Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yes, But How Does It Impact Flavor?

This probably isn't fair but I'm going to say it anyways.

Now that higher grain prices have make it more expensive to finish beef cattle on corn and other grains, The University of Arkansas has a new facility dedicated to R&D (research and demonstration in this case) on alternative feed ingredients for cattle. According to a press release from the Southwest Research and Extension Center, ingredients being evaluated include "distiller's grain and other byproducts of bio-fuels production, corn gluten, rice bran, cotton seed cake, soybean hulls and hominy from corn milling." They are testing the ingredients in feedyard environments and as feed supplements for cattle on pasture.

I am all for efficiency.

But if they're not already doing so, I really encourage the team to consider the impact on flavor and texture, not just weight gain, marbling, yield and costs. All these things matter but they are not the only drivers of taste and quality and sometimes, other factors should come into play.

At minimum, let's start thinking about beef as food, not throughput.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The need for supplements for cattle may be reduced by certain range and cattle management practices. Perhaps the most important is to manage the range so as to have sufficient palatable forage at all times.