October 27, 2023
Rachael Cooper, Owner E2C Cattle Co
In 2013 the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations declared Insects are Future Prospects for Human Consumption; Now, in 2023, Tyson Foods announces Partnership with Protix, an Insect Ingredients Company out of the Netherlands. We are One Step Closer, under the guise of Health and Environmental Alarmism, to eating Bugloaf instead of Meatloaf.
Good News: You have the Power to Stop the Madness.
I was listening to the Glenn Beck Podcast a few days ago while getting ready for work. Mr. Beck made mention of a partnership between Tyson Foods and Protix. I was very interested in this, obviously, because our family raises beef cattle and we are BIG believers that beef is good for humanity. I reject the notion that animals harm the environment. Continue reading to learn why.
Tyson Foods is self-described as a, "modern, multi-national, protein-focused company producing approximately 20% of the beef, pork, and chicken in the United States in addition to a portfolio of foods under the Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, BallPark®, Wright®, Aidell’s® and State Fair® brands" (https://www.tysonfoods.com/who-we-are/our-story/what-we-do). For those in the beef industry, Tyson Foods is known as one the BIG FOUR meat processors in the United States. In addition to Tyson Foods the United States beef industry is dominated by Cargill out of Minnesota, JBS SA out of Brazil, and the National Beef Packing Co which is controlled by yet another Brazilian Company, Marfrig Global Foods SA (https://www.reuters.com/business/how-four-big-companies-control-us-beef-industry-2021-06-17/).
The four companies took over 71% of the cattle slaughter market in 1992 and today the big four dominate the market at 85% of all cattle slaughtered in the United States. These four companies dictate the purchase of cattle and processed beef sales nationally. Since the COVID pandemic, and perhaps before unbeknownst to me, the companies were accused of unfair trade and anticompetitive practices. A White House analysis in 2021, revealed that the big four tripled their net profits since the start of the pandemic, to which was attributed by the CEOs to be associated with inflationary trends more broadly (https://thehill.com/policy/finance/3469128-big-four-meatpackers-deny-price-fixing-amid-record-profits/). Though they all denied violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, Tyson Foods settled a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to inflate chicken prices for $221.5M in 2021. In the same year JBS settled a lawsuit regarding accusations of conspiring to drive up beef prices for the sum of $52.5M. No companies admitted guilt.
It should concern all people that four companies control meat processing and distribution of 85% of the beef market. Tyson Foods comprises approximately 20% of that and now they are partnering with Protix? Why?
Who is Protix and What do they Do?
Protix was founded in 2009 and, "has been leading the way in creating a sustainable food system by developing ingredients from insects" (https://protix.eu/about-us/). Protix has been recognized by the World Economic Forum with the Technology Pioneer Award. Protix opened the first in the world industrial insect facility in 2019 in the Netherlands. This facility accommodates the breeding, rearing, and processing of insects under one roof. According to Protix they're leading in insect-based ingredients for healthy and sustainable pet food, aqua culture, and livestock feed and organic fertilizer (https://protix.eu/wp-content/uploads/TysonFoodsAndProtixPartnership.pdf).
The Tyson Food and Protix partnership will include the formation of a joint venture for the construction of an insect ingredient facility in the United States. The below image is the map they provided. All that I can glean from the image is that the facility may be located in the central United States.
Though Protix is focused on insect ingredients for non-human consumption, is that where it ends? Is Tyson Foods interested in only biowaste sales to Protix? I don't think so. Partnership of this magnitude are not formed for just biowaste sales.
They want YOU to Eat Bugs
According to an October 20, 2023, article by CNN, the meat processor' [Tyson Foods] CFO John R. Tyson stated, "Today, we're focused on more of [an] ingredient application with insect protein than we are a consumer application" (https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/20/business/tyson-insect-ingredients/index.html). I have no problem in deriving value from byproducts. Bugs eating discarded portions of carcasses so that those bugs can then be fed to chickens...I'm all for that. I am not for human consumption, I prefer beef to satisfy my palette and protein needs thank you very much. Take special notice of Mr. Tyson's statement: he said "today," but what about tomorrow? Mr. Tyson seems to be posturing for human consumption and it would be an easy transition with an insect plant right here in the United States.
Robert Downey Jr. also wants you to eat bugs. He has invested in a mealworm product company called Ynsect (https://www.acs.org/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/2021-2022/april-2022/bugs-future-of-meat.html). Ynsect's long-term goal is to sell insect protein for human nutrition (https://workweek.com/2022/09/27/will-you-eat-the-bugs/). His support for entomophagy, the eating of bugs, is not isolated. Many articles that I have uncovered point to the 2013 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations publication titled, Edible insects Future prospects for food and feed security.
