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.
Sep 13, 2013
The beef industry is getting the respect it deserves, with two scientists winning Nobel prizes for their bovine research. Well, ok, we fudged just a little. They won the Ig Nobel Prize – an award that celebrates the weirdest and funniest scientific discoveries. If you’re not at least curious now, wait until you hear about the research, published by the BBC. Two Scottish gurus looked at the time cows spend standing up versus lying down. The research involved cows wearing a pedometer-like device on their legs that recorded movements.
If you want to read about the other big winners, the Daily Mail has all the details ... beer goggles, star-gazing beetles and more.
As wacky as that sounds, an Essex farm has used similar technology to track its cows via the internet. Apparently the Cow Tracking Project can alert a farmer if a cow acts differently, which could signal an illness.
No Chipotle on Our Plates!
Chipotle must like biting the hand that feeds them, literally. You would think a company who sells beef and chicken would use a different marketing strategy than their latest cartoon film "Scarecrow" that demonizes the beef and chicken industry. After their last gaff of "we only use beef treated with antibiotics from sick cows, not healthy ones," you would think they might be more cautious. This film is more than slightly creepy, and features a scarecrow that shuns industrial food. To top it off, the company has released a downloadable ipad game to go with it. After watching this, we’re pretty certain you WON’T click your ruby slippers together three times and say "there’s no place like Chipotle."
HumaneWatch.org even jumped on the crazy chipotle bandwagon, asking "If Chipotle Only Had a Brain ..."
Grow It At Home
That’s the philosophy behind West Virginia’s new school lunch program. The state is working with local ranchers and farmers to sell their products to nearby schools. The statewide "Farm to School" program hopes to have local food on the menu all year. It could mean big business for the state’s producers. The Charleston Gazette has the tasty details.
Beefing Up Kids
Beef sticks were found to be one of the most popular snack items among kids, and now the Texas Cattle Feeders Association is making sure kids who might not have enough food at home get beef. The association has donated $60,000 to Snack Pak 4 Kids which provides food-insecure students with healthy snacks to tide them over a hunger-filled weekend.
Grist brings a grin to our faces today with their column about vegan yoga chef Darshana Thacker, who recently wrote a blog about how poor people aren’t trying hard enough to eat healthy on $1.50 a day. Kudos to the author for calling out this non-meat-eating-99-cent-store-shopping cook.
Ranchers are some of the nation’s best environmentalists. AgriNews highlighted a sustainability project sponsored the beef checkoff that shows beef production has reduced its carbon footprint 5 percent in just six years. This news was released earlier this summer, but the project was just recently certified by the National Standards Foundation.
Other News Bites ...
Germans rebuff idea of a vegetarian day – give us our meat!
Former Kentucky ag commissioner pleads guilty to theft.
Vilsack funds energy project improving rural electricity in seven states.
National Beef issues small recall for 700 pounds of beef tongue.