Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Hold the bun

I don’t necessarily frequent McDonald’s or other fast food restaurants, but when I am forced to, we do “drive through” on occasion. My how the times have changed in fast food. I remember 12 years ago when we stopped at a McDonalds in Alton, IL and ordered a Big Mac with no bun. The kids behind the counter could hardly figure out how to pull this one off. Last week in Indiana, we did the same thing and the kid working didn’t even flinch. So I asked if they commonly got orders for Quarter Pounders without the bun? The young lady informed me that, “Oh yeah, we serve hundreds a day like that”.

Mark my words, it won’t be long until the burger is offered on the menu without a bun. But a bigger question should be asked here. Sugar, potatoes and wheat are all produced by United States farmers. So how do we promote one diet without harming some producers? We must present the facts and let the consumer choose.

Without being negative to carbohydrate producers, I must tell you that the new image of meat consumption is a welcome change and we must take advantage of this opportunity to get the truth presented about the importance of a balanced diet including the consumption of meat.

This week the Kansas City Star has an article that talks about the consumer shift, is it real and lasting? Click here to read entire article but this is excerpt.

Atkins diet fires up the beef industry

Stinson Morrison Hecker attorney Jim Marsh recently peered up from the all-meat “Atkins platter” at Danny Edwards Famous Kansas City Barbecue downtown.

“I don't have an Atkins plan in front of me, but I've been following the basic diet for the last four or five months,” Marsh said. “I've lost 20 pounds, I can still eat beef, and I haven't given up my cocktails, so it's definitely OK by me.”

“You can speculate on how much of it is attributable to Atkins,” James Mintert, Kansas State University said. “But I do think there's been some kind of underlying shift among consumers about beef versus some other products they consume, a recognition on their part that it's OK to eat beef.”

Antibiotics the real story


Finally, I found a doctor that will admit that the main cause of antibiotic resistance in humans is human error. He does inject one line saying that also contributing to the problem is animal agriculture, but he squarely places the blame on the incorrect prescription and consumption of antibiotics. Here are the take home parts but by clicking here you can read the entire thing from the The Scotsman in the UK.

Antibiotics may be useless in a decade

ANTIBIOTICS could be rendered useless in little over a decade because over-prescription is leading to increased resistance from disease, a leading expert has warned.

Prof Hugh McGavock, a specialist in prescribing science, has claimed that an antibiotic crisis could lead to thousands of people dying from previously treatable illnesses by 2015.

Prof McGavock, from the University of Ulster, said that increasing resistance to such drugs could lead to surgical procedures being stopped because the antibiotics needed will be rendered useless. He added that, while many patients may be prescribed antibiotics when they do not need them, they also exacerbate the problem by failing to take their medications correctly.

This means that, because the course of antibiotics is not completed, killing off the bacteria, the bacteria are able to build up a resistance to it.



Monday, September 29, 2003

My mistake

Friday I quoted a university researcher who evidently was attempting to secure more funds for her program with the statement that “the incubation period for Chronic Wasting Disease is 15 years.” So I want to correct that error and thank all of you who called me on it. Strong evidence shows that the accurate time frame for CWD to incubate, before symptoms develop, is less than three years. Sorry for the error.

Michigan Corn hits a home run

I am a little concerned that we do not have full agricultural support for Ethanol. Ethanol production benefits farmers with value added crops. Livestock producers will receive a benefit as well because the ethanol plant will not survive without the ability to capture value on dry distiller’s grains. Bruce Noel is passionate about agriculture and an excellent spokesman. He is quoted here in regard to the benefits of ethanol to the consumer. Click here to read the entire release or click here to read my sentiments about another such controversy in Missouri.

Michigan corn producers may soon need to work even harder to meet the demand for their crop as Lansing received its Clean Cities designation today.

After years of hard work promoting ethanol and other alternative fuels, the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan’s (CMPM) partner, the Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities Coalition (GLACCC), was honored at a designation ceremony hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. The event was held at the State Capitol in Lansing.


“As a farmer, it gives me a great sense of pride to see how ethanol can help make our cities cleaner,” said Bruce Noel, a member of the CMPM Board of Directors and a corn producer from Leslie. “It’s amazing to think that one bushel of corn grown in Michigan can be processed into 2.8 gallons of ethanol. We produce over 240 million bushels of corn annually so, as you can see, we can really make a dent in our dependence on foreign oil.”

Keeping our kids safe

Joe Roybal of Beef Magazine is dedicated to getting the facts presented correctly when it comes to the fourth pillar of public health - utilizing technologies that are already available to protect our kids. Here is a sample of Joe’s comments click here to read his entire report.

Beef Industry Logs Successful Week In E. coli O147:H7 Battle; (September 26, 2003) BEEF Magazine’s Cow Calf Weekly; By Joe Roybal: The last seven days have been a great week for the beef industry and its campaign against E.coli 0157:H7 in ground beef.

* First, came news (reported in last week's issue of BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly) that testing of 4,432 beef samples for E. coli O157:H7 by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in the first eight months of 2003 had shown a decrease of almost ½ of 1%. FSIS say that 0.32% of the ground beef samples tested positive for the pathogen in the first eight months of 2003, a significant drop from 2002, when 0.78% of samples tested for the pathogen, and the 2001 level of 0.84%.




Sunday, September 28, 2003

For Immediate Release Contact: Jody E. Pollok
September 26, 2003 Phone: (517) 668-2676


Michigan Corn Producers Help to Make Lansing a Clean City

DEWITT, MICH. – Michigan corn producers may soon need to work even harder to meet the demand for their crop as Lansing received its Clean Cities designation today.

After years of hard work promoting ethanol and other alternative fuels, the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan’s (CMPM) partner, the Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities Coalition (GLACCC), was honored at a designation ceremony hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. The event was held at the State Capitol in Lansing.

