BEEF Daily

Newspaper Tells Readers To Go Vegan During Drought

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  • An opinion piece submitted to the Fargo Forum advises readers to go vegan to save money during the drought.
     
  • Correction: Earlier, I had blogged that Heather Moore was a reporter, but she is a reader affiliated with PETA who submitted her own editorial to the newspaper.

It seems the drought is all we talk about, and rightly so. The nation is in the worst drought it has seen in 50 years, with two-thirds of the U.S. experiencing hot, dry weather that is scorching crops, drying up pastures and raising prices for producers and consumers alike.

To combat the rise in food prices, one newspaper located in the heart of cattle and crop country and close to North Dakota State University -- a popular agriculture school for future farmers and ranchers -- printed an opinion piece submitted by a reader suggesting that people should give up animal products to save money during the drought.

“The dry, hot weather is sending food prices soaring – especially for people who eat meat, eggs and dairy products,” writes Heather Moore, who submitted her edtiorial to the Fargo Forum. “If you’re concerned about your grocery bills – or your health – now would be a good time to start buying vegan foods instead of animal-based ones,” she suggests.

Moore tells her readers that consumers will have to foot the bill for the rising price of corn fed to livestock; however, she doesn’t include the fact that many grocery store goods are corn-based items. This includes food items that vegans might choose in lieu of meat products, such as cereals, breads, candies, crackers and chips. In fact, she expects these items to be cheaper.

“It’s cheaper, not to mention healthier and kinder, to eat grains and soybeans – and all the foods that can be made from them – directly rather than funneling them through farmed animals to produce animal products,” she says. “While shoppers will see a spike in milk and meat prices, they probably won’t see a significant increase in the cost of corn on the cob, cornflakes or other plant-based foods sold in supermarkets. Whole grains, beans, vegetables and other wholesome plant-based foods are even more of a bargain when you factor in the medical bills that you might rack up if you eat lots of fatty, cholesterol-laden meats, eggs and dairy products,” she says.

How original -- blaming our nation’s health woes on animal products.

Perhaps she should consider the nutritional profile of meat, eggs and dairy -- all foods that provide essential nutrients, complete protein and healthy fats to fuel the body. Check out this blog post on the topic: Jude Capper On Brain Food.

Admittedly, Moore does have one thing right: meat prices are indeed expected to rise. The USDA predicts that, “chicken and turkey prices will rise 3.5-4.5%, and that egg prices will likely climb by as much as 4%. Beef prices are also expected to rise between 3.5-4.5% this year and then by 4-5% in 2013. Pork will cost more in the coming year as well.”

Moore closes with this: “Whether you’re watching your budget, your waistline or just the weather channel, it’ll pay to go vegan. But if you need some extra exercise, feel free to do a rain dance anyway.”

While I wholeheartedly disagree with Moore’s article, it’s true that most of us -- whether we are livestock producers or are consumers shopping for foods to feed our families -- are having to tighten the pursestrings during this drought.

Carrie Johnson, South Dakota State University Extension family resource management field specialist, offers some advice for living on less when prices rise.

“Analyze your spending. Take a look at what you have spent in the last two to three months and categorize it. Be honest with yourself and look at all you are spending, including credit card charges and even the quick trip to the convenience store for your morning coffee,” Johnson suggests.

Read all of her money-saving tips here.

What do you think about the suggestion to go vegan to save money? Are you as upset about the article as I am? Does it seem strange that a reporter in the heart of a city that is home to an agricultural college would suggest these things? How are you saving money during the drought? What advice do you have for others to stay financially sound  as prices rise?

Discuss this Blog Entry 50

Janet Weeks V (not verified)
on Aug 21, 2012

I think the suggestion to go vegan to save money makes a lot of good sense. It also makes sense from the planet perspective, the animal perspective, and the human health perspective. I was not at all upset when I read Moore's article. It does not seem strange that a reporter in the heart of a city that is home to an agricultural college would support PRODUCE farmers (remember, agriculture is not just about raising and killing animals). For the last four years as a vegan, I have saved a lot of money, not only in food costs, but in health costs too. I am healthier today than ever before on a totally plant-based diet. Heather Moore is absolutely correct in saying, "Whole grains, beans, vegetables and other wholesome plant-based foods are even more of a bargain when you factor in the medical bills that you might rack up if you eat lots of fatty, cholesterol-laden meats, eggs and dairy products." I would advise others to shop for fresh, local, organic, colorful, flavorful fruits and veggies at their local farmers' markets (most farmers loved to negotiate to give you the lowest possible cost), replace animal-based foods with low-fat, low-cost, zero-bad-cholesterol, high-fiber, nutrient-rich plant foods instead. Your body and soul will thank you--so will your wallet.

