Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Relics - "Beef, it's what's for dinner"

It's no lie that consumer "preference" is heavily driven by crafty marketing campaigns tooled to increase the demand of hyper-produced commodity goods. Popular milk?, the incredible edible egg, the power of cheese, pork, the other white meat, and the ever famous: "Beef, it's what's for dinner." If an Aaron Copland riff doesn't get you jazzed up enough about the red stuff, check out these (I'm bummed to say quite clever) "powerful beefscapes," that are part of a campaign launched in 2008.

The 'Beef, it's what's for dinner campaign' is part of the Beef Checkoff, which was created by congress as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. Cattle producers and importers pay $1-per-head to the fund, while 50% of the funds generated remain in state control. It is mandated by law that checkoff dollars be invested in programs intended to increase consumer demand. For instance, in 2000, Michigan farmers contributed less than 1 percent to the program, which generated nearly a quarter-million dollars for the beef checkoff program. According to beef checkoff website: "The fundamental goal of every checkoff program is to increase commodity demand, thereby increasing the potential long-term economic growth of all sectors of the industry."

Wow. Here's an idea...why don't we base economic sustainability on a realistic evaluation of needs!? People wouldn't have to be tricked into liking already tasty foods if certain producers weren't overproducing in disgusting, environmentally degrading feedlots. Checkoff programs hurt small farmers by diverting funds they could be using to serve a direct population- funds they could use to actually produce quality products, within reasonable and humane means. Moreover, checkoffs promote generic advertising of certain goods that some producers do not support. In a perfect world, supporting your local economy would eliminate the need for government ploys designed to keep certain mass producers afloat. Also in a perfect world, producers would be able to use more of their own resources to publicly connect their product with its true origin- the small farm itself. That ability to shed the massive concept of a product with extremely varied quality and content would be positive for small producers. This would allow for greater linkage between the consumer and producer...relationships are established, and true economic viability may become a reality.
Plus, home grown food just tastes so much better

So- I challenge you to Discover the Power of Protein in the Land of Beef- but, whenever possible, in the mountains of meat that you can find in your own backyard.
Georgia Organics Directory
Eat Wild Georgia
White Oak Pastures


sixtythreebears said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sixtythreebears said...

Well said!
Have you ever read My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki? Its a novel about a woman working on a television show produced by the american beef industry designed to increase american beef consumption in Japan. The book talks a lot about the industrialization of food, and specifically how that affects individuals and communities

articlescollective said...

i cant lie, i would eat the fuck out of that meat mountain. i mean goddamn! look at that sauce, great googly moogly that shit is juicy!