Smithfield Foods gets the whole " I want to know how these animals were treated before they landed on my plate" argument. They’ve developed a clever video explaining how their momma pigs live in a group housing system. Call us crazy, but we think a lot of city-folks will find this downright cute.
Show Us The Money
The trickle down effect of COOL is increasing. Our neighbors to the north are adding an import levy on beef cattle and every beef product crossing into Canada, says the Sacramento Bee. The fee is designed to "level the playing field." Perhaps that’s Canadian for "you say COOL to us, we say ‘show us the money.'"
Buy Me! I’m Tender
Picture this: A busy mom pushes her grocery cart down the meat aisle. She’s texting a co-worker about a meeting, asking her kids to grab a gallon of milk and looking at her watch because the repair man will be at the house in 10 minutes. Never mind the fact she’s trying to select a great piece of meat for her family’s supper. Would a label that says "USDA Tender" or "USDA Very Tender" make that selection process easier? You bet.
Select, Choice and Prime have served our industry well, but USDA is trying a new system that ranks beef by tenderness. And Cargill is the first major processor certified to package officially "tender" products that will display the USDA label. There’s a few with more than a little skepticism the program will work. Just read this editorial in the Fort Morgan Times. But if a processor can back up the tenderness claim, we think the BIG, BOLD letters T-E-N-D-E-R will be an easy grab for most grocery shoppers.
Sleeping with the Enemy
TIME reports Sen. John McCain had some awkward bedfellows yesterday as he opened a discussion on immigration with the AFL-CIO.
Return from the Ice Age
The scientist who cloned the first sheep, Dolly, is considering cloning a mammoth. Yep, they are extinct, but Fox News says the scientist could develop a clone from well-preserved 10,000-year-old blood. This interesting thought leads to the term de-extinction. (Maybe that will be in next year’s spelling bee.)
In other cloning notes, the American Quarter Horse Association lost their battle against registering cloned horses. Although registering these high-priced copies is not available yet, Amarillo.com reports this lawsuit may pave the way.
That Pig is Someone
Some animal activists are hoping you’d be a little uncomfortable eating a pork chop if you knew just how intelligent that pig was. The Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection and vegan-advocacy group, launched a campaign aimed to demonstrate that farm animals are more intelligent and emotionally complex than we think. The idea is that a farm animal is "someone" not "something." Here’s the scoop from mid-Missouri's KRCG.
Variety Meat Vitality
Although sitting down at a plate of beef tongue is probably not at the top of your best dining experiences, many consumers across the world delight in the dish. Here’s an interesting read on how market access to other countries swings the value of variety meats.
Other News Bites...
• A federal judge sentenced a meat processing worker to probation for mislabeling meat. Food Safety News has the details.
• Who can turn down a story that starts out "Two fiscal cliffs ago..."? Here’s Policymic’s latest on food stamps and the farm bill.