JBDEAN (not verified)
on Aug 21, 2012

I don't have any problems with going vegan for any reason ... because they're ALL good! Could your opposition to it be because you're in the beef zone of the USA? You need to read this article: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/plant-closed-usda-supplied-beef-burger/sto...

Pimm (not verified)
on Aug 21, 2012

I agree, it is a great idea to go vegan to save money and to improve your health. Hopefully, if nothing else, this drought will get a lot of people to try a vegan diet. Once they realize that they feel better and are becoming part of the solution to save the environment and be more humane, they will continue with the vegan diet even when the drought ends!

walter (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Interesting concept - that only a diet with meat will be effected by a drought. Huh - I mean drought only means lack of water, which is why the pastures are depleted, and crops are failing....wait. Don't vegetables need water too? Won't it be hard to make tofu this year if the soybean crop is a bust this year. Not to mention all the other legumes and grains grown my farmers in these drought stricken regions? DUH!!! Come on people - wake up and smell the humus, drought is bad for all of agriculture (that includes meat production and vegetables)

BA (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

The amount of water and grains/corn it takes to produce livestock is astronomically higher than producing grains/corn to eat directly pound for pound. That is the point she is making. Yes, veggies need water, DUH!

perter nk (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

Now this makes sence

we raise beef cattle anda balance in what one does in ones life is really what it is all about . Let me see do we not eat some vegatables with uor Beef the most nutrian dense food in the world

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 21, 2012

Sounds good to me. And eating a vegan diet reduces CO2 emissions = less global warming = less drought. I think all animal agriculturalists should repeat Moore's advice.

Matt (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Maybe you should check your facts. Increased vegetable intake = increased methane emissions.
The quote unqote "greenhouse gases" can not be blamed on meat eaters, or animals in general. If you want to talk about global warming find some sound, believable, research before you start spouting myths drempt up by animal activists. Al Gore is not a reliable source.

Bea Elliott (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

I think the timing to "go vegan" couldn't be any better! We certainly have had good reasons in the past... Health, the environment, sustainability and of course the much ignored kindness to nonhumans! But now with factors that effect our wallets too!?! Yes! Of course this is a great suggestion! Come one and come all! Plenty of room at the kind, nourishing and satisfying vegan bounty!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Sorry that the animal activists are the only respondents. But glad they are reading something. Lots of reasons the article doesn't make sense. Humans are not ruminants, humans bodies work best on low carbohydrate, high protein diets, Our body amino acid requirements are not met by any vegetable proteins. Meat is the mst biologically available food source we have. Not only do vegans need to worry about amino acid balance, long term they will need take B12, D,calcium, iodine, zinc and iron supplements. If you have to take vitamin and mineral supplements to meet your needs, the diet isn't right. Now from an environmental standpoint, true vegan animals, cattle, sheep and goats, for example, use lots of high cellulose products that humans can not digest.
As to vegan and the drought - its grain that is suffering the most from the drought - To produce
enough vegetables, I am assuming the vegans would follow Pacelle and say one generation and out and use the pasture and grass land for vegetable and grain production- I can not even begin to explain what that would do to all the wild species that depend on grasslands, or the water quality from soil loss due to tilling all the pasturelands. There is also the issue of hte inefficiency of water use as a result of lots of small farmers market vegetable producers that one respondent focused on. I could go on and on, but vegan dieters look upon it as a religion and it never works to argue religion.

