How to Answer Tough Questions on Meat

October 26, 2015 11:15 AM

This past week has been full of news that could change the way consumers view the safety of meat in their diets. The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed processed meats a cause of cancer and said that red meat could be a culprit as well. Subway released the timetables for when the sandwich company will stop using meat that originates from livestock ever treated with antibiotics. 

These announcements are sure to upset livestock producers who care for the well-being of their animals and the quality of the end product. It also gives farmers and ranchers an opportunity to engage in a conversation with consumers who are questioning if beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey or other types of meat belong at the center of their plate.

Here are a few resources to keep in mind when talking with consumers:

These conversations  don't just happen to happen online. Producers can also share how they approach these issues when they find themselves talking with grocery shoppers in the checkout line, fans sitting next them at a sports event, or fellow travelers on airline flight. Any time a producer can help a consumer put a face to agricultural production can help build more trust in farmers and ranchers. 

For some more talking points as it relates to the WHO cancer announcement, Stuart Phillips with McMaster University outlines the differences between hazard and risk, and how it relates to cancer research in the following video:

What are your thoughts about the recent WHO report on meat and cancer? Has Subway gone too far with its antibiotic measures? Do you talk with or plan to have a conversation with consumers about animal agriculture?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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