Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And the Loser Is … Us

We already knew that last spring’s hysteria over perfectly safe lean finely textured beef (LFTB) —called “pink slime” by some reporters—hurt fed-cattle prices and cost at least 650 meat processing jobs.

Now comes word from the Agriculture Department that consumers, too, are suffering from the media circus over a product that until March was widely used in lower-fat ground beef found in supermarkets and schools.

The price of lean ground beef has soared since a long list of retailers announced they would no longer offer ground beef that contained LFTB. In response, consumers have switched to cheaper, fattier and less healthy alternatives—an ironic outcome considering these same consumers were scared into objecting to LFTB because they thought it was unsafe.
Various affects of the LFTB debacle are discussed in USDA’s August Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report. HOTH thinks this is another lesson in how a scandal-obsessed media can irreparably harm the image of a perfectly good food product.

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