Research

Backing Beef’s Inclusion in 2015 Dietary Guidelines

The checkoff has submitted 16 sets of comments about the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report to USDA and HHS. These comments cover all aspects of the science to support beef and red meat in a healthy dietary pattern. Meanwhile, the number of public comments was unprecedented, with more than 29,000 sets of written comments sent to the federal government. (For perspective, the 2010 DGAC report drew about 1,200 comments.) At least 75 individual scientists and health professionals submitted comments in support of red meat’s role in a healthy dietary pattern – including a few former DGAC members. (See some specific examples HERE.) Science-based organizations also weighed in with their support. Thousands of the comments received were form letters, representing one or the other opinion on inclusion of red meat. Representatives for the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services say they are on schedule to release the 2015 Dietary Guidelines by the end of 2015.

Assessing Approaches to Life Cycle Assessment

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful tool for evaluating the environmental impacts of producing beef. While most published LCA focus solely on greenhouse-gas emissions, expanding the impacts considered to other environmental emissions, such as reactive nitrogen, as well as economic and social concerns, likely will improve the usefulness of LCA. With that in mind, a recent literature review by the checkoff assesses the current LCA methods used in analyses of the beef industry and compares the complexity and variation between different LCA studies. This review also addresses areas of current LCA methodologies that are lacking in information to account for the variety of factors that affect beef-production system inputs and outputs. For details, read “Current Approaches of Beef Cattle Systems Life Cycle Assessment: A Review”.


For additional information, check out these sites:

Consumers looking for nutrition and dietary information about beef can go to www.beefnutrition.org to order or download materials and research information, or find a schedule of nutrition events and seminars.
 
Consumers, producers and other industry professionals can go to www.beefresearch.org for summaries of checkoff-funded research in the areas of beef safety, human nutrition, product enhancement and market research, projects which provide the foundation for checkoff programs in promotion, marketing, education, information and foreign marketing.
 
Safety is a priority of the beef industry and www.bifsco.org,  houses information about the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo), its discussions and meetings, an application to join the council, and consumer information about beef safety.
 
Finding new convenient cuts is one very successful way the checkoff has helped add value to the beef carcass over the years. In cooperation with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, http://bovine.unl.edu/ is the industry’s primary beef cut resource.
 
Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program information is available at www.bqa.org where you can find systematic information about coupling proper animal-husbandry techniques with accepted scientific knowledge to improve the quality of the end beef products.
 
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a misunderstood but potentially serious animal disease. For the most accurate information, turn to www.bseinfo.org, an informational site housing current information regarding for consumers, producers and beef industry representatives.
 
While never occurring in the United States, www.fmdinfo.org is an informational site housing current information regarding foot-and-mouth disease for consumers, producers and beef industry representatives.

 


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