August 16, 2012

Obama Administration Apparently Doesn't Support Beef Industry

President Obama in a campaign speech just announced that the Government as a step to assist ranchers and farmers facing one of the worst droughts in history is purchasing $170 million worth of meat products.  This food goes to food banks, the school lunch program, Indian Reservations, Summer Food Service Program, and other programs where the government provides for those in need of high quality foods.  The purchase was made to both help out the livestock industry during a time of struggle due to mother nature causing feed prices to increase by over 80% in the past few month and to allow the government to get in on making the purchase before the cost of these foods increase as expected in the next 12 months.  Here is where I have my "BEEF" with the action taken.  Beef was left out of the purchase.  Several times in the release above they mention that the USDA purchases High Quality, Nutritious Food.  The purchase included $100 million in pork products, $50 million in chicken products, $10 million in lamb products, and $10 million in catfish products.  So again why wasn't beef purchased if they were purchasing high quality nutrition food.  Beef is know to be one of the most nutrient dense food sources available and there are 29 cuts of beef that qualify by the USDA as being lean.  

If the name has "Loin" included it is one of the 29 Lean Cuts of Beef! 

Any beef product with "Round" in
the name is an indication of
a cut of Lean Beef
 One 3 ounce serving of beef provides:
51% of our daily recommended value (DRV) for protein
15% of the DRV for Iron (3rd most abundant food source for iron)
38% of the DRV for Zinc
37% of the DRV for Vitamin B12
15% of the DRV for Vitamin B6

Beef contains 8 times more more Vitamin B12 , 6 times more Zinc and 3 times more Iron than a boneless, skinless chicken thigh.

29 cuts of beef have fewer than 170 calories (including 95% lean ground beef).

A 3 ounce serving of lean beef also has less total fat than a boneless/skinless chicken breast.

50% of the fatty acids found in beef are monounsaturated fat.  The same fatty acids found in Olive Oil.  These fatty acids have been shown to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL)

95% Lean Ground Beef is 1 of the
29 cuts of Lean Beef

I am not saying that the purchase should have solely included beef.  I think there should have been 5 meat sources instead of just 4 purchased.  I feel that it was a huge blow to the beef industry when the Obama Administration didn't include beef in the purchase for 2 reasons.  First the talked heavily about purchasing high quality nutritious foods for the government food assistance programs.  Second the land facing the worst part of the drought includes the land and area where over 70% of our nations beef is produced.  Pastures do not have enough forage for the cattle, hay and other forages that feed the cattle in the winter are in short supply and are now needed to feed cattle in the summer and fall instead of just the winter time, and the grains and other supplements (protein and energy feeds) are also in very short supply and very high costs.  The beef industry lost 3% of the cow herd last year due to the drought in the southern part of the US.  We are on track right now to loose at least another 3% of our herd this year (Maybe more) in the rest of the high plains region not due to lack of demand for our safe, healthy, nutritious beef products, but because mother nature is putting up one heck of a fight.  These losses in the beef cow herd will not be regained overnight when the rains do come.  This is a loss that will never be completely recovered and what recovery does happen will take 5-10 years to accomplish.  This Administration has disappointed me many times over the past almost 4 years. 

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