Transparency, Trust Keys to Meat Demand

Transparency, Trust Keys to Meat Demand

In between cattle on pasture and the dinner plate - there are some steps in beef production that can be uncomfortable to talk about. The American Meat Institute's Janet Riley says they shouldn't be left out of the conversation though

Riley: "There is research to show that if you give people the correct information up-front -- even on a subject that is a little difficult to talk about - like slaughter. You can inoculate them against bad information. Because if they see an undercover video - if they've never seen slaughter done right they have no basis to evaluate that activist's video. So showing them the facts ahead of time will help them think more critically. "

She spoke at the 2013 Feeding Quality Forum and urged cattlemen to get involved in sharing their stories with neighbors and friends

Riley: "I think there is a real trend. People want to know the source of their food. They want the information. The problem is trust -- they must trust the source of information. And I think that calls for very personal conversation."

How producers approach the subject is important - too. People are passionate about their food choices and one must listen first to hear their point of view

Riley: "A lot of times that their concerns come from confusion. they are convenced for example, that cattle that are fed corn are always fed corn and only fed corn. Or that cattle spend their entire lives in a feedlot. So we have to -- not dismiss them and make them feel stupid for thinking that way --but just give them the benefit of our information."

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