Cattlemen’s Corner: Food Day is Oct. 24 | TSLN.com
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Cattlemen’s Corner: Food Day is Oct. 24

For the September 24, 2011 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

This week we learned the Center for Science in the Public Interest is organizing a national “Food Day” campaign on Monday, Oct. 24 to “encourage people around the country to sponsor or participate in activities that encourage Americans to ‘eat real’ and support healthy, affordable food grown in a sustainable, humane way.” The honorary co-chairs of this campaign are Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Rosa DeLauro. Many of the recognizable activist groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, have signed on as partner organizations to this campaign and other activist leaders, such as Michael Pollan and Wayne Pacelle, are listed as advisory board members. However, other organizations, such as the American Dietetic Association, the American Culinary Federation and the National Association of City and County Health Officials have also surprisingly signed on as partners to this campaign. This campaign is not related to World Food Day, held annually on Oct. 16 in recognition of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which is a worldwide event to bring attention to hunger issues.

According to their Web site, Food Day will advocate progress toward six central goals:

1. Reducing diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods;



2. Supporting sustainable farms and limiting limit subsidies to big agribusiness;

3. Expanding access to food and alleviating hunger;



4. Protecting the environment and animals by reforming factory farms;

5. Promoting health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids; and

6. Supporting fair conditions for food and farm workers.

Several of these are worthy goals and I’m confident farmers and ranchers are also interested in supporting efforts to alleviate hunger and promote health. However, as farmers and ranchers we should be concerned about the campaign’s misinformed and misleading recommendations regarding “factory farms” and sustainability. The campaign recommends a nearly-vegetarian diet in order to meet their stated goals. In addition, the fourth goal of “protecting the environment and animals by reforming factory farms” continues to promote false claims, such as the fat content of grain-finished beef or the greenhouse gas emissions from cattle.

This appears to be another example of activist groups attempting to advance their vegan agenda by cloaking their false messages in the shroud of respectability. What’s particularly concerning, however, are the legitimate groups that have opted to support the stated goals of the Food Day campaign. I know representatives from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are reaching out to groups like the American Dietetic Association and others to convey beef’s positive story, but many local and national Food Day events are now being organized and I’m sure we can all do more locally to tell our story.

I encourage you to consider hosting an event of your own to tell the positive beef story. This could be at a local school, farmers market, restaurant, or civic group. I also encourage you to contact your local chapters of Food Day partnering organizations and/or advisory board members to educate them about the beef industry. There are many fact sheets and materials you could utilize in these efforts at http://www.explorebeef.org and http://www.beefnutrition.org. Share resources, such as The Cattlemen’s Stewardship (CSR) Review, including the CSR Fact Sheet, Cattlemen’s Statement of Principles or the Beef Lifecycle illustration, the Beef Choices fact sheet, Cattle Farmers and Ranchers Fighting Hunger fact sheet or beef nutrition materials to help tell our story.

To learn more about the Food Day campaign visit their Web site at http://www.foodday.org.

As always, SDCA will continue to monitor this and other issues that impact your business and your bottom line.

This week we learned the Center for Science in the Public Interest is organizing a national “Food Day” campaign on Monday, Oct. 24 to “encourage people around the country to sponsor or participate in activities that encourage Americans to ‘eat real’ and support healthy, affordable food grown in a sustainable, humane way.” The honorary co-chairs of this campaign are Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Rosa DeLauro. Many of the recognizable activist groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, have signed on as partner organizations to this campaign and other activist leaders, such as Michael Pollan and Wayne Pacelle, are listed as advisory board members. However, other organizations, such as the American Dietetic Association, the American Culinary Federation and the National Association of City and County Health Officials have also surprisingly signed on as partners to this campaign. This campaign is not related to World Food Day, held annually on Oct. 16 in recognition of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which is a worldwide event to bring attention to hunger issues.

According to their Web site, Food Day will advocate progress toward six central goals:

1. Reducing diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods;

2. Supporting sustainable farms and limiting limit subsidies to big agribusiness;

3. Expanding access to food and alleviating hunger;

4. Protecting the environment and animals by reforming factory farms;

5. Promoting health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids; and

6. Supporting fair conditions for food and farm workers.

Several of these are worthy goals and I’m confident farmers and ranchers are also interested in supporting efforts to alleviate hunger and promote health. However, as farmers and ranchers we should be concerned about the campaign’s misinformed and misleading recommendations regarding “factory farms” and sustainability. The campaign recommends a nearly-vegetarian diet in order to meet their stated goals. In addition, the fourth goal of “protecting the environment and animals by reforming factory farms” continues to promote false claims, such as the fat content of grain-finished beef or the greenhouse gas emissions from cattle.

This appears to be another example of activist groups attempting to advance their vegan agenda by cloaking their false messages in the shroud of respectability. What’s particularly concerning, however, are the legitimate groups that have opted to support the stated goals of the Food Day campaign. I know representatives from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are reaching out to groups like the American Dietetic Association and others to convey beef’s positive story, but many local and national Food Day events are now being organized and I’m sure we can all do more locally to tell our story.

I encourage you to consider hosting an event of your own to tell the positive beef story. This could be at a local school, farmers market, restaurant, or civic group. I also encourage you to contact your local chapters of Food Day partnering organizations and/or advisory board members to educate them about the beef industry. There are many fact sheets and materials you could utilize in these efforts at http://www.explorebeef.org and http://www.beefnutrition.org. Share resources, such as The Cattlemen’s Stewardship (CSR) Review, including the CSR Fact Sheet, Cattlemen’s Statement of Principles or the Beef Lifecycle illustration, the Beef Choices fact sheet, Cattle Farmers and Ranchers Fighting Hunger fact sheet or beef nutrition materials to help tell our story.

To learn more about the Food Day campaign visit their Web site at http://www.foodday.org.

As always, SDCA will continue to monitor this and other issues that impact your business and your bottom line.


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