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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

What To Eat These Days

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

During mid to late December, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines. The planning for this 835-page report started in 2019, and like everything coming out of government, politics were involved. But, there are some good guidelines in it, and it can be a useful tool. 

            In reality, every American adult should read through these guidelines. This is because close to 70 percent of Americans are overweight, and this condition may have played a part in the reason six out of 10 Americans have one chronic condition and four in 10 have two or more chronic conditions. While genetics may play a part, eating the wrong foods in the wrong amount certainly does.

            I have to admit, I’m as guilty as anyone for eating the wrong foods and my waistline proves it. But, as we get older, we realize the apple or banana on the kitchen counter may not be so bad.

            We’re lucky to live in the Rocky Mountain West, as the outdoors provides opportunities to live healthier. Working in agriculture also helps. 

Living in the Rocky Mountain area provides many opportunities for physical activity, which is good. They say lack of physical activity is a leading cause of chronic conditions. Those living in the Mountain West states have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and lower Type 2 diabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

            The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) provided a huge amount of input on these guidelines. They proved beef’s role as part of a healthy, balanced diet – more so than we have seen in the past guidelines, which is good for cattlemen.

            Today, lamb and beef producers have an opportunity to showcase their products. Consumers have realized meat products have great taste, they are tender and they are healthy. Consumers are beginning to approve of how lambs and calves are raised. 

Some have recognized public lands in the West are a great place to raise cattle and sheep. With the quality of meat being raised in the West, there is a story to tell, and it is our responsibility to tell this story.

            Not only are sheep and cattle helping the western environment through proper grazing, but grazing is also helping to control wildfires.

            I’ve heard the pandemic has consumers looking for new or different foods to cook for dinner. During the meat shortage, there were the newer cuts still left in the meat case. Therefore, consumers have since learned how to prepare different cuts, and they like them. Consumers also want more lamb. 

Denver and sierra cuts, ribeye filets and chuck flaps are some newer cuts of beef, which are becoming more popular, and they fit the new Dietary Guidelines.

            Panic buying is over, and people don’t want meat substitutes, as they realize phony meats are not healthy for them or for the planet. 

This past week, Beyond Meat’s stock price was down nearly 50 percent, and I hope it continues. I also hope these substitute meats are not in the Dietary Guidelines.

            And no, beer is still not a food group. We can only hope. 

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