Changing public perception about beef
This week, I had the chance to visit the offices of a major voice voice for the beef industry in the US. I’ll leave them unnamed for now. One of their primary roles is to defend and promote beef as a healthy, safe, environmentally-friendly food source. I think they probably do a fine job on the first two subjects, but as I read through their “mythbusting” of beef being bad for the environment, I thought they should have titled that section “Beef: It’s not quite as bad as you think!” I wasn’t sure if they were defending beef production or a nuclear waste dump. Let me explain.
Continue reading “Time to end the Beef Apology Tour”
Recent stories on my news feed have made bold declarations about how cattle are even bigger contributors to climate change than they previously thought (they already thought they were bad). Their conclusions are mostly focused on greenhouse gases – how much methane cows produce, and the carbon implications of raising cattle. I’m not a scientist, so it would be presumptuous of me to offer my opinion of the data or research they are using. I think I can, however, point out some data points that are absent from virtually every anti-cow article I’ve ever read.
Continue reading “Cows and climate change”
We’ve had nothing but polled black cattle around here for the better part of 30 years, give or take a few red recessive genes and a brief trial with some Hereford bulls. That changed the last day of March when 12 red-hided horned bulls arrived from Llano, Texas.
Akaushi (pronounced “ak-a-ooshee”) cattle, also known as Red Wagyu or Japanese Red, were imported to the US from Japan in the early 1990’s. They produce very high quality beef, similar to that of the more common black wagyu, although some beef snobs would tell you the reds aren’t on par with the blacks. I suppose Ferrari owners look down on Corvettes also. Just a quick note here – “wagyu” simply means “Japanese cow”. Akaushi acutally means “red cow” in Japanese.
After speaking to a number of people and reading every article I could find about them, I decided they would be a good choice for a terminal cross on our Angus cows. They should bring $75-100 per head over our straight Angus calves if sold at weaning. If we were to retain ownership and market them on a grid, it could be double that.
I can get used to the red hide and deal with the horns for that kind of premium.