Overhe(a)rd: Cattle Traceability, Make Friends with Grocery Shoppers

( )

What if cattle producers and meat eaters could trace cattle at every step from field to plate?

In Episode 4 of Overhe(a)rd, the Farm Journal Livestock podcast, Drovers Editorial Director Greg Henderson explains how traceability benefits consumers and beef producers. Millennial meat eater Brittany shares her guilty food pleasures (hint: think bacon and ice cream) and serves up her top meal prep tips. And Brandi Buzzard busts the biggest environmental myth she’s heard about raising cattle. Here’s the info on the latest show:

Have you he(a)rd: The latest news in livestock

Maybe you’ve seen the outrageous Portlandia TV show where the characters Peter and Nance sit down for a meal at a farm-to-table restaurant and pepper the server with questions about the chicken they’re about to eat—who raised the bird? What was the bird’s name? Is it USDA organic? It’s an out-there idea, but traceability is actually a lot closer than we think.  

A cattle initiative is aimed at making it possible to trace beef from plate or grocery store to the packing industry, feedlot and ranch of origin, Henderson says.

Producers also benefit from traceability—if there’s a disease outbreak or a health or production concern, they need to be able to trace those animals and minimize the economic damage from a disease outbreak.

“Keep in mind cattle can be 1,000 miles from where they were sold in a 24- to 36-hour time period,” says Henderson. “If there’s a disease outbreak, we need to know immediately.”

Listen below to hear Greg discuss traceability in the cattle market in the podcast at the end of this story.

Meat the millennial

“As a millennial, everything is kind of fast-paced, so I meal prep a lot on Saturdays, I'll cook for the whole week,” says Brittany, a millennial meat eater. “If the recipe involves a vegetable and looks pretty healthy, I can dress it up different ways. So that’s a lot of salads and a lot of burrito bowls and soup that's really flexible.”

Brittany discusses millennial eating habits in the podcast below.

The main dish

Brandi Buzzard, a rancher, mom, communications professional and agricultural activist, doesn’t shy from controversy. She also knows all eyes are watching when you tackle tough topics, which is why she’s carefully honed her message to promote beef as an important component of a healthy diet. Here, she spells out one of the biggest myths she regularly busts:

“There's a big misconception out there that cattle are having a negative impact on our environment. Cattle are responsible for less than 2% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and those numbers come from the Environmental Protection Agency, so I'm inclined to believe them,” Buzzard says.  “I'm confident in the fact that beef cattle are not only a part of a sustainable diet, but also can be part of a sustainable environment and help restore grasslands and sequester carbon.”

Hear Frobose talk about her experience busting myths about the Green New Deal, including her interview on MSNBC, in the full podcast here:

Other ways to listen:
Apple podcasts

Also check out these related articles:
Read more from Brandi Buzzard here
Study: Beef Industry Driven ID System Beneficial to Producers

Overhe(a)rd: Trust In Food and How to Respond to PETA