“As a farmer, it gives me a great sense of pride to see how ethanol can help make our cities cleaner,” said Bruce Noel, a member of the CMPM Board of Directors and a corn producer from Leslie. “It’s amazing to think that one bushel of corn grown in Michigan can be processed into 2.8 gallons of ethanol. We produce over 240 million bushels of corn annually so, as you can see, we can really make a dent in our dependence on foreign oil.”

Lansing is one of only three cities in Michigan to be designated as a Clean City. The designation means that the group will continue to partner with groups like CMPM to promote the use of alternative fuels, such as ethanol. In order to keep its designation, the group must also increase the usage of alternative fuels in the greater Lansing area by 17 percent each year.

During the event, vehicles were on display that operated on alternative fuel sources, such as biodiesel trucks and electric-powered vehicles. The E-85 powered Corn vehicle was on display.

“E-85 is an alternative fuel that blends 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline,” explained Jody E. Pollok, CMPM Executive Director. “Today, there are more than one million Flexible Fuel Vehicles (including mid-sized cars, minivans, trucks and SUVs) on the road, all capable of running on E-85.” For more information on E-85, its uses, and the vehicles that can burn it, visit www.E85fuel.com.

“With our ethanol plant in Caro about to celebrate its first anniversary, one of our goals in partnering with the Clean Cities Coalition is to bring more E-85 pumps to the greater Lansing area as an example for the rest of the state to follow,” Pollok added.

Headquartered in DeWitt, the CMPM is a legislatively-established statewide program that utilizes one-cent per bushel of Michigan corn sold. Investments are made in the areas of research, education, promotion and market development in an effort to enhance the economic position of Michigan corn producers. CMPM works cooperatively with the Michigan Corn Growers Association, a grassroots-membership association representing the state’s corn producer’s political interests. For more information on CMPM and MCGA visit the web site at www.micorn.org.

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Beef Industry Logs Successful Week In E. coli O147:H7 Battle; (September 26, 2003)

BEEF Magazine’s Cow Calf Weekly; By Joe Roybal: The last seven days have been a great week for the beef industry and its campaign against E.coli 0157:H7 in ground beef.

* First, came news (reported in last week's issue of BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly) that testing of 4,432 beef samples for E. coli O157:H7 by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in the first eight months of 2003 had shown a decrease of almost ½ of 1%. FSIS say that 0.32% of the ground beef samples tested positive for the pathogen in the first eight months of 2003, a significant drop from 2002, when 0.78% of samples tested for the pathogen, and the 2001 level of 0.84%.

Thus far this year, ground beef recalls have numbered but seven. Compared to the 20 recalls of 2002, which included a single 19-million-lb. recall in July by ConAgra, and the figures would seem to indicate that the industry is on the right track in trying to reduce the incidence of food-borne pathogens in its most popular and convenient product.

* On Wednesday of last week, Dairy Queen International expanded the availability of irradiated ground beef to 16 of its 32 Brazier locations in New Mexico. In addition, irradiated ground beef patties went on sale in 12 of 16 Dairy Queen®/Brazier® outlets in Erie, PA, and Buffalo, NY. That's on top of the just under 100 locations already offering irradiated patties in Minnesota and North and South Dakota.

* On Wednesday of this week, irradiated ground beef became available for the first time in Colorado full-service grocery stores. That's when 100 Kings Sooper supermarkets and 45 City Markets (part of the Kroger division) began carrying the products in 85% and 96% lean grade.

* The National Cattlemen's Beef Association announced at a feed yard meeting in Imperial, NE, on Tuesday that it is preparing educational materials regarding irradiation and beef safety for school district personnel and parents of schoolchildren. The materials, which Kim Essex, NCBA director of public relations, says will be available within a month, are intended to help educate those groups in preparation for the availability of irradiated ground beef products through the federal school lunch program in January 2004.

* In addition, last Friday, the Cattlemen's Beef Board Operating Committee gave the okay to a $150,000 authorization request by the American National Cattle Women (ANCW) to conduct a two-part, beef-safety education project over the next year. About 250 ANCW members have undergone training on ground beef safety and the benefits of ground beef irradiation. The ANCW plan will utilize those volunteers to conduct educational demonstrations in targeted urban areas emphasizing food safety, nutrition and awareness of irradiated ground beef.

For the first part, ANCW will send ground beef safety-trained ANCW members to 15 East Coast locales. This would be to states with either understaffed state beef councils or no council at all. The beef safety educational effort is targeted for schools, educational associations, women's expos and state fairs.

The project's second part involves sending ANCW volunteers to 20 events in states with beef councils. The volunteers would attend health fairs, educational conferences, food service meetings, etc. The aim is to reach parents, teachers, school administrators and food service people to teach them not only about the benefits and process of irradiation but also the need to continue use of safe food handling programs.

Let's hope that this commendable and farsighted move by the Operating Committee is just the first step in serious and visible support for ground beef safety via the promotion of irradiation as one of the tools to provide it.

The industry needs to bear in mind that while the FSIS figure of .32% seems like a small incidence, and the industry should be rightly proud if the accomplishment, the U.S. produces about 8 billion lbs. of ground beef annually. That means that the U.S. beef industry is still producing 25.6 million lbs. of beef contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7.

When the most vulnerable among our consumers are our children, the elderly and the sick, those odds are still too darned high. The industry needs to use all the tools in its food-safety toolbox -- irradiation of ground beef being the most successful developed thus far.

Loos Tales July 29, 2021 Tell NPPC and ABF to stop wasting money on Prop 12 legal battles. It is time for Californians to starve.

This week the appeal was submitted to a lower court decision in April filed by National Pork Producers & American Farm Bureau against ...