|NCBA & Meat Packer Economists Promote The Big Lie
A government study isn’t needed to prove big packers and retailers are fleecing cattlemen and consumers
By Mike Callicrate
The August issue of Beef Magazine ran a story entitled Reality Gap, in their periodic Fact or Fiction series, examining industry misinformation. In a total affront to the truth, the piece written by contributing editor, Wes Ishmael, downplays the obscene profits in the packing and retail segments of the beef industry and attempts to confuse the issue.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) economist Chuck Lambert presents a very misleading economic analysis using a 1000 pound finished animal, compared to last week’s actual average live animal weight of 1255 pounds. It costs the same to box a 1255-pound animal as it does one that weighs 1000 pounds, plus the offal income is at least $15 per head more on the heavier animal. Packers, in driving heavier more profitable finished weights, haven’t processed cattle averaging 1000 pounds for at least 30 years. According to USDA, the average live finished animal weighed 1049 pounds in 1970, forty-nine pounds heavier than his example.
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“The money and political power of Wall Street has stolen America’s food system, bankrupted our farmers and ranchers, mined our soils, polluted our environment, wasted our precious water, and left us with expensive industrially produced food that makes us sick.” – Occupy Wall Street Food Day, December 2011
Above: Ranching Reboot – Episode 4 – Mike Callicrate, owner of Ranch Foods Direct, sat down with us to talk about all manner of things from cattle markets, to public food spaces, the Bander, his feedlot and the pathway he built to market.
He shares valuable lessons learned from fighting against the commodity production system and how he’s built his own pathway to the consumer.
We talk about small community slaughter plants and public meat spaces and what that could look like going in to the future. We discuss environmental challenges, the food police and what it means when a Dollar General comes to town.
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- This Cattleman's Got A Beef
Photo: Sean Cayton - 2003People producing good food from happy animals, while improving the environment, shouldn’t have to fear the government.
Photo above featured in a 2003 article: This cattleman's got a beef, Mike Callicrate and Ranch Foods Direct take on the big meat packersby Kathryn Eastburn
- BIG Food Exposed
Food Policy & LawE. Coli Confessions Part I
by John Munsell | Oct 11, 2011
Editor's Note: This is the first part in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA's meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today.
They say that confession is good for the soul. I've been involved in a series of ugly events since my plant in 2002 recalled 270 pounds of ground beef contaminated with E.coli O157:H7 and now want to admit the embarrassing truth for public review. more
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