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2011 National Beef Quality Audit Results Released

While the beef industry continues to make progress in the area of beef quality, there is still room for improvement. That’s the overarching conclusion of the 2011 checkoff-funded National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) released during the recent 2012 Cattle Industry Summer Conference.

The 2011 NBQA results show that the industry has made significant improvements in producing safe and wholesome beef that is consistently higher in quality, as proven by several measurable standards. Still, the three-phase checkoff-funded research, which took nearly a full year to complete and examined all facets of beef production, found there were several aspects – many associated with channel communication and consumer trust – on which the industry should strive to continue improving.

Click here for a downloadable version of the 2011 NBQA Executive Summary.

Busting Beef Myths by Blog

As part of the checkoff’s online promotion of “Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet” (BOLD) study results to consumers, five bloggers accepted the checkoff’s challenge to incorporate lean beef into their diet every day for a week and write about the results. One of them – Heather from “Then Heather Said’ – took the challenge one step further by posting three times and busting three common consumer myths about eating beef: nutrition and weight management, cost and preparation intimidation. Her honesty and ability to connect with her readers succeeded in providing beef information to consumers throughout her posts, including links to multiple checkoff resources.

August Producer Profile:  Meet the Millers

Sheila and Mike Miller, Tulpehocken Township, Berks County Pennsylvania, operate beef and crop farms located near the village of Host, just west of a historic Indian trail which is Route 419 today. The history of the region and its productive soils are important to the Miller family. Their farm name, Deitschland Farm, honors their Pennsylvania “Deitsch” ancestors who settled in eastern Pennsylvania two centuries ago and started farming.

“Mike and I bought our first registered Hereford cattle in 1979 and have been growing our herd ever since,” said Sheila. “We currently calve out around 50 cows every year, mostly in the spring.” The Millers purchased their first cattle before they bought their first farm. In 1980, Mike and Sheila bought the original 63-acre farm, and added a 90-acre farm they had been renting in 1997.

Get to know more about the Millers more here.

Foundations of Meat Fabrication

Members of the checkoff’s Beef Innovations Group (BIG) recently visited Cook Street School of Culinary Arts to discuss their new extension course, Foundations of Meat Fabrication. Taught by founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat founder, Mark DeNittis, students learn everything from knife skills to sausage making. This course is available to Cook Street graduates and professionals with at least one year of food service experience. The Beef Innovations Group gave input on the curriculum of the course and discussed ways they could augment the program. This is one of a growing number of butchery and charcuterie classes being offered throughout the nation by culinary schools, meat producers, grocery stores, and farmers. Courses range in content, from beef only to all types of protein, and in skill level, from general courses offered to the public to more in depth courses offered only to industry professionals.

Importance of Zinc and Iron Intake for Older Infants

The first checkoff]funded study to provide a detailed examination of zinc absorption from different complementary feeding regimens in older breastfed infants was recently published. The researchers evaluated zinc absorption and status in 45 exclusively breastfed 9] to 10]month olds who were randomly assigned to different complementary feeding regimens: 1) IFC ] traditional iron fortified cereal plus dairy (cereal with iron only), 2) IZFC ] zinc and iron fortified traditional complementary foods plus dairy (cereal with zinc and iron), or 3) CF ] high zinc complementary foods (meat, mostly beef). The study’s data demonstrates that without the consumption of complementary foods that are naturally high in zinc or have been fortified with zinc; infants are very unlikely to reach the estimated physiologic requirement of 0.84 mg/d for this age. The CF regimen included approximately 60 g meat/d. The results of this study support the premise that meat is an appropriate first complementary food for breast fed infants and the zinc found in the meat is better absorbed indicating that meat may be a better source for zinc than infant cereals.