When you trace the hamburger supply chain upstream, you find yourself at one of the roughly 400,000 cattle farms that provide meat that eventually ends up in a McDonald’s burger, many of them small operations with 50 or fewer head of cattle. They are the beginning of a value chain that includes ranches, dairy farms, cattle stockers, feedlots, beef packers and processors. Along the way, cows are raised, fattened and slaughtered, and the resulting beef is trimmed, ground, mixed with other beef, formed into patties, inspected, packaged, frozen, shipped to distribution centers and, eventually, to one of McDonald’s worldwide restaurants.
How McDonald's could radically change the beef industry
— By Tyler Falk on January 8, 2014, 1:30 PM PST
Good luck, since macdonalds can only put the mac rib on for a short period because of the strain it puts on the industry ...lol
Regardless of their intentions, I hold this company as one that exploits employees, Cheats, lies and does not care for the customer, the environment nor the animals. Yuck, yuck, YUCK forever YUCK IN EVERY SENSE!
It's a good article, however before posting you need to review your sentence structure throughout the article:
"..., buying about 800 million of beef every year..." (800 million of what?)
"What will that mean for prices at the ultra-cheap fast food chain? We can't say for sure because we don't want changes will need to be made."
I'm not trying to be a nit picker Mr. Tyler Falk, but your title is Contributing Editor, ...is it not?
"Sustainable Beef," ...just the concept is grossly flawed like fusion reactors. A marketing technique of twisted words to deceive the mind. It's like saying we have a democracy in America when in fact the people know and ask themselves, "How can you have a true democracy when it is being influenced by billions of dollars from Super Pacs, foreign countries, corporations, and unknown private individuals?"
Sustainable Beef is like Obama claiming the country went through a "Great Recession?" when there is no such animal, at least when I went to school, ...the concept did not even exist in the economics classes. It was either a Recession or a Depression. The numbers don't lie, ...People do and the same is for the concept of Sustainable Beef!
There is absolutely no truth to it when the numbers say it is a four to one ratio of grain to beef being produced. In addition, if investigated, people would be shocked to discover that the fast food burgers that are allowed to be considered a "burger," ...by legal definition, can have as little as only 14% of actual beef in the patty. The rest of remaining percentages are fillers, "meat by-products," scary stuff that will make you think twice about putting that fast food -whatever- in your mouth.
In fact, legally there can be up to 40 thousand different ingredients that can make up an actual fast food burger of today: (X) amount of feces from rats, pigs, cattle, ground up earthworms, PCPs, pesticides, antibiotics, "Pink Slime?," etc. and the list continues on like that for 40 thousand times. Essentially, legally allowing the fast food industry to regulate themselves at our own health expense for quarterly profit returns.
Pretty disgusting, and the health industry just can not figure out or see the correlation between rising health care costs (heart disease and diabetes in particular), along with the explosion of fast food franchises in the last 40 years, ...all coinciding with the exploding waist lines in the overall population of the nation, to which today 75% of the general public is considered to be overweight. And a high percentage of that is grossly overweight, many of whom eat at fast food franchises. Airlines even have had to adjust the cost-effectiveness business structure to compensate for this drastic offset in the last two decades. It's an explosion of fat that has now become the norm of American society.
This has become so endemic it is now being look at in Washington, DC as a national security threat, ...where 25 % of all military recruits are denied admission for being too overweight! For the military to refuse recruits for being too overweight, to even think of joining the military, is unbelievable and was not even heard of 40, 30, maybe even 20 years ago.
However, it is unrealistic to say that sustainable beef and fast food franchises are entirely responsible for all of the obesity in this country, but they surely have contributed, ...kind of like humans and global warming.
"While "sustainable beef" burgers could mean a price increase, the dollar menu is already on its way out. The hope for McDonald's is that greater knowledge of where the beef comes from will help make up for the likely higher prices and improve their reputation."
When I was a child, eating meat was considered a luxury. Today, there is so much of it that people consume beef without any class consideration. It's another example of how our affluence has made what was formerly "luxury" egalitarian. In another context, you could call this part of the ongoing war against poor people by the elites.
I don't eat McDonalds because the food doesn't taste like food. It tastes like barely edible "food-stuff" that has been saturated in salt to make it palatable.
Price is nearly irrelevant to a point. I don't really notice if it costs 4 or 5 dollars for a cheeseburger. I notice if the burger is good and good for me.
McDonalds food is unfit for human consumption. Read how Jamie Oliver won his quest to change the way they make their food http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.com/2013/08/mcdonalds-burgers-unfit-for-human.html Only in the US do we allow them to make food like this.
I'm sure they will find another way to poison the citizens of the USA!
Tyler, please don't just repeat "beef is the least efficient" without providing the context. Yes, that is true if you confine the cattle and feed them corn that you raised using synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. But that IS NOT how the cow is designed to grow. Cattle, being ruminants, are designed to turn the low-quality protein in grass into high quality beef protein. Just to reiterate what every junior high school student should know, ruminants have 4 stomachs, which they use to host the bacteria that extract the energy from the cellulose in these low-quality protein grasses. This means cattle on pasture are the MOST energy efficient sources of protein. So, please, don't repeat the half-truth without the context!
@JohnMcGrew I don't know when or where you grew up, but I grew up in the '50s and '60s in a middle-class home. We always had some kind of meat on the table, usually for all three meals of the day. Only those living in poverty went without meat.
The truth is that it takes three or four pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef. In the decades since I was a kid, world population growth and rising global incomes have created a demand for meat that exceeds the world's ability to produce enough grain to feed to farm animals. Right now we see it in eating less expensive cuts of meat, including substituting pork or chicken for beef. In another 10 or 15 years, expect the average person in America to go a day or two without meat.
@rickexner Sorry, but there is not enough grass in all the US to produce enough beef to meet our current consumption. You would have to go back to the 19th century when the entire midwest was once a vast grasslands that supported millions of bison. If we did that, then we'd have to give up farming other crops and people would starve.
You may not like the way modern farming is done, and you personally might be wealthy enough to buy your food at "Whole Paycheck", but without modern farming techniques people would starve, both here in the US and everywhere else in the world we export our food to.
"And what exactly does "sustainable beef" mean to McDonald's? We're not sure. And neither are they. That's because McDonald's is currently in the process of meeting with stakeholders -- from Walmart to the World Wildlife Foundation -- to come up with a viable definition."
I think they will find that 'sustainable' beef is grass fed beef.
Which is an effecient source of protein.
Sustainable Beef is defined (as far as McDonalds is concerned) as being the material and the method to process that material into a marketable product at a cheap and therefore profitable price and do that in a way that can be marketed as 'anti-carbon' and or as 'reducing the carbon foot print'. What you will not find listed in the definition of sustainable beef are words like 'healthy' or 'nutrional' or even 'safe'. You will see those in the marketing for the product but not in the internal 'Executives eyes only' documentation detailing what sustainable beef is.