and ranchers produce more food , cheaper, with fewer inputs in a more environmentally friendly manner, each year. The need for nutrition in this country has led to the creation of the greatest most efficient agriculture system in the entire world. All I ask is that the readers of this article take the time to get to know the great men and women who produce the food and fiber we all need. Do that and they will have a greater appreciation and trust in our shared food supply

1 comment:

  1. As a city boy turned food marketer and agribusiness advocate, I have been in tiny abattoirs, local meat markets and enormous beef packing plants. What I can tell you is that in every case, I have come away even more impressed with the safety of our food supply (which consumes a much lower percentage of our disposable income than in other countries.
    I challenge consumers to get in their cars or take bus and visit farms and ranches before making judgments.
    But most of all, I call on meatpackers, such as Tyson, Cargill, JBS Swift and National to 'open their doors' as much as government regulations will allow and show the world the truth: The industry provides thousands of important jobs, utilizes nearly all its raw material and maintains a high level of sanitation, worker safety and humane animal handling.
    Oh, and cook your meat to the proper temperature. It provides an additional level of safety.