Mike Armstrong (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

humans bodies work best on low carbohydrate, high protein diets, "Our body amino acid requirements are not met by any vegetable proteins. Meat is the mst biologically available food source we have. Not only do vegans need to worry about amino acid balance, long term they will need take B12, D,calcium, iodine, zinc and iron supplements."
-Not quite. Have you ever had a doctor say, "You need to lay off the fruits and vegetables and eat more meat"? A well-balanced diet meets--and exceeds--all the amino acid requirements. And "meat isn't the most biologically available food source" is pure fiction. Most of the world eats a diet low in animal products. The animals whom you eat, eat plants themselves. As for B-12, D, calcium, iodine, zinc and iron deficiencies, that's another false claim. How many deaths does the CDC report from B-12, D, calcium,... deficiencies? None. How many deaths from cardiovascular conditions? 1/3 of all deaths. Then there's cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinson's, and virtually every chronic disease you can think of. Stack, on top of that, emerging pandemics. There's no "broccolli" or "asparagus" flu to shield from our kids.
Finally, this isn't religion--it's evidence-based medicine. Thinking beef is the perfect food -- that based only in belief, not facts, and beliefs are the domain of any religion.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

I'm sure you're referring to H1N1 as the pandemic from animals - I'd like to point out that humans gave that virus to swine. Not the other way around.

Jake (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

"The animals whom you eat, eat plants themselves".
Ruminants (cattle, sheep) can get away with this because of the resident bacteria in their GI which take carbohydrates and nitrogen to form protein. Humans do not have this capability.
"How many deaths does the CDC report from B-12, D, calcium,... deficiencies". Rarely does a vitamin/mineral deficiency cause death on its own. It can, however, weaken your immune system leaving you more susceptible to disease. Cardiovascular disease has a multifactorial etiology including diet, exercise, genetics, concurrent and previous disease history. Simple starches are more easily converted to stored fat by the body than is protein and also contributes to risk for diabetes. I can throw together a list of diseases, too. Doesn't mean they are connected.
Emerging pandemics -- we've had those for all of human history. Theyve been associated with domestic and wild animals and occur in developed and undeveloped countries. Nothing new there. There are also pathogens associated with fruits and vegetables, just look at the news for produce recalls due to bacterial contamination.
Finally, yes, evidence-based medicine is key. Nobody on here has suggested that beef is a perfect food. Moderation and balance is key in everything whether it's what you're eating or what you're doing (exercise). Facts are only part of what we should base our choices on, but I rarely see the anti-animal agriculture crown presenting credible facts rather than emotion.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

LOW in animal products - no NO animal products. Most of the US does over eat meat - but some meat, and animal products is an IMPORTANT part of a balanced diet. There is Ecoli in lettuce, spinach, etc - plenty of health issues in vegetable production as well as animal.

mikr (not verified)
on Aug 28, 2012

There E. coli in spinach and lettuce because of the manure from CAFOs that is put on those plants to fertilize them in industrial farming. No disease is the result from eating a plant-based diet.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Mike, doctors don't tell you to lay off the veggies and fruit because its dang near impossible to match meat ounce per ounce for its energy, protien and fat content. Plant foods just don't compare with the possible exception of peanut butter and avocados. You sound like you never listened in chemistry class, because meat is indeed more digestible then plants. "like dissolves like" was the saying in chemistry lab and the protien in meat more closely resembles our own, which would require less digestive enezymes to breakdown into amino acid chains. Cellulose is mostly undigestable by humans thats why we use ruminants to eat plant products and produce meat. Their digestive system is built to handle breaking down cellulose, to a certain point. Why is most of the world chronically undernourished with the exception of most industrialized nations, that consume higher levels of animal products? The CDC doesn't report those deaths because medically speaking deficencies cause bigger problems that can mask the main culprit. Youre gonna notice Rickets before you notice the lack of vitamin D, but thats way to simple of an example.
Really your gonna blame all cardiovascular deaths and other chronic diseases on beef, not lack of exercise, excessive caloric input, genetics, family history etc? Those diseases still exist in other countries with alot lower animal product consumption, so please explain that? You are right though, beef isn't the perfect food, its the perfect protien, its part of the perfect diet, which includes vegetables, grains, fruits etc each in a balanced portion. Have fun going vegan in a drought, don't know how youre gonna water those veggies with all those water restrictions, no shower for you! I honestly would love to discuss/ dismiss more meat eating myths but I have livestock to care for, so have a good day.

mikr (not verified)
on Aug 28, 2012

Beef the perfect protein? Hardly. Ounce for ounce, broccoli has more protein than beef. Quinoa has all the essential amino acids. And none of the cholesterol or saturated fat. As for Vitamin D, we get that from the sun. Not even milk has Vitamin D; it's added in processing. Animal protein is highly acidic, which causes the bones to leach calcium, thus creating brittle bones. Nations with the highest consumption of meat also have the highest death rates caused by heart disease and cancer. Read Colin Campbell's book The China Study.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

"long term they will need take B12, D,calcium, iodine, zinc and iron supplements."

