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See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
Lots of Feedback
Oct 20, 2009
Editor's Note: We had lots of feedback from the October 17-18, 2009 edition of the program...
It's pretty hard to feel sorry for the dairy industry , what's this the 3rd buyout in 20 years and they're still in trouble .How long will this bandaid last ?They don't seem to care what this bailout does to the beef producers . For a industry that has a history of being to sustain it's self localy now has completly shifted to regional production . Why are they trucking milk from Idaho and California to Washington for processing ? It wouldn't have anything to do with the over production of multi thousand cow dairies in those states ?
John, I enjoy your weekly commentaries. I was wondering if you might consider doing a piece on “Animal Welfare” or “Animal Rights”. I am an egg producer in California and as such have felt the full force that this concept presents. Michigan has just signed legislation into place and Ohio has a ballot initiative to consider in November. Production Animal Agriculture is under a full blown frontal attack and if it does no respond in a very short period of time (I’m guessing 3-5 years) we will be doing business in a far different manner if in fact some of us will be doing business at all. This is not the problem of one species or even a few species, it’s all of animal ag. Perhaps you might graciously give this some consideration. Thanks. Arnie Riebli
I hate to say it but the dairy farmers need a quota system , to sustain the family farms and to curtail the greed that keeps tripping the industry up . The EPA has been the demise of many of the small farms that couldn't afford to keep up with the ever changeing regulations . It's just a matter of time before that those regulation start putting those mega dairies out of buisness . Then were will we get our milk ? The ag industry needs to include the grocery stores to educate the consumer that food comes from farms not grocery stores . They also need to educate the consumer what these animal rights bills are going to cost in dollars at the grocery shelf , because of the loss of safe cost effective production . I want one of those Peta of HSUSA people to get in a farrowing pen with a mad sow , they'd find that they are part of the food chain quick .
Editor's Note: The U.S. Farm Report Mailbag segment focusing on water in beef drew some interesting response. Below is a copy of the mailbag segment, followed by viewer response:
I am one who likes to know where my food comes from, therefore, I would be for the labelling of origination on milk. Although the labelling is there, I would not necessarily change my selection of a milk product.
Viewer Question: "My question is why or how is it our ground beef today when cooked emits water as well as a little oil, but mostly water. Is this water an injection process from American processors or imports?"
John's Response: First and most important, although hamburger and ground beef can contain seasonings, they cannot have added water, phosphates, extenders or binders by USDA regulation. The surprising fact is hamburger contains as much as 70% water, although the average is 50%. This seems high until your remember the human body is 75% water. This water is simply a part of what we call meat. The actual muscle fiber compromises only about 12% of the weight on average. The more fat content, the higher the shrinkage as a rule, but excess shrinkage or loss of water may be caused by two things according to the cooking sites i checked. First, if meat is frozen, the formation of ice crystals damages the protein fibers and allows water molecules to escape - so try products that have not been frozen. Second, rapid cooking over high heat also accelerates the loss of water from the meat fibers, so turn down the heat. My guess is backyard grills are the biggest culprits. Above all, remember to cook hamburger thoroughly all the way through as the final step in food safety precautions.
My recommendation is that you do more research. After listening to your commentary on the presence of water in ground beef, (on the Farm Report aired 10-17-09) I can tell you from experience you don't have all the answers. I, too, would like to know why there is water after cooking store-bought ground beef. None of your explanations was complete.
I have cooked beef purchased from grocery stores, and it wasn't until I had my own beef processed that I appreciated the glorious difference. They MUST do something to the beef you buy, ir-regardless of the breed, grade, or fat content. When I cook my own grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef, (granted, it is very lean - the way I WANT it) it smells and tastes completely different from that in the market. There IS a company, called Coleman Beef, whose ground beef cooks, smells and tastes just like mine, and is promoted to be grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free, just like mine. I agree that it is. There is NO WATER coming out of mine and Coleman's beef, and I have cooked both fresh and frozen product.
Let me know when you find out what IS added or processed into our commercial beef to produce that water. I'd be interested to know, AND you would be more correct in your reporting.
Thank you very much.
I just saw your Mail Bag segment on cooking ground beef and wanted to compliment you on your response. I am the Processed Meats Extension Specialist at Ohio State University and have grown accustomed to seeing misinformation in the media related to meat products and food safety. However, I was impressed with the information that you provided this morning and wanted to pass this along to you.
Thanks, for doing your homework!