Why Science Matters: Research

There are three main concerns that we as consumers should have as we analyze the research that is being done in beef science. The first is safety. Does more research increase the safety of the beef that you and I purchase from the grocery store? Secondly, does advancements in science and technology lead to a product that is of greater of lesser quality? And finally, does research contribute to a safe, high quality product at a lower cost?

For more information on studies from A&M: http://animalscience.tamu.edu/livestock-species/beef/research/

For more information on studies from A&M: http://animalscience.tamu.edu/livestock-species/beef/research/

When considering the first issue of safety there are several contributing factors that should be talked about. One study by Texas A&M studied the effect of a feed yard ration that contained ethanol co-products and the prevalence of salmonella as a result. The study is significant in several regards, but the results which concluded that feeding wet distillers grain (a co-product of producing ethanol) did not lead to an increase in salmonella allow farmers to have confidence in using wet distillers grain as a feed for their cattle. If the results would have show a risk of higher contamination then action would have been taken to stop using those feeds. It is this type of research that might seem like a minor discovery, but they are actually ensuring a safe beef product for you and I to consume. There are countless studies concerning food safety that directly impact that quality of the food we eat.
Beef Cattle being fed Wet Distillers Grain

Beef Cattle being fed Wet Distillers Grain


One form of technology that has led producers to identify superior genetic is ultrasound. Now its not what your thinking. Ultrasound technology is used to detect pregnancy, but it has several uses in carcass analysis. With the use of ultrasound a live animal can be measured for certain characteristics that previously required post slaughter analysis. By ultra sounding the rib eye for example, a bull can be selected that will sire progeny with higher carcass quality. What does that mean for you at the grocery store? It means that beef producers are better able to select cattle with genetics that will produce a larger, more evenly marbled steak. ultrasound_title_image
At the end of the day, whether or not new research is interesting to you, what is significant is the result of that research. The hope and intention of advancements and research is to increase efficiency, reduce inputs for the producer, and make a safer, higher quality steak for you and I.

Beef & Blessings,

Rachael

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