Hmm, that doesn't seem right. Seeing as I'm vegan and I don't take any of those. The only thing vegans might need to worry about the slightest bit is B12, which our ancestors got from eating slightly dirty fruits and vegetables. B12 comes from bacteria, not meat. There are dozens of foods fortified with B12 if you're worried, but even then I've never met another vegan with a B12 deficiency. Argue all you want about the health of a vegan diet, but the thousands of healthy vegans around the world beg to differ.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

And I think all the above are idiots. If they look at it from any scientific angle, beyond their narrow, pale, undernourished, and idealistic agenda, any of them would realize that by following their protocol all they have left to do is figure out which 1/3 of the world population they deem expendable.

shaun evertson (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

This is an extremely good example of the difficulty facing not only production ag, but the nation as a whole. There are a heck of a lot of well-meaning people out there who feel very strongly about issues such as animal rights and global warming. Unfortunately, these views are often based on emotional or intuitive assumptions which haven't been through the wringer of objective reasoning. They've become part of the social narrative. "Everybody knows" these things just as everyone knew the earth was flat and the center of the universe.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

It almost seems like satire when she includes the suggestion that corn based products wont be going up this summer. Both meat and veggies are an important part of a balanced diet, which we know. But, it isn't just cattle and corn that have been affected by this drought. All crops (to include vegetables) have been hit by the current conditions. To think that only 1 sector of the food industry has been affected by this is kind of short sighted. I expect to see a rise in prices across the board in the super market - and will be planning accordingly. I don't have the good fortune of a deep freeze filled with meat I raised, so I'll just have to forgo the latte so I can treat myself to a ribeye now and again.

Greg (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

I have no porblem going vegan. Let people make thier own choice. .
I do have a problem with Vegans telling me and others what we should do and why we shold do it. As a food scientist, chemist and rancher I do know the facts and people need to better educate themselves. For those who think eating Vegan will save the planet they have alot to learn.

Matt (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Here is a little tidbit for those of you on the vegan kick. Recent research has shown that many cancerous tumors, found in both humans and animals, actually thrive on the complex carbohydrates found in plant products. Thus, tumors on a diet of healthy animal protein tend to grow slower than tumors on a diet rich in carbs.
As far as "fatty cholesterol laden" again maybe you should do some research and look at how many truely 'lean' cuts of meat there are out there and look at how the body processes the fats found in animal protiens differently than plant products. It's not the meat that is making us obese.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Bravo Greg! I agree, choices are fine but don't push your unhealthy, malnourished diet choice onto me. I know the truth about eating meat - it's not bad for the planet and farmers and ranchers continually evolve their practices to be more environmentally friendly. Also, no one can ever go truly vegan. There are animal products in more day to day products than one person can count. Lastly, as Amanda so clearly points out, the drought doesn't only affect meat, corn and soybeans are used in far more other avenues than just meat. Want to save money? Stop buying overpriced organic foods that don't last as long and have to be thrown out due to spoilage. Clip coupons. Stop eating out. Want to lose weight? Quit watching every daytime television show that is spouting misinformation about the agriculture industry (as a whole, not just animal ag) and go outside and do some exercise. Blaming obesity on meat and dairy consumption is about as responsible as a blaming guns for violence. Make your own decisions - guide your own life.

delos.thompson (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

I would like to see a lot more chemical analysis on vegetables to feel more secure in going veggie. I know from working with the health department, that milk and meat is tested much more than vegetables. Industry can not afford chemical test on vegetables but I am very concerned when I pass a field of strawberries sprayed dead with chemicals then immediately replanted with bellpeppers which are harvested as fast as possible. I wouldn't do that in my garden, yet they go straight to the consumer AND SURE ARE BEAUTIFUL, NOT ANY SIGNS OF INSECTS. Wow wonder why? What chemicals are we consuming and wouldn't the concentration increase as a veggie?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Ok Vegan people. Let's do some math. Google says the USDA butchers roughly 35M head of cattle a year. Let's say the average weight of a cow/steer equals 1200 lbs. With an average of 40% loss at slaughter and another 40% loss at cutting you end up with 432 lbs per cow/steer. Multiple 432 lbs by 35M head = 15.120 Trillion lbs of meat per year. Tell us how Vegans can grow enough grain and veggies to replace that much protein? Also tell us how that will solve the problems with all the so called global warming and protecting the environment issues?

