Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Dec 09, 2013
We have a three-word answer to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials who are seeking a solution to the approximately 1,000 unwanted cattle roaming two remote islands that are part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge—"free-range beef." The feds claim the cattle are having an environmental impact on the islands and destroying wildlife habitat. The feral cattle are descendants of cattle brought to the islands as early as the 1880s, possibly by Russian colonizers. Now, however, the Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking input on what to do with the cattle. Our suggestion is to offer permits to hunt the "free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free bovines." We hear there's a tremendous demand for such beef.
Just the Antibiotic Facts, Please
Foodborne illnesses are down 29% in the past decade, but that fact is lost in media noise over antibiotic resistance. Dr. Richard Raymond, a former family physician in Nebraska and now a food safety consultant, seeks to separate fact from fiction regarding animal agriculture and antibiotics. For instance, Raymond says 82% of all the antibiotics sold for use in animal medicine are of little or no use in human medicine, and 68% of the total volume of antibiotics sold for humans have little or no use in animal medicine. The debate over the number of antibiotics sold or used is just diversionary, he says. The issue should not be the amount or frequency of microbials used; instead, it is the judicious use of microbials and their impact on human health.
The Cost of Healthy Eats
Conventional wisdom says good food costs more, and that's one of the barriers to reducing America's obesity problem. People in lower socioeconomic groups struggle to afford healthy food, and the obesity problem increases for those in the lowest income groups. But should it? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health claim the added cost of healthy eating is $1.50 per day. The research reviewed 27 studies on the cost of healthy vs. unhealthy foods, and the results were published in the British Medical Journal. Lead study author Mayuree Rao says the $1.50 cost was "less than what we might have expected." Still, the daily increase amounts to $550 annually per person, which can remain a barrier for some families.
Sara on Sportsman TV
Sara Palin is proving, once again, her 15 minutes of fame are not over. The Sportsman Channel has hired Palin to host a weekly outdoors-oriented program that will celebrate the "red, wild and blue" lifestyle. The program, titled "Amazing America," will debut next April, but CEO Gavin Harvey says The Sportsmen Channel has no interest in being politically polarizing. "It's not our intention at Sportsman to take any political position," he said. "This lifestyle, coast to coast, crosses every type of political spectrum."