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Farm families buy groceries, too

Farm families buy groceries, too

By Monica Minzenmayer

Like many of you, I wear a lot of hats. Of my many roles, I’m most proud of being a wife, a mom and a farmer. My husband and I raise our two kids on our farm in Rowena, located about 30 miles outside of San Angelo in West Texas.

My days are probably a lot like yours—jam-packed with responsibilities around our farm, shuttling kids to school events, volunteering for activities in our community. And, of course, there are the weekly chores around the house, laundry and grocery shopping… Yes, farmers buy groceries, too.

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Farmers and ranchers: Be offensive and win food fights

Farmers and ranchers: Be offensive and win food fights

By Mike Barnett

Get your back up. Mix it up and fight those who use agriculture as a whipping boy.

That was the battle plan advocated by American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman in 2010 during his annual address to the membership in Seattle. I dubbed him the Mad Prophet of Agriculture back then.

President Stallman has mellowed a bit. And so has the tune sung by the organization and others in battling the myths and lies perpetrated about what we do.

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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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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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