"I produce the nutritious healthy beef you eat" was the comment to the cabby after asking me what I do for a living. He said "No way… you can't be a farmer you don't look like one. Well, I eat meat now and then but I don't know very much about cows and stuff…I just like it!"
I replied, "after all you can't beat meat, it has a special proteins that provide all of the essential building blocks that your body needs for great health. In fact, when my husband hurt his leg the doctors told us to make sure he ate a lot of protein to help heal his muscles. Also, animal protein is very important for developing children and if they do not get enough their development can be hindered."
At the light he then asked, "what about vegetables?"
We continued to discuss a healthy diet, "yes, we need our fruit, vegetables, and dairy. You need common sense on your plate. Meat and poultry have iron, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. Oh, the whole B12 thing is really important for mind health and digesting nutrients especially if you are over 50, beef is a great natural way to get it all those nutrients and yes," I said with a grin as he is looking at me through the rear view mirror, "I need B12."
He then asked, "meat has all that stuff in it wow, why has no one put that out there?"
We went on to visit about how cattle are good for the environment. The U.S. beef industry uses 19% less feed, 12% less water, 33% less land and has a 16% lower carbon footprint than production systems of the 1970s. Globally, U.S. livestock production is among the most efficient, and this efficiency reduces environmental impact compared to other regions. "Without livestock operations, many by-products from food, fiber, fuel production would be wasted; and fragile ecosystems within pastureland would be destroyed in order to grow foods on land that's currently unsuitable for crop production."
The cabby asked great questions and I asked him, "what does a farmer look like? He just laughed and then assured me he was going to buy steaks this weekend to celebrate. I asked celebrate what? He said that he always liked meat and but now he knows why…it's good for me and my family.
As I headed into the airport I smiled, yes a simple gal from Iowa can visit about truths in agriculture and you can too. For more science based information about beef visit www.explorebeef.org, www.beefnutrition.org.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Pro Farmer."