The premise is that bugs are better for the environment compared to livestock and that bugs are better sources of protein for humans. I reject both!
Bugs are NOT better for the Environment
According to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory, two (2) percent of United States emissions come directly from beef cattle which is in the form of methane. It's funny really to be alarmed about a gas that makes up only 0.00017% of the atmosphere as a contributor to "global warming" that would result, if doubled, in a 0.3 Celcius degree increase in 200 years. Even the doubling of the gas is based on theoretical principles that are unfounded and unproven...but let's eat bugs instead of beef? No thank you (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/5270/atmospheric-methane). Methane is really an irrelevant "greenhouse gas" (https://co2coalition.org/media/methane-the-irrelevant-green-house-gas/). Total agricultural production contribution is eight point four (8.4) percent of the United States' emissions. All agricultural and forestry practices combined in the United States are a net sink of CO2 equivalent emissions which means a removal of CO2 equivalent emissions from the atmosphere (https://www.tsln.com/news/should-livestock-producers-worry-about-insect-protein/).
How can our industry be a net sink you ask? Well cattle provide a lot more than tasty meat to eat. Cattle are a source of fiber, fertilizer, and fuel. Cattle are also ruminants; they are upcyclers. Cattle convert plants inedible by humans to a high-quality protein. This is a GIFT FROM GOD. Cattle convert grass to steaks! Cattle simultaneously eat the grass, fertilize the grass, breath out CO2 for the grass, and convert the grass for human use.
This may not surprise many of you but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not always right. Doctoral Candidate Grant Graves in association with professors from the University of Oklahoma found that the methodology for determining fecal impairment in our streams, lakes, and rivers adopted NATIONALLY was flawed resulting in 40 - 90% false positives (https://shareok.org/bitstream/handle/11244/337499/2023_Graves_Grant_Dissertation.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y). Cattle under good management practices are not polluting our drinking water. Our water is collected and treated prior to arriving at our taps by our respective water departments to kill all bacteria of concern and again the fecal "impaired" waters are, more often than not, wrong. I think we all learned long ago during our first camping trip to NEVER drink untreated water...at least never again lol. Don't blame the cows.
There is also this notion that we are overpopulating the earth and that we must find alternate sources of food with a smaller footprint. I could go on a tangent about the "smaller footprint" discussion but I will just focus on the efficiency of the human spirit. When you look at the world grain production as a whole, which provides food for cattle and people, production has quadrupled since 1961. Human demand increases so producers rise to the occasion with more efficient and genetically superior practices (https://co2coalition.org/news/climate-disaster-grain-production-almost-quadrupled-worldwide-while-the-population-doubled-over-past-60-years/).
Bugs are NOT better for YOU
Bugs are a superfood? That is the claim. The claim is that insects could be a healthier protein source because they contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. These people claim that saturated fats found in red meat could harm our heart (https://www.acs.org/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/2021-2022/april-2022/bugs-future-of-meat.html). One word, propaganda.
Well the data just doesn't support that notion. We have known since 1997 that this isn't true, at least by then, yet we still hear that saturated fat is bad. The adult US population increased in obesity from 25.4% in 1976 to 33.3% in 1991. During that same period average fat intake dropped 11% as well as total caloric intake (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002934396004561). During this same time products such as margarine increased in popularity since the concept of saturated fat as a driver of heart disease grew in popularity and margarine is cheap! (https://medium.com/@TheCardiologistsKitchen/a-brief-history-of-margarine-and-trans-fat-220a3add28c6). There is no significant increase in the "bad" cholesterol in the blood due to saturated fat; on the contrary, very high fat diets increase the "good" cholesterol (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161202094340.htm). Saturated Fat DOES NOT clog arteries (https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/15/1111). EAT BEEF! Eat lots of it. It's good for you!
How can YOU Fight Back?
To start, don't be manipulated to believe it is YOUR perception that needs changing (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313757#The-nutritional-content-of-insects). Insect are to be stomped with your three-year old's shoe. They have their place in this world, that God created, but there is no place for it on our plates. They don't save the environment and they definitely don't improve your health.
Eating beef and purchasing meat from your local rancher is the way forward to protect your family and to preserve the ranching way of life. You can support your local producers by finding them online, sharing their business on social media, contacting your local cattlemen's association, or reaching out to any local butchers that might know of ranches like ours. Not only will you get high quality beef, you will get 100% beef. Be a champion for meatloaf, not bugloaf. We are taking orders for summer 2024. You can find us at www.e2ccattleco.com.
May God bless you and yours,