Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lean, Finely Textured Beef and the FACTS. A must read!

Ok, people. This has gone on long enough.  All this fear mongering, media hooplah and general misleading of our nation is really starting to irk me.  I guess it's time to bring out the big guns.  

This blog wont be filled with pretty pictures, it wont be all that humorous either but will it will be is educational and chalked full of information that I urge you to share with your friends and family that may be on the fence about the whole Pink Slime deal.

We recently received an email about a monumental upcoming event that proves that Beef Products Inc, BPI, has nothing to hide about their LFTB (Lean, Finely Textured Beef).  They are organizing governors tours of their plants in South Sioux City, NE.  "Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will visit the one Beef Products Inc. plant that’s still in operation to combat misconceptions and misinformation about the company and its “lean, finely textured beef” product, company spokesman Rich Jochum said.  They’ll be joined at the South Sioux City, Neb., plant on Thursday by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy and South Dakota Lt. Governor Matt Michels." -Associated Press-

The point of this tour is to bring in these elected government officials, who the people have obviously put their trust in to, to see for themselves the process of LFTB and what it all entails.

Here are the main points I want you to take home to combat misconceptions about LFTB :
  1. When the larger roasts and steaks are cut, it creates the extra meat that then becomes the ground beef you all buy and love.  BPI uses a process to remove much of the fat from that trim to create a healthy lean product for you.
  2. Ammonia is then applied to this meat just as it is to multiple other products in the food industry to prevent EColi and Bacteria from growing on the meat.   "Ammonium hydroxide is naturally found in beef, other proteins, and virtually all foods. It is widely used in the processing of numerous foods, such as baked goods, cheeses, gelatins, chocolate, caramels, and puddings. One result of this food safety system is the dramatic reduction in the number of potential pathogens that may be present in foods, such as E.coli O157:H " Beef Products Inc 
  3. Watch this :  Why Ammonia is used
  4. The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection are aware and approve of this process as a safe and effective way to protect consumers
  5. If you were to compare the nutritional profiles of LFTB and ground beef they are virtually identical.  LFTB is 90%-95% lean which is actually BETTER than most people are willing to buy in the super market and it still contains 10 essential nutrients.   
I understand that this onslaught of  misinformation from the media about LFTB can come as a surprise.  That's why the media is so effective in what they do. They are why we buy certain products, why we watch certain channels and why our lives take the certain directions that they do.  But, as I'm sure you all know, the media can have adverse effects on our lives as well.  Consider the damage this smear campaign in doing to your fellow Americans and how it's going to weasel it's negativity into your life.
  1. Since the beginning of this Pink Slime smear campaign, over 650 people are out of work for an indefinite amount of time.  These are the workers for BPI who are trying to help produce healthy and nutritious beef for you.  These are your neighbors in Amarillo, Tx, Garden City, KS and Waterloo, IA.  
  2. After last years drought in the southern states, the US cowherd is at an all time low.  By removing the capability of utilizing the LFTB, we not only will be wasting hundreds of millions of pounds of LFTB but we also will not be using the cattle to their full potential essentially wasting the product.  
  3. How will that affect you?  America's farmers and producers are already under tight watch, restricted land and diminishing resources. Now the media is forcing us to produce more cattle on our already limited resources to meet the inevitable demand that will come from wasting all this LFTB.  If this is not possible by American producers, we will then have to turn to imports.  YOU HEARD ME, WE WILL HAVE TO RESORT TO IMPORTING OUR BEEF FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.  People are already complaining about the price of ground beef being too high as it is, can you imagine what this will do to your supermarket bill?
  4.  And finally, the economy is on some what of a recovery.  If you don't care about the cattle, and you don't care about the bills, at least care about the lives and families this will affect.  Not only the thousands of people in the plants that will lose their jobs and the whole trickle down affect that will have all the way back to the farm. 
I challenge you to spread the word. There are endless resources out there for you to get all the information you could possibly need.  Your local Livestock Association would be more than happy to chat with you or go to  to get very user friendly tips and information on how to combat these lies and smear campaigns.

It's up to you, America, to decide whats going to happen here.  Make the right decision.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What your local Kansas Livestock Association is up to!