Janet Weeks V (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

I don't see any vegans "pushing" anything on anyone. Amanda Radke asked a series of questions--vegans only answered them in true and honest fashion, unlike the arguers for eating animals, who chose only to ridicule, mock, attack, and accuse.

It's important to remember when "science" enters the discussion of which diet makes more sense from a global, economic, human health, earth-friendly, or animal-friendly perspective (plant-based (right) vs. animal--based (wrong)) that animal farmers base their perceptions on "science" that is bought and paid for by those in animal industries, those with an interest in profiting off exploiting animals. So, naturally their "science" says that billions of human-bred, corn-fed, too-soon-dead cattle don't cause global warming or, their other favorite falsehood, "eating animals is normal, natural, and necessary."

It is sound science that refutes both these notions, science that has no ulterior motive such as profiting of the backs of animals. Animal exploiters also love to claim that "vegans" base their decisions on "emotional or intuitive assumptions." To that I say, do not sell emotions or intuition short. Too many humans deny their emotions and what their "gut" tells them is the right thing to do. That, my friends, is a tragic mistake. Listen to your heart, heed your intuition about right and wrong, reflect on common sense, look with empathy on others who share this planet, and be guided by sound science that has no profit or ulterior motive.

Nathan Sanko (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

"ridicule, mock, attack and accuse"? This is rich. I read many well written, articulate responses to the vegan posts. The only person attacking with inflamatory rhetoric is YOU with your "animal killing" and "too-soon-dead cattle" comments. Look in the mirror before you start spouting your well-worn talking points.

mmmmm....bacon

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

after being a part of the yellow tail wine episode I learned that the true animal rights people always accuse but are never wrong, they also never answer a question, the majority of them sound just like this "ridiclue,mock, attack and accuse" I also learned it is a big waste of time to acknowledge them individually.

Jake (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

I love how when a journalist with no scientific background writes an op-ed piece (Michael Pollan) it is gospel, but when a scientific study in a peer-reviewed journral efutes that, it becomes "science" that has been "bought and paid for".
You don't lend your post much credence when you put right and wrong next to the opposing views. As has been stated by others, your choice is your own but don't go making claims that aren't backed up with facts.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

Janet,
Let's see.....the corn grown for human consumption is called sweet corn. Corn grown for animal and ethonal consumption is called field corn. Field corn is harvested at about 18% moisture. Sweet corn is harvested at about 70% moisture. You cannot harvest the two types of corn the same way. Sweet corn is much more labor intensive. Obesity in the US basically started when the food pyramid said we should eat more of a grain based diet. Humans have the same digestive tract as bears, cats, dogs, racoons, apes chimps and pigs. They are all simple stomached animals and are basically oportunistic eaters (meaning they can eat plants and meat to survive). Our digestive tract is totally different than ruminants (cows, goats, deer, bison and any other mutiple stomached animals). Ruminants are designed to eat only a high celleousic diet (plants) because they regurgitate their food and re-chew it for further digestion. Simple stomached animals have a totally different jaw and tooth configuration, we have mutilple sets of teeth; tearer (incisor) teeth along with canine (gripping) teeth and grinding (molar) teeth. This country would be much better off with a diet that utilizes all food products in moderation and spend less time playing video games and living a more active lifestyle.

Jamie (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

So if the majority of the United States is in a drought, and there's little to no water to grow crops, these peopledon't think that the price of produce (vegetables and fruits) in the store will also go up? Also saying that eating beef, eggs, and dairy will result in increased medical bills is one of the most ignorant statements I've ever heard. Numerous studies have shown that beef is healthy, although no one ever hears anything good about beef because the liberal media apparently has the majority of this country brainwashed.

MeatFreeAthlete.com (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

The only reasons to defend eating meat:
1) you make a profit from it, or
2) you like the taste of it and are unwilling to change your way of thinking.

Eating meat is not healthy, it is not sustainable, and it is not humane to the animals.

Those are facts.

People can and do live very healthy lives as vegans, and people who think otherwise are uneducated/misinformed or are trying to protect the profits they make from the meat industry.

End of story. Simple stuff.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

The only reasons to defend eating meat:
1) you make a profit from it, or
2) you like the taste of it and are unwilling to change your way of thinking.

