Consumers Prefer Real Beef Over Alternatives

By: Greg Henderson (previously published by Drovers online)

Alternative protein products may have drawn rave reviews and national headlines this year, but consumers still prefer real beef produced on real farms.

That’s the conclusion of a survey of about 1,800 U.S. food consumers conducted by Purdue University’s Jayson Lusk, Ghent University post-doctoral research fellow Ellen Van Loo and Michigan State University agricultural economist Vincenzina Caputo. Continue reading

What Does ‘Natural’ Mean When It Comes To Meat?

By: Deena Shanker and Lydia Mulvany, Bloomberg

USDA says the term means that the product has no artificial ingredients and minimal processing.

Consumers want “natural” meat—and the biggest meat companies want to sell it to them.

American shoppers are reaching for healthier, more environmentally and animal-friendly meat products, with 39% saying “all-natural” is the most important claim when purchasing red meat, according to a recent survey by Mintel. But there’s one problem: The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that when it comes to meat and poultry, the term “natural” means only that the product has no artificial ingredients and has been minimally processed.

It doesn’t mean anything when it comes to antibiotics, hormones or preservatives. Continue reading

Pork Production Projected to Pass Beef Production by 2028

By: Jennifer Shike, Farm Journal’s Pork online

Pork production is expected to edge out beef production in the U.S. at just over 30 billion pounds by 2028, according to the USDA Long-term Projection’s latest report. Pork production levels are expected to be at 30.4 billion pounds while beef production is anticipated to be at 29.7 billion pounds.  Continue reading

Tyson Foods Is Using DNA to Prove the Pedigree of Premium Beef

From: Bloomberg, previously published by Drover’s online

Responding to consumer demands for traceability, Tyson Foods Inc. plans to use DNA samples from elite cattle to track steaks, roasts and even ground beef back to the ranches the animals grew up on.

Consumer research keeps showing that shoppers are demanding to know where their food comes from, said Kent Harrison, vice president of marketing and premium programs at Tyson Fresh Meats. A majority of Americans want to know everything that’s in their food, and more are trying to buy healthy and socially conscious products, according to Nielsen. Continue reading

Understanding The New Food Nutrition Labels

Previously published by Ohio Farmer online

One of the biggest changes in the new food nutrition label is a larger, bolder typeface for both calories and serving sizes. The typeface will be easier for people to see and read.

In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the updated food nutrition label design. According to the FDA, the new design was part of an effort to reflect updated scientific findings to help consumers make more informed decisions about food choices and maintaining healthy diets.

NEW LOOK: Here’s a comparison of the old and new food nutrition labels. (Courtesy of U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Continue reading

Only 1-In-5 Consumers Think Plant-Based Products Should Be Called Milk

Previously published by Ohio Ag Net

With only days to go before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comment period on fake milks ends, new consumer research shows Americans widely disapprove of dairy terms being appropriated by fake-milk producers, as well as confusion on the nutritional content of milk versus plant-based imitators, offering further evidence that FDA must enforce long-existing standards of identity on dairy imposters. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Merry Christmas

As we are winding down the year there is lots still to do. I am finishing up some year-end reports and articles at work and winding up for winter programs. We have a full winter and spring of agriculture programming planned, details of which can be found on the events page at While there are more details to come I’d like to highlight the 2019 edition of “Northwest Ohio Crops Day” scheduled for February 8th at the Bavarian Haus in Deshler. During this full day agronomy program, we have a variety of topics and speakers lined up. One of those Speakers is NW Ohio’s own Gary Schnikey from the University of Illinois. As part of the program a full 3-hour pesticide recertification and 1-hour fertilizer recertification will be offered to producers. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Turkey Time

With the blast of cooler air and some snow over the past couple of weeks suggested that winter and the holidays are around the corner, whether we are ready or not. That being said are you ready for Thanksgiving?

According to the National Turkey Federation, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, supposedly as a response to a campaign organized by magazine editor, Sara Joseph Hale. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving Day forward one week, as it is presently celebrated. Bradford’s description of the Pilgrims’ first autumn in Plymouth makes it clear, “there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc.” Continue reading

Upcoming Event – Grill Smart

Interested in learning the science behind great grilling? If so this program is for you. Participants will get hands on experience learning how to grill various cuts of meat and maximizing taste, all while practicing food safety. The program will be held October 9th at Holgate H.S. We ask that RSVP’s be made by Ocober 1 to the Extension office.

Use Caution When Canning this Fall

Previously Published in Ohio’s Country Journal

While it’s a wonderful, cherished tradition in many families to preserve food based on recipes that were developed and honed over the years in grandma’s, great-grandma’s and great-great-grandma’s kitchens, recipes should be reviewed, and if they don’t match recipes that have been tested and researched by food safety experts, they shouldn’t be used. Continue reading