New research will map out how much carbon prairie soil is storing

Findings could help beef producers manage grasslands for economic and environmental benefits

New research will map out how much carbon prairie soil is storingA sweeping project co-led by University of Alberta researchers will provide the most comprehensive mapping ever of how much carbon is being stored in perennial grasslands across Saskatchewan. The resulting data from the $3.2-million initiative will help cattle farmers there – and eventually all across Canada’s prairies – manage their land to keep as much…

Health Canada’s new food labelling makes no sense

Saturated fat in beef, and pork: bad. Saturated fat in dairy products: nothing to see here

Health Canada’s new food labelling makes no senseIt looks like we will see different symbols on food packaging soon, telling us whether a food product at the grocery store has too much fat, sugar or sodium. Health Canada is likely going forward with a policy requiring front-of-package nutrition symbols on foods high in saturated fat, sugars and sodium. It will provide clear,…

Government-induced competition rarely works

A U.S. program to increase competition in meat-packing won’t work

Government-induced competition rarely worksUnited States President Joe Biden recently introduced a billion-dollar program to lower food inflation by increasing competition in meat-packing. It’s likely ill-fated. A few weeks ago, a damning report out of Washington suggested the top U.S. meat-packing plants have increased profit margins by 300 per cent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report,…

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortages

Packing plant closures can be disruptive and, for farming, disastrous. But they can be necessary to protect the public

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortagesAs COVID-19 ravages communities across North America, many analysts believe meatpacking plants, where employees work close to each other, are the next focal point of the spread of the virus. We’re likely in the worst of it now. More than a dozen North American meatpacking plants have closed over the last two weeks, with at…

Beef irradiation is long overdue in Canada

More than 40 years of research on food irradiation shows that the process is trustworthy

Beef irradiation is long overdue in CanadaWill the benefits of food irradiation be overwhelmed by Canadians’ fear of the technology? Food irradiation may not sound appetizing – images of X-ray machines and atomic bombs quickly come to mind for many people. But Health Canada is considering the use of food irradiation for beef products. And so a national debate will be sparked. The…

What’s Alberta’s beef with Earls?

If Alberta's industries can't learn to embrace change in consumer demands, they will fail and no one will mourn their passing

What’s Alberta’s beef with Earls?What is it about Albertans? The business community asserts a near religious devotion to free enterprise and the market but, surprisingly, often displays complete contempt for changing market sentiments. It seems Albertans only love the market when it agrees with them. Much of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, for example, refuses to admit that the public’s…

The new normal in the price of beef

But even with the price hikes, the future of the cattle industry couldn’t be brighter

The new normal in the price of beefThe price of beef has gone up on average by more than 40 per cent across the country in the last three years. Depressed inventories across North America and higher feed costs have led to spectacular retail price hikes for products like round steaks, prime ribs and ground beef. Canadians’ love affair with our favourite…