BEEF magazine, National Hog Farmer’s sister publication, published an interesting perspective from Temple Grandin, world-renowned animal handling expert and behaviorist last week. She said the beef industry can easily make the case that “pink” (as in pink slime, or lean finely textured beef (LFTB)), is “green,” or actually environmentally friendly on several levels. Grandin says the LFTB situation is another example of the risk that animal agriculture faces by not being more transparent. She believes LFTB is easily defensible in both safety and sustainability grounds, and the situation is recoverable. “Pink is actually green – as in sustainable – and I would stress heavily to people that, by not using the process, we are essentially wasting 15-20 lbs./animal of lean beef protein. And we need to stress the per-animal basis because people can relate to it better than they can grasp ‘millions of pounds.’ Consumers can understand that you’re talking 15-20 lbs./animal of lean protein that is just being thrown in the garbage. That’s wasting food and they can understand that is wrong,” she says.
Later in the article, Grandin suggests greater transparency within the livestock industry would play well with a curious public that is often several generations removed from any connection to agriculture. She says, “Producers should be putting up lots of YouTube videos showing what they do on their ranch, like birthing a calf, fixing fence, handling cattle, checking cattle, feeding cattle. I find the public is fascinated by ordinary stuff, things like front-end loaders and feed wagons. People find that stuff interesting. We need to be just showing regular stuff,” she says. “We don’t have to communicate with, or win over, the radicals. We want to communicate with John Q normal public who is just curious about a lot of things and is looking for information.”
Read the entire article online at the BEEF magazine website here.