Eating meat is not healthy, it is not sustainable, and it is not humane to the animals.

Those are facts.

People can and do live very healthy lives as vegans, and people who think otherwise are uneducated/misinformed or are trying to protect the profits they make from the meat industry.
End of story. Simple stuff.
Simple stuff indeed, you ultimately believe that veganism is better no matter what, all the science it the world couldn't change youre thinking even if you were proven wrong. I eat meat as part of a balanced diet, if you dont like that, thats your opinion not the gospel. Eating meat is healthly, is sustainable especially if you use highly cellulosic feeds undigestible by humans, theres alot more ground suitable for grazing then there is for farming. You killing a plant is no different then me killing an animal for food, if you really want to be humane don't harm a single organism and starve to death, hypocrisy knows no bounds I guess. Yes you can live a healthly life by being vegan but you can also live a healthly life eating meat. Yes I raise livestock but I don't condemn your choices until you condemn mine, i am neither uneducated (working on my masters degree) nor misinformed (college graduate).

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

One thing many people do not realize when it comes to vegan is if it is not able to be grown/produced in the US because of drought. The food is imported from countries with less restrictions on both environmental and food safety laws. Look in your produce and vegetable section of the markets, then do some research on what those countries can do compared to ours.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

this dialog has turned into a political - animal rights issue. I feel there is a huge difference between vegans and vegetarians. vegans are more of the animal rights/political people, always trying to push their agendas off on the public. vegetarians seem to be the people who are worried about their health and diet and really don't want to tread on anyone else while keeping to their diet. it concerns me that the originator of this whole thing even started off with the vegans versus vegetarians -does she not know the difference or is she pushing animal rights and politics ?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

Vegans are simply providing reasons for going vegan. It's possible to obtain all your nutrients from plant based sources and is actually much healthier, and very possible, to obtain them without supplements (regardless of what non-vegans will have you believe). The growing number of vegans on this planet is a testament to the fact that it's not only incredibly easy, incredibly healthy (especially compared to the alternative), and much better for the plant and humans and animals alike. Stop excusing and just go vegan.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

People close to the earth seem to forget that ruminant animals (like cows) are magic and amazing conversion machines. They essentially take sun energy that grows grass and convert it to protein that humans can digest. Sure, you can eat grass, but you can't convert grass as well as a cow. They do a lovely thing for us that has helped us compete and win against other carnivores since the first homo sapiens. That sounds pretty natural to me...

on Aug 22, 2012

Looks like HSUS has invaded this site. Good job Amanda, it looks like they are getting a bit worried over the beef industry exposing their misleading agenda.

BTW it's the low cost Carbs that are responsible for this countries health issues. Blaming the problem on beef is so 70's and 80's.

Elizabeth Martin (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

I'm sorry I had to laugh at this article - not at you Amanda but at the girl who wrote the opinion piece - her logic is off the mark. If meat prices are going to rise - due to the cost to feed them including the rising cost of corn - I'm sorry she didn't finish connecting the dots. That means all of her "corn and plant based" items will go up too. It's a shame she has blinders on to what is going on in the ag world right now. The drought is also hurting crop farmers (corn, soybeans, beans, etc.) items needed for her vegan diet. Just another fluff piece – another uneducated stab at meat consumption in general. In poorer countries the title of this article would be "people go hungry during drought." Let's all keep that in mind during these trying times.

Janet Weeks V (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

And, you honestly believe that continuing to breed and grow BILLIONS of additional mouths for the earth's rapidly depleting resources to sustain is the solution to feed the world's hungry? The only ones getting FAT on animal flesh are rich American and European consumers. How about NOT bringing additional lives into the world so we can REALLY feed the world's hungry--on plant foods! Your factory farmed animals are eating the majority of crops raised in these drought-stricken times. That doesn't make a whit of sense.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

Actually Janet since I doubt you follow the markets or any USDA reports livestock isn't the majority grain consumer, ethanol would be the biggest consumer, with export markets also taking a chunk out of supply. Do you know what the smallest consumer of grain is? Grain for human consumption. That would seem to prove your point except that the quality of grain for human food is so high its often hard to reach that quality level on a very large scale, so other end markets are easier to sell to. Thats not a lie, please look it up for yourself, so if you want humans to eat that grain I hope youre in line to get the stuff at the bottom of the grain bin. In the 1950's we started feeding livestock excess grain to produce something more valuable then just selling grain, it helped make money when grain was dirt cheap. It doesn't make a whit of sense to me, to lecture others when you know very little of the history or facts.

