Let’s be transparent right up front. We don’t manufacture or process ground beef, so we don’t use or make Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB). We do trim beef briskets for corned beef, and some of those trimmings are sold to a broker for resale to other processors. They do not end up as LFTB, though, due to strict labeling and controls by the USDA. In essence, no one asked us to write this.
But we know that our beef trimmings are no different beef than the original brisket they are taken from. Briskets are trimmed by us because we make a premium product with briskets that are often hand-trimmed to specifications. By selling the trim, we help keep the cost of our product down and reduce waste.
Let’s repeat that: the ability to sell our trimmings helps reduce the cost of our product to the end consumer.
But now the media has jumped on a pejorative, disparaging term for LFTB and needlessly scared the crap out of the average consumer. We are not alone in believing that this is essentially a media tactic intended to boost ratings and readership. One expert calls it “careless and deliberate misinformation“. Another writer claims that the media “cares more about headlines than health.”
Unfortunately, this tactic has had a large negative impact on the entire beef industry, and the loser is the consumer.
The bottom line is that there is not one shred of evidence that LFTB is unhealthy or dangerous. But it is cost-effective, which means that the American consumer is going to be paying more for ALL beef products -including ours – in the future because of the smear against LFTB.
How fair is that?