Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mmmmm... Steak

It's National Ag Week and wrapping it up on Saturday is Ag Day.  How are you going to celebrate? 

Michigan's Govenor Jennifer Granholm proclaimed Saturday a meatless day.  She wants everyone in Michigan to celebrate Ag Day by foregoing meat.  Seriously?

How does that statement even make sense?  The agriculture industry is the second leading industry in Michigan, contributing over $71 billion to the state’s economy.  At a time when unemployement is on the rise and families are struggling to even put food on the table, why would Granholm support an activity that would encourage even MORE of that to happen?

Here are a few facts on the meat industry in Michigan:
  • Beef cattle production is Michigan's fourth largest agricultural business.
  • Beef is a nutrient-dense food and is the No. 1 source of Protein, Vitamin B12 and Zinc. Beef is also the No. 3 food source of iron behind fortified cereal and grains.
  • A three-ounce serving of lean beef is an excellent source of protein, supplying more than half the protein most people need each day.
  • The protein in beef is a complete, high-quality protein, which means it supplies all of the essential amino acids, or building blocks of protein, the body needs to build, maintain, and repair body tissue.
  • Pork production contributes to more than 3,000 jobs for Michigan residents.
  • Pork production provides more than $15 million in state and local taxes.
  • Pork producers' livelihoods depend on the well being of their livestock.
  • There are eight cuts of pork with less than 200 calories per serving.
The Michigan Farm Bureau summed up my thoughts in a statement they released:

"Governor Granholm's proclamation to recognize March 20 as "Michigan Meatout Day" is unconscionable and an insensitive slap in the face to Michigan's livestock and dairy farmers, not to mention Michigan's meat-eating residents.

“The rationale cited in the proclamation for encouraging residents not to eat meat is misleading and incriminating, as there is science to refute many of the claims raised. It's inconceivable to us that the Governor could stoop to this level of telling people what they should and shouldn't eat based on the philosophies of 'food elitists.'

“It'd be one thing if Granholm proclaimed a day to promote increased consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. But the Governor clearly crossed the line in recklessly singling out meat products for non-consumption and belittling this wholesome source of protein when, in fact, the USDA Food Pyramid Guide, our country's most respected dietary guideline, recommends two to three servings of lean meat per day depending on your age.

“Even more unbelievable is the Governor's nerve to declare "Michigan Meatout Day" on the same day as National Agriculture Day, which is a coveted and historic occasion to recognize and celebrate all sectors of our nation's agriculture industry. Her action is blatantly degrading to Michigan consumers and farmers, and is destructive to Michigan's entire $71.3 billion agriculture industry.

"The fact that Granholm's proclamation states unfounded facts and allegations toward meat products indicates the Governor's desire and willingness to court special interest groups to the demise of a major state industry."

So again I ask, how do you plan to celebrate Ag Day?  I plan on making eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy, and bacon for breakfast, cajun chicken sandwichs for lunch, and finishing the day off by grilling a couple of nice juicy steaks for supper! In between this feast of goodness, I'm going to take Monkey out to the farm to visit grandpa at work, see some farming in action and possibly pet some cattle!

Spread the love for meat and THANK A FARMER!

** UPDATE - After I wrote this, Governor Granholm reversed her stance on "Meatout Day" and declared March 20 Michigan Agriculture Day.  Click here for more.  Looks like someone is trying to do a little damage control!

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