Mike (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2012

What a crock of Horse s---t. What are you yo-yos saving the environment from?

Texas Beef Rancher

Ken (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

Jesus ate meat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

I have several hundred acres of very dry pasture and several thousand tons of corn silage that had no corn on it due to the drought. Any of you vegan/vegetarian folks interested in dinner?

Laura K (not verified)
on Aug 23, 2012

My family went vegan because we have a long family history of heart disease. I am trying to beat my genetics by eating healthier cleaner foods. I also do not want my young children eating all the antibiotics and growth hormones that are contained in most of the meat produced in the U.S. If we lived in Europe where they don't allow such things in their meat, I might go back to eating lower cholesterol meats such as poultry. It is a sad country indeed that puts the economic viability of meat producers above the health of it's people. None of these hormones or antibiotics have been proven safe, just like all the GMO grains that are grown. We have a culture of "prove it is unsafe" and that is just wrong. I think before we allow technology to be used in our food sources, companies should have to do extensive testing to prove that the technology is not going to harm us. That is why we eat organic whole vegan foods. As for everybody else, eat up. It is your life and you can do with it what you want.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 24, 2012

Laura K- Where have you been? The last time I checked any GMO crops, medicines, antibiotics, growth hormones have to go through extensive testing to be allowed to be sold, all the testing in the world could prove their safe but you still won't believe it. Please read the facts on hormones below, just so you know hormones have never been used in poultry production, they have never even be produced for use by poultry. Theres a reason European farmers can't compete globally, and thats because theyre banned from the use of technologies like growth hormones, harming production not helping. Please research what happened when antibiotics were banned for swine in Denmark, their clincial use actually went up not down because of diease issues. Im gonna spend alot less on food and Im gonna be just as healthly. I wish I had more space because I have mountains of scientific articles comparing organic vs. conventional with little differences noted.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING!
By TRENT LOOS*
*Trent Loos is a rancher, host of the "Loos Tales" radio show, public speaker and founder of Faces of Agriculture, which puts the human element back into food production. Find out more at www.FacesOfAg.com, or e-mail trent@loostales.com.

THERE is increasing concern, it seems, about the hormones in our meat and milk, but what about the hormones associated with kissing? Have we fully considered that risk?
The science is now there.
Researchers from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania have found that locking lips actually sparks an increase of hormones to the brain. Through a series of complex chemical processes, those involved in kissing were found to experience a combination of relaxation and excitement.
So, if, as some claim, hormones are not good for us in any way, shape or form, then perhaps for our own safety, kissing must not be allowed to happen.
Not surprisingly, most of the conversations I regularly get involved in as I travel around the country are about hormones in food. People think they want hormone-free everything, yet let us not forget that anything hormone free is not alive.
Misinformation and misunderstanding of the value of hormones to our everyday life have perpetuated the concern over hormones. Some of that has certainly been the result of activists and those attempting to remove technology and efficiency from the food production system. However, some also has been the result of misleading messages from a few in our own industry.
I recently received a note from a rancher in central Montana who was critical of me for publicly presenting the difference between natural and conventional beef. His point was that grass-fed, organic or natural beef are better because they don't have hormones.
The fact of the matter, though, is that a three-ounce serving of beef from an animal that has never been given estrogen-based hormones contains 1.39 nanograms (ng) of estrogen compared with 1.89 ng of estrogen in the same amount of conventionally produced beef from steers that have had two doses of estrogen-based hormones. The differences are basically insignificant.
The greater point for me is that hormone levels in beef and milk are actually considerably lower than some plant-based food sources, yet consumers don't seem at all concerned about that. Take, for example, a tablespoon of soybean oil, which contains 28,000 ng of estrogen. Four ounces of raw cabbage has 2,700 ng of estrogen, and four ounces of raw peas have 454 ng of estrogen.
So, I ask, how can we in animal agriculture continue to complain about the "misinformed" consumer when far too often, people within our own industry are guilty of supplying bad information? I would hope it is a matter of them simply being misinformed and that they are not knowingly putting the entire industry at risk for their personal financial gain.
While it is human nature to want to avoid chemicals and hormones and things we don't truly understand, it is also not wise to do so without the factual knowledge that there is any associated risk.
The researchers from Lafayette College have shown us yet another way hormones regularly improve our lives. That is straight from my lips to yours. Now, take it from your lips to consumers you encounter along the way each day.

