Beef’s Raw Edges Indeed!

The Kansas City Star is running a series of articles about how evil beef and the beef industry are.

This cover photo for McGraw's article caused my own children to lament the fate of cattle... until I calmly explained that death with a purpose gives meaning to life.  Then they happily ate their hamburgers!

This cover photo for McGraw’s article caused my own children to lament the fate of cattle… until I calmly explained that death with a purpose gives meaning to life. Then they happily ate their hamburgers!

Despite his obvious stretches (like tracing back E. coli to an Applebee’s steak consumed 9 (NINE!) days prior (that’s impossible to prove, so the first allegation out of the box is hilarious!)), there are kernels of truth in Mike McGraw’s articles.  For example, mechanical tenderization, like grinding beef, does increase the risk of contamination.

But the blatant mistruths and bending of truth are rampant.  Sensational stories sell papers, they say.  But surely any remnant credibility of shock jocks like McGraw decreases by the day!

“Industry” cannot afford to ignore such “exposés,” however.  Manure such as this is the breeding ground for vile pathogens like legislation and regulation and more “industry” codes of practice and box ticking exercises that take all of us away from core business and truly delivering a safer, healthier and cheaper product.

Here are a few short comments that crossed my mind:

Beef is abundant and safe and packed full of zinc, iron and protein that is more readily absorbed by the human body than non-red-meat sources of protein. 

In order to eat beef, fish, poultry, venison, lamb, or any other animal product, an animal must first be killed.  That killing happens humanely in 99.9% of cases.  (Oh, and plants are killed before we eat them, too.)

These animals lived and died for a reason… to provide food for others.  If the reason for their deaths went away, there would be no meaning to their living in the first place.  They would likely be listed on the Endangered Species list.

Eating meat is ethical.  Using animals and plants to feed humans is ethical.  I am unapologetic about this.  How about we stop being wimpy apologists and instead proudly embrace and show off what we do?

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I love ag.  I love beef.  I love all meat and vegetables.  I love ethical producers who are willing to stand strongly and proudly in the face of blatant biased attacks from hatchet job “journalists” like Mike McGraw.