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Don’t Freak Out About Beef Trade With Mad Cow Countries

The horrifying disease has caused nations to halt beef imports over as little as a single reported case.

Illustration by Addison Eaton

To anyone who follows the business of red meat in America (beyond shoving it down their maw), 2015 got off to a controversial start, as the U.S. government announced that we’re going to start importing beef from Ireland again. This probably sounds like some minor, niche agricultural issue until you consider why we stopped eating Irish cows back in 1996: mad cow disease. After two decades of closure and paranoia that transformed global agricultural markets, by now opening our meat gates to the Emerald Isle, America is declaring that it’s once again ready to swap meat with the whole of Europe.

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Let's Stop Big Meat From Manipulating Prices

A farm bill amendment would stop meatpackers from being both buyers and sellers of livestock, an unfair market pressure on local farms.

The average grocery store may seem packed with variety. The cereal aisle has a dizzying array of options—five kinds of Cheerios alone. This variety is an illusion. A handful of food processors dominate most grocery store aisles and sell their products under multiple brand names. The milk case offers a good example. Dean Foods or one of its subsidiaries owns or sells the following brands: AltaDena, Berkeley Farms, Borden, Country Fresh, Garelick, Lehigh Valley, Mayfield Farms, Shenandoah’s Pride, Verifine, Horizon Organic, Organic Cow of Vermont and several dozen others.

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Meat Theft Is on the Rise—Is Vegetarianism the Answer?

A new spate of meat thievery is a reminder that eating vegetarian is actually a lot cheaper.

The cost of meat has ballooned as growing demand worldwide has combined with skyrocketing costs for fuel and feed grain. In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that Americans should anticipate meat prices to rise 6 to 7 percent this year, with beef prices expected to climb 7 to 8 percent. Two months later, in the United Nations' food and agriculture outlook report, researchers said the cost of meat will increase by as much as 30 percent over the next decade.

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Edible Dictionary: Carnery

Could the future of the factory farm be inside laboratories filled with engineered meat?

Carnery, n.
Pronunciation: /kɑrnərɪ
Etymology: Formed as carne (< Latin carnis flesh) + suffix -ery

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Taco Bell: Thanks for the Lawsuit

Taco Bell defends its seasoned beef, explaining its 88 percent actual beef and 12 percent "secret recipe." Reassured?


A lawsuit announced this week says there's more than just cattle flesh in Taco Bell's seasoned beef. Apparently, whatever it is does not conform to United States Department of Agriculture standards for "beef" because there are too many seasonings and fillers in the mix.

Taco Bell responded today by launching a "Thanks for suing us" campaign (a classic PR ploy) that says their beef is 100 percent USDA inspected. The company says the recipe for beef filling calls for 88 percent beef and 12 percent "secret recipe." The secret ingredients include water, spices, onion powder, salt, oats, caramelized sugar, cocoa powder and "other ingredients that contribute to the flavor, moisture, consistency and quality of our seasoned beef."

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USDA School-lunch Contest's Glaring Omission? Meat

The USDA has launched a school-lunch contest and beef industry is none too happy about it. Should the call for recipes have included lean meats?


The USDA recently announced a school-lunch contest of their own, as part of Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity. The categories: "Whole Grains, Dark Green and Orange vegetables, or Dry Beans and Peas." Notice anything missing? That's right: meat.

It's been a big month for plant-based diets. First, Bill Clinton credited his almost-vegan diet as the reason for his dropping so much weight and then the newly proposed USDA dietary guidelines emphasized plant-based eating as well. Now the idea that we should all eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and beans is making its way into our schools. (Also, Meatless Mondays, anyone?)

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