We've known black has been a favorite color of America's beef producers for years, and our recent online survey confirms that both big and small operations utilize a lot of Angus genetics. A January Beef Today/Farm Journal survey with 1,245 respondents told us 58% consider their herd crossbred, but only 20% have no Angus genetics. Many have tied Angus' popularity to the successful Certified Angus Beef Program that helps find premiums for high-grading carcasses, and at current prices a high-value carcass can fetch $2,500. That's why it's interesting that nearly 40% of survey respondents said they paid less than $2,500 for a bull last year. It's a safe bet $2,500 won't buy much of a bull this year.
The United Steaks of America
L.V. Anderson is outraged that only four states—Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Texas—name meaty dishes among their official state foods. "And Maryland doesn’t really count—its state food is the blue crab, which is more like an edible bug than a meat." In an attempt to right this injustice, Anderson set out to assign a meat to every state – and not just any meat. "Red meat is what makes Americans red-blooded. Chicken, fish, and turkey? Off the table." So, Anderson’s map links a red meat dish to each state with this ground rule: the food must come from hair-growing, milk-producing, four-legged animals. Anderson, however, breaks this rule by linking Florida with alligator meat, with this rationale: "Is the alligator a mammal? No, it is not. But is Florida a normal state? No, it is not." Case closed.
Bottled Water Banned
We've long scratched our heads over the robust market for bottled water. It's now a $60 billion a year business in America, despite studies that show at least 25% of bottled water is merely tap water. Appalling, especially when you learn that in 2007 production of water bottles for U.S. consumption alone used up to 54 million barrels of oil. This week San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted to ban the sale of water in plastic bottles on the city's property. Supervisor David Chiu, who voted to for the ban, said, "not long ago, our world was not addicted to plastic water bottles. Before (the 1990s), for centuries, everybody managed to stay hydrated."
El Niño Warning Issued
An El Niño watch has been issued by the U.S. Climate Prediction Center, warning of the possible development of the weather-altering event that can bring rain to California and South America and raise winter temperatures in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest. There's a 52% chance that the Pacific Ocean will warm enough to trigger an El Niño late this summer or in early fall, said Michelle L'Heureux, a climate scientist at the Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.