Estrogen comparisons
It is important to recognize that many common foods naturally contain estrogen (or phytoestrogen in plants) at levels hundreds or thousands of times higher than the levels in dairy or beef products that come from animals given estrogen hormones.
In addition, estrogen levels in dairy and beef products from hormone-treated animals are essentially the same as products from untreated animals.
The following are some such comparisons:
* 4 ounces of beef from steer given hormones: 1.6 ng of estrogen
* 4 ounces of beef from untreated steer: 1.2 ng of estrogen
* 4 ounces of beef from non-pregnant heifer: 1.5 ng of estrogen
* 4 ounces of raw cabbage: 2,700 ng of estrogen
* 4 ounces of raw peas: 454 ng of estrogen
* 3 ounces of soybean oil: 168,000 ng of estrogen
* 3.5 ounces of soy protein concentrate: 102,000 ng of estrogen
* 3 ounces of milk from cow given recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST): 11 ng of estrogen
* 3 ounces of milk from non-rbST-treated cow: 11 ng of estrogen
* Average level in a woman of childbearing age: 480,000 ng of estrogen per day
* Average level in a pre-pubertal girl: 54,000 ng of estrogen per day
* Average soy latte (one cup of soy milk): 30,000 ng of estrogen

Terry Church (not verified)
on Aug 25, 2012

I like meat and eat it at almost every meal. My last physcial, the doctor could not believe the amount of meats I eat and how healthy I am in my fifties. I'm not on any meds and eat what I want. I believe alot of the problems people have is inherited and depends on the amount of physical exercise they get to burn up energy produced by the foods they eat. Yes I also like my veggies, but I've noticed in my personal diet that if I eat meat I consume less food during the day than if I eat veggies only. Each to his on, but I will continue to eat my beef, pork, poultry, eggs, milk, and veggies.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 28, 2012

I like how to vegans, meat products = Big Macs. It's like lean cuts of meat don't exist in their world. If 50% of my diet consists of Oreos and I become fat and unhealthy, does that mean a vegan diet is bad for you? What about other omnivorous animals that eat meat, like bears and dogs? Shouldn't they all be obese and unhealthy if meat is so horrible?

"The only reasons to defend eating meat:
1) you make a profit from it, or
2) you like the taste of it and are unwilling to change your way of thinking."

The only reasons for defending buying vegan food from the grocery store:
1) you make a profit from it, or
2) you are too lazy to grow and pick/forage for your own food, and care nothing about the billions of small critters killed during the clearing, harvesting and protection of grain and vegetable crops.

Why are cows worth more to vegans than the rabbits, voles, rats, raccoons and other animals that are killed in the production and protection of their food of choice? They say hunting and farming animals is immoral because it isn't "fair" to the animal - well, how is bulldozing over animal habitat to grow crops, then using machinery to harvest crops while ripping animals caught in it's path to shreds fair? Vegans should be out foraging for their own food just like animals have to if they care so much about "fairness."

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 19, 2013

If I ever get the opportunity to meet Heather Moore I'd like to shake her hand... for being a complete bonehead. The idea that the price of corn during one of the worst droughts in the past 50 years wouldn't go up last year astounds me, she MUST have a college education to be so profound. The complete ignorance of the vast majority of American consumers scares me to death. The price of beef is almost solely based on the price of corn, which is somewhat based on the amount of precipitation. As for those who believe in global warming, feel free to come help shovel snow out of my bunks, and its what, toward the end of April? You think growing corn is better for the environment than grazing cows?!? Can you say dust bowl... That makes about as much sense as Preventive Planting Subsidies and crop insurance. I agree, what a great time to go vegan, when you can't afford BEEF. Good news, you soon won't have a choice. What a grand country we lived in when Beef, a delicacy, was cheap. Why do you think we export our best cuts to DEVELOPING countries and import cheap ground beef from south american countries? Because Americans can't afford them! You all should be more concerned with the economy and what's going to happen when someone stops the government that is literally enslaving its future generations by subsidizing every industry with borrowed funds. Can you say DEPRESSION!! And here, you're arguing about the nutritional value of a broccoli? God help this country...for we know not what we do..

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A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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