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Court case of ABC News, ‘pink slime’ is a study in media trust

Court case of ABC News, ‘pink slime’ is a study in media trust

By Gene Hall

Regardless of how you feel about the hatchet job ABC News foisted upon a perfectly honorable and legitimate company, Beef Products Inc. (BPI), and the meat business itself, the resulting court case is interesting. BPI has sued ABC News. I don’t know if they can win, but at a minimum, this should embarrass the network.

ABC is defending itself on first amendment grounds. As a former reporter, I understand that free speech and a free press have to be almost absolute in this country, but there are limits. I blogged about this awhile back.

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All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

By Gene Hall

Bad news, meat lovers: We’ll all be vegetarians by the year 2050 because we’ll run out of water to produce livestock. That’s the theory in this article on Yahoo.

 These sweeping and absolute statements can be a lot more about someone’s agenda than futuristic forecasting. When you see something like this, you should ask, “Who doesn’t want anyone eating meat?” Or, “Who wants a grant to study livestock and water supplies?”

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Hamburger is safe with extra attention for food safety

Hamburger is safe with extra attention for food safety

By Gene Hall

Based on some of the questions I received and the comments made on my blog earlier in the week—Rachael Ray’s assumptions on burgers are trendy and wrongit’s evident that I need to clarify.

Ray, a popular TV food star, said hamburger that is organic or grass-fed could be cooked less and, therefore, served safely “pink in the middle.” This is not true. So much of this debate is pure political correctness, but I’m talking biology.

At the time of processing, bacteria begin to come in contact with the surface of the meat. Most of it is harmless, but some, like E. coli, could be dangerous.

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Pink slime isn’t from a horror movie

Pink slime isn’t from a horror movie

By Gene Hall

Pink slime—it sounds like one of those really bad horror movies from the 1950s, when a blob of pinkish protoplasm rolls across the landscape, devouring the denizens of an unfortunate small town.  Even more unfortunately, it’s become a term suggesting danger in what is a perfectly safe product in some of our meat supply.

The use of the term “pink slime” is being applied by the media and full-time agitators to describe Lean Finely-Textured Beef (LFTB).  Recent reports and accusations hint that this product is little more than pet food diverted to the human food chain.  There is no truth to any of this.

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When will good times roll again in the cattle business?

When will good times roll again in the cattle business?

By Mike Barnett

The possibility of really good times returning to the cattle business any time soon are as remote as a Republican in East Texas.

Although livestock prices are high, the cost of feed and other inputs eat into the profits, said Dr. James Mintert at a recent livestock conference at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting. Add the price of non-existent hay in Texas to stay ahead of the drought and cattle producers continue to be pounded.

To see what a truly healthy beef economy looks like, Mintert drove us back to a half-century stretch between 1925 and 1975. Demand and cattle numbers grew with a growing population and steady income growth.

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