The program visually describes the bovine timeline taking students from conception to the plate. We mention many of the environmental and animal health standards we work to achieve. We also talk about food safety, optimal cooking and storing beef temperatures, and the nutritional value of beef. It ends with the cooking of beef stir fry.
One of the best things about sharing this information with the teacher and students is the feedback you receive about the program. Some of the things making that list this time are:
1. That Beef provides ZIP to your diet. ZIP stands for Zinc, Iron and Protein. It is unlikely to get the same amount of ZIP in your diet through other foods.
2. The participants found it unbelievable that it takes 2 years from the conception of a cow to get that calf to your plate. Which is why, it was so disappointing when going to lunch with some of my friends at a steak restaurant the other day when they burnt my burger. It took us 2 years to get him/her the hamburger and approximately 20 minutes for them to char it to a inedible crisp.
3. Several people raised their hands when asked if they thaw their meat in the sink. I firmly told them that they should stop doing that immediately. Bacteria love to grow at room temperature. Gross.
4. The final topic that was found interesting, is our slide and discussion about the different cuts of meat and the proper cooking techniques for each.
5. We also had some great conversation about the effect of the drought on the beef industry. We even talked about the labels found on the beef at your local grocery.
The teacher was inspired, with 29 lean cuts of beef slide and handout. She mentioned she was going to Applebees tonight and was asking questions about the flat iron. I think she may order it.
I squeezed in on behalf of the USFRA the handouts about logging on to food dialogues and voting for the next faces of farming and ranching, while we were cooking the stir fry. I couldn't resist.
I would like to send a big THANK YOU to all of the beef producers in Ohio who either graciously or reluctantly pay their check off dollars. Although a majority of this program is being funded through grants, at some point the Ohio Beef Checkoff will need to support and grow this program, bringing practical knowledge to students and continuing to help grow the beef demand.