Feb 18, 2014
Is Chipotle Mexican Grill a champion for the little guy in food production? Not likely, argues Ryan Goodman, an Arkansas rancher who advocates for agriculture on his blog AgricultureProud.com. Goodman is upset with Chipotle’s new marketing scheme, "Farmed and Dangerous," a four-part series which premiers on Hulu that portrays the greed and aggressiveness of a dark and industrial food chain. Livestock producers have criticized Chipotle for several years for selling their burritos with a side of buzzwords that disparage all livestock producers. Now, their satirical "Farmed and Dangerous" campaign showcases totally fictional events - such as a cow exploding - that many consumers will likely swallow along with the pinto beans and pico de gallo. Goodman challenges Chipotle's marketing team to visit some real farms to start a dialogue – and stop with the attacks on "those growing our food." We think that's a grand idea, and we encourage you to visit Chipotle's website to send an email asking them to stop attacking agriculture.
It was only a matter of time, we suppose, before someone began marketing marijuana-laden food products. There's already something called Nugtella, a hazelnut spread with medical marijuana in it, and a chunky peanut butter that also contains weed. Now a Santa Cruz, Calif., company hopes to market weed-infused beef jerky. The company, called Badfish Extracts, is currently having the jerky tested by a third-party facility for the medical cannabis industry. The company claims it's a great product, but they're still trying to determine exactly which aliments it will best help. Seriously.
Prices Could "Get Wild"
The calendar still says winter, but stocker operators are already thinking spring. "Despite the frozen tundra that prevails throughout much of the major cattle production areas, stocker demand was very good" last week, says USDA Market News reporter Corbitt Wall. Heavy steer and heifer calves sold steady to $5 per cwt. higher last week, while yearling feeder cattle over 800 pounds were steady to $2 lower. Lower feeder steer prices were most apparent on the Southern Plains as farmer-feeders in the Northern Plains kept prices steady.
Grass cattle demand was still pretty good despite snow on the ground. Prices could "get wild," Wall says. "There is a certain amount of people that will buy cattle and turn them out on grass, no matter what they cost." Watch Corbitt's complete report here: Beef Today's Cattle Markets Center.
BBQ Sticker Shock
Everyone's talking about high beef prices. The cash market set new records for every class of cattle this year – good for cattlemen, maybe not so much for restaurants. It's nothing less than sticker shock for barbecue smokers across Texas, reports the Dallas Morning News. The owner of BBQ on the Brazos, Cresson, Tex., says brisket prices have increased 50 cents a pound since December, and he smokes about 1,000 pounds of brisket every week. An additional $500 per week in the cost of raw product means he’ll soon be forced to raise prices, as will most other restaurants that serve beef.