We had a great meeting the other night for our Leavenworth Co KLA group.  It's always full of great information, motivation and camaraderie.

Since Hoag has gone full time on the ranch, we're feeling even more inspired to get involved in any way we can. Of course, time does not always allow that and with baby Hoag on his way, it takes careful planning and consideration when signing up for committees.  So these meetings always help us come up with great things we can do locally and immediately to help the AG industry. 

It takes a great team to put on these meetings.  Cale Wiehe is our Co director but he is one busy busy guy so he enlisted Ms. Katie Yunghans to help run the show.  It all came together without a hitch!

As with all good meetings, we got some good grub from  Bichelmeyer's and more information than we knew what to do with!

( And don't worry, I'll be sharing more about all these hot topics as time goes on)

First up, Dave Webb.  He spoke to us about Brand History and a great program they have online to tell the history of your ranches.  Super interesting. He also does a lot of land auctions around the area to help ranchers who are looking to expand their places get the fair prices they deserve.

Next was Mrs. Audrey Monroe with the Kansas Beef Council who was hot on the case of beef nutrition and all its benefits ( you know I'll be hitting this one hard) The most intriguing study they did was a case comparing 4 different diets but essentially the "twig and berry" diet that was high in nuts, grains and very low on meat lowered LDL ( bad cholesterol levels) the same as a diet with 4 1/2 oz of lean red meat every day!

After that we heard about one of my favorite topics, Ag advocacy from Mrs. Scarlett Hagins.  She always gets me so fired up about using social media to combat HSUS and other enemies of Ag.  I think once baby Hoag gets here, we'll be getting much more involved in the schools here locally and doing ranch tours which will be a huge advantage.  One great aspect of living here is we are so close to KC, MO with the intercity kids.  If we can reach out to them to teach them about ranching, nutrition and how it all plays together, I feel like we'd reach more people than we'd ever imagine.   More to come on that as well!

Finally, Ryan Higbie who is the director of Membership marketing and services for the KLA came to chat with us about the benefits of being members ( if we weren't ones already) the programs the KLA are providing for us and how we can get even more involved.  Tempting, Mr. Higbie, but we'll see what Baby Hoag has to say about all that. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring has sprung!

It's always a happy time of year.

A time for new beginnings

New babies

Back pond swimming

Family time

Open barn nights

 Foggy, heavy mornings.

More babies

Ranch to Ranch visits... Hi J.P.!

 I hope you enjoy spring as much as we do here.  It's a chance to start fresh, dust off the snow and make big dreams happen.  Happy Spring, everyone!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pink Slime and You

It's hard to avoid; The media onslaught of the attack of the "Pink Slime".  Apparently this somehow inedible part of the cow has been treated with poisonous ammonia and snuck into your food right under you very nose! But WAIT! Before you give up beef for good, let me help you with a few things. 

God bless the people who created Pink Slime is a Myth website because they basically cover everything I was going to talk about today.  So instead.  I'll take my favorite article they wrote, copy and paste and encourage you to read on. 

It's easy to get wrapped up in the media. There's a certain amount of trust we instill in our undercover reporters and investigators but unfortunately, they really dropped the ball of facts with this one and focused only on the slimy non-truth. 

Top 7 Myths of “Pink Slime”

The media has been spreading a lot of myths about what “pink slime” is. The image spreading on the internet is actually mechanically separated chicken, not beef. Read more about the top 7 myths of pink slime below.

Myth 1:

Boneless lean beef trimmings look like pink slime.


The photo many media have used to represent pink slime is not boneless lean beef trimmings.  It’s actually mechanically separated chicken.
Boneless lean beef trimmings actually looks like this.
Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (So called "Pink Sime")

Myth 2:

“Boneless lean beef trimmings” or “lean finely textured beef” which have recently been called “pink slime,” are just “fillers” and not beef at all.


As their real names suggest, boneless lean beef trimmings are 100% USDA inspected beef.  Imagine trimming fat from a roast or steak.  There’s always some meat that is trimmed with the fat.  It is this meat, trimmed from the fat, which becomes boneless lean beef trimmings.  When you compare the nutrition analysis of this lean beef with 90% lean/10% fat ground beef, they are virtually identical.  That’s because boneless lean beef trim is beef – period.

