Near The Niagra

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve only ever been through Niagra Falls once before and a long time. It’s just as pretty as I remember it. This is a view of the river below the falls I took while waiting in line for Canadian customs this afternoon. I’m here at the White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa and getting ready to head to the reception …

Ag Group, Animal Health

Consumers Love Beef Tender

Cindy Zimmerman

Would you pay $345.95 for four 12 oz. strip steaks – raw steaks, mind you, not cooked. That’s the price on-line for “Kobe-style” strip steaks, as marketed by Allen Brothers – a company some Rush Limbaugh listeners might recognize. That compares to $159.95 for the same quantity of U.S. Prime, dry-aged strip steaks – or just $104.95 for U.S. Prime, …

Animal Health, Beef, Elanco, Food

Sensory Panel Testing

Cindy Zimmerman

Individual booths, red lights to mask colors, positive pressure ventilation to keep out unwanted smells and pass-through sample presentation doors – that’s the environment where trained sensory panelists do their work at the ISU Sensory Evaluation Unit. So, basically this is what you see, sitting in your little booth, waiting for samples to come through the little door. You cleanse …

Animal Health, Beef, Elanco, Food

Sensory Evaluation 101

Cindy Zimmerman

How difficult could it be to figure out whether a piece of meat is tough or tender, dry or juicy, flavorful or not? A group of ag journalists found out this week as guests of Elanco Animal Health to a Sensory Evaluation Briefing at Iowa State University. Basically, we all got a crash course in how to be “sensory panelists.” …

Animal Health, Beef, Elanco

Perception is Reality

Cindy Zimmerman

When it comes to testing food, it’s all the senses that count, not just taste. “That’s because there’s only about four things we can taste,” says Dr. Ken Prusa with Iowa State University. “Sweet, salty, sour and bitter.” Which makes taste alone a pretty limited factor in the total experience of how we perceive a food. In fact, we use …

Animal Health, Beef, Elanco, General

Designing Meat Quality Trials

Cindy Zimmerman

Designing trials for a new animal health product to evaluate meat quality is expensive and complicated, according to Dr. Floyd McKeith with the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences. He was one of the speakers at a workshop for ag editors this week in Ames, Iowa sponsored by Elanco Animal Health. According to Dr. McKeith, some of the factors …

Animal Health, Beef, Elanco, General

Elanco Sensory Evaluation Workshop

Cindy Zimmerman

Bringing an animal health product to market requires a lot of testing – not just on how that product affects the animal, but also how it affects the meat that comes from that animal. That’s what a group of farm media folks, including myself, learned about this week at Iowa State University in Ames, courtesy of Elanco Animal Health. Pictured …

Animal Health, Beef, Elanco

Johanns at the ID INFO EXPO

Cindy Zimmerman

Second day of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture ID INFO Expo was a busy one, between the Secretary of Agriculture and the protesters. A small but vocal group gathered outside the Westin in Kansas City with signs and umbrellas saying “No to NAIS.” I figured that about 99 percent of the people passing by on Grand Avenue had no …

Animal Health, Government, USDA

The Place For NAIS

Cindy Zimmerman

I have been here at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture ID INFO Expo in Kansas City working on their virutal press room. Pretty cool idea, actually. I sent out a document file to agricultural media yesterday with links to interviews I did with all the representatives of the Species Working Group for the National Animal Identification System, as well …

Animal Health, General