Myth 3:

Ground beef produced with boneless lean beef trimmings is less nutritious than other ground beef.


A side-by-side comparison of nutrition labels for 90% lean/10% fat ground beef demonstrates this lean beef has substantially identical nutritional value as 90% lean ground beef.  Lean ground beef is low in fat and is a good or excellent source of 10 essential nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins.

Myth 4:

Boneless lean beef trimmings are produced from inedible meat.


Boneless lean beef trimmings are 100% edible meat.  These trimmings are simply the lean beef removed from the meat and fat that is trimmed away when beef is cut into steaks and roasts.  The meat in these trimming is nearly impossible to separate with a knife so, historically, this product only could be used in cooked beef products when the fat was cooked and separated for tallow.  But now there is a process that separates the fat from the fresh lean beef, and it is this fresh lean beef that can be used in ground meat foods like hamburger and sausages.  No process exists that could somehow make an inedible meat edible.

Myth 5:

Dangerous chemicals are added to boneless lean beef trimmings.


This is a reference to ammonium hydroxide, essentially ammonia and water, both naturally occurring compounds that have been used to make foods safe since 1974, when the Food and Drug Administration declared it GRAS or Generally Recognized as Safe, the highest safety attribution the agency assigns to compounds.  Boneless lean beef trimmings receive a puff of ammonium hydroxide to eliminate bacteria safely and effectively.  Ammonium hydroxide is a naturally occurring compound found in many foods, in our own bodies and the environment. Food safety experts and scientists agree it is an effective way to ensure safer ground beef.

Myth 6:

Food safety advocates are concerned about the safety of boneless lean beef trimmings.


Scientists, advocates and plaintiff’s lawyers, who in many cases are critical of the beef industry, have all stepped forward to praise Beef Products Inc. and its efforts at food safety.

Myth 7:

Because ammonium hydroxide is an ingredient, ground beef containing boneless lean beef trimmings should be labeled.


Ammonium hydroxide is not an ingredient added to the product – rather, the product receives a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to eliminate bacteria safely and effectively.  Ammonia /ammonium hydroxide is naturally occurring and used in processing many foods today, including baked goods, cheese, chocolate, and puddings.  It is used in the production of each of these foods as a processing aid and not an ingredient, so not “on the label” of those foods either.  It is safe and has been approved by FDA since 1974 and specifically approved for its food safety benefits in beef processing since 2001

Once again, the beef industry is under attack but you can rest assured that we stand behind our product 100% and will continue to raise healthy nutritious beef.  So, Eat up!

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's Baby time round here!

This was the beautiful amazing snow we had a few weeks ago. Beautiful because it was white, amazing because it only stayed around for 1 day which is just about perfect in my world when it comes to snowfall. As always, snowfall generally means I can't make it to my downtown job ( especially since this day the roads were so extra slippery that even cowboy John warned me.. and NOTHIN' scares him) so I popped in my truck to meet Hoag down in the timber pasture where our veteran Mamas spend their winter to have babies.

There had been a sighting of a calf during feeding but when I got the phone call from Hoag that he couldn't seem to find it, Maui and I had to use our female intuition to sniff this one out.  These older Mamas know all the tricks of the land and can almost always find a great place to leave their Lil ones while they eat, drink and chew cud with the gals. 

So that's what we did, and we found this sweet little nugget hiding under a log with a nice dry spot just sleeping while her Mama was away.  Isn't she so cute?!

Even though her mom had done a great job cleaning her and getting her up and walking, Maui thought she still looked a little cold so she went to work while Hoag set up shop to weigh, tag, and iodine her.

So, Hoag gets his sling and wraps it under the calves belly and hooks the scale to the loops and uses his giant muscles to lift up the baby to get the proper birth weight.

" What is going on around here?! One minute I'm asleep under the log and the next I'm floating through the air!"  After he gets the weights, he sprays iodine on the belly button where the umbilical chord was attached and then he tags their ear so we can keep track.  The boys get a number that is the same as their mamas and for our records they'll have a Z in front of their name.  The little girls get a 12 and whatever order they're born in, so she was 1203.