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Local Food vs Global Foods,Who Will Survie ?

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PORKER

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Local food
Every action -- even those in the agriculture industry -- has an equal and opposite reaction. The same is true with globalization, which is spawning a fervent local-food movement.

“Local foods make sense intuitively as part of a plan to support local economies,” says Richard Pirog, marketing and food systems program leader at Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. “(Consumers) like the idea of supporting local farms and their local economy.”

As fuel prices and food-transportation costs increase, local and regional food systems make good economic and environmental sense, he continues. To contrast the differences in food transport between local and national/global food systems, Pirog and his colleagues use “food miles,” the distance food travels from where it is grown to where it is purchased by (or served to) the consumer or end-user.

“The average consumer can relate to a simple mileage number; they understand that a low number means the food is more local, and a high number means the food may come from across the country, or across the world,” Pirog says.

To arrive at more precise estimates, Pirog considered only food traveling within the continental United States and found that fresh produce travels, on average, nearly 1,500 miles. This is contrasted with an average distance of 45 to 55 miles for local produce in Iowa. Pirog’s group also explored food miles for strawberry yogurt, a multiple-ingredient food product, and determined that the three primary ingredients -- strawberries, milk and sugar -- traveled a total of 2,216 miles.

Challenges and obstacles
As food travels farther -- and passes through more hands -- the occasion for food safety problems multiples and COSTS increase. The world’s food systems are woven together by trade, Westhoff says, and the costs of being connected are animal diseases and health and safety concerns.

Food safety, a critical factor in international trade, was brought to the forefront with the establishment of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement among World Trade Organization members. This agreement was meant to protect exporters from other countries’ use of health-related measures to disguise trade barriers, but according to Heinze, sanitary and phytosanitary are new impediments to trade, with new testing and inspections suddenly announced upon delivery of exports, leading to constant adjustments.

“(We need to) get everyone’s standards at the same level,” Heinze says. “Regulations need to be standard and science-based. If government can solve one thing -- standardize sanitary standards.”

Another major challenge facing a global food system is spillover effects from disease, like BSE and Avian Flu, Westhoff says. “If there is a problem, it has repercussions everywhere. It makes us all more vulnerable. Do we want a system that after a BSE scare shuts down trade for a long time?” Westhoff asks. For a global food system to succeed there needs to be better domestic policies and better international policies, he continues.Also lower transport costs

One key advancement domestically is the continuing development of the National Animal Identification System for all food animals and livestock.

“The U.S. is the only country that has had a BSE case and does not have an animal ID system in place,” Heinze says. “International markets will begin to require it.”

And, hopefully, when they do, the United States will be ready to comply.
 

PORKER

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After posting and thinking about the article ,COOL would be best for the global food system to succeed and there needs to be better domestic policies and better international policies across all food groups verifing their country of origin and growing/harvesting imputs from field to fork or pasture to plate.
 

cedardell

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It still doesn't solve the transportation cost problem which is a key issue. You can't move product halfway around the world and compete with the guy 15 miles away unless there is quite a price disparity to start with. Cargill found this out and dumped a bunch of their contract producers, just because they had to ship more than 125 miles to the plant. Yet Cargill can ship the product from that plant half way around the world and make big profits. Go figure. I guess they make it up on the back haul. Economics of shipping products isn't a subject we've discussed much here, but could be interesting. Since Cargill is the major player in moving agricultural products around the world maybe they would like to enlighten us on the costs. The freight costs must have really skyrocketed with the recent runup in oil prices. Maybe this is why everything is so expensive these days. Glad all I have to do is go to the freezer or chicken coop for a meal. l:
 

mrj

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First, Porker, how can COOL, with it's serious flaws (no traceback required of producers, yet verification of previous owner IS required of processors; probably majority of beef not covered, and more!) have any possible benefit to global food safety?

I'm certain I'm not alone in definitely NOT wanting to eat ONLY local production. We like fresh fruits and fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables. Even exotic foods from warmer, and colder, climates would be dearly missed.

Has any research been done to show how much more food safety problems we might have if all families were forced to make that Strawberry Yogurt from scratch? How many women would want to stay at home and grow and prepare all the foods necessary to last through the non-growing seasons? Pretty simplistic stuff, that article, when you think really seriously about eating "local", but it can get headlines for several agendas.

MRJ
 

PORKER

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Mickey D's wants complete meat traceback and COOL is just a portion of that ,remember they are the largest user of beef and two more burger joints want complete traceback.What part of the meat supply is left?MRJ? YOURS or the local supply or beef shipped in with 3/4 it cost in Freight .

Cedardell has it right on transportation costs.According to those who sell traceback systems ,67 countrys have traceback and the US is sucking a hindtit when it comes to tracing food.You watch,next big problem if it comes and we will have APHIS traceback,COOL and FDA tracing all overnight.As they say ,too many stacked eggs will cause you to have scrambled eggs.
 

agman

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cedardell said:
It still doesn't solve the transportation cost problem which is a key issue. You can't move product halfway around the world and compete with the guy 15 miles away unless there is quite a price disparity to start with. Cargill found this out and dumped a bunch of their contract producers, just because they had to ship more than 125 miles to the plant. Yet Cargill can ship the product from that plant half way around the world and make big profits. Go figure. I guess they make it up on the back haul. Economics of shipping products isn't a subject we've discussed much here, but could be interesting. Since Cargill is the major player in moving agricultural products around the world maybe they would like to enlighten us on the costs. The freight costs must have really skyrocketed with the recent runup in oil prices. Maybe this is why everything is so expensive these days. Glad all I have to do is go to the freezer or chicken coop for a meal. l:

Consider the VALUE of a load of hogs versus a load of finished product. I believe that is where you will find the answer to your question.
 

mrj

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PORKER said:
Mickey D's wants complete meat traceback and COOL is just a portion of that ,remember they are the largest user of beef and two more burger joints want complete traceback.What part of the meat supply is left?MRJ? YOURS or the local supply or beef shipped in with 3/4 it cost in Freight .

{Porker, isn't that VOLUNTARY ID when demanded by consumers (McDonalds in this case)? The government mandated, flawed COOL exempts virtually all but 5% of imported beef from labeling (all beef processed, sold through food service and restaurants). NO ID is required on beef produced by USA producers which could be desperately needed in case of a food borne illness incident. MRJ}

Cedardell has it right on transportation costs.According to those who sell traceback systems ,67 countrys have traceback and the US is sucking a hindtit when it comes to tracing food.You watch,next big problem if it comes and we will have APHIS traceback,COOL and FDA tracing all overnight.As they say ,too many stacked eggs will cause you to have scrambled eggs.
 

PORKER

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MRJ,Seems to me that McDonalds is requiring Mandatory traceback.They are just like a goverment ,nothing but a big corp. that mandates rules to be followed .(NO ID is required on beef produced by USA producers )MRJ quote.************ You could make the above statement UNLESS your meat from your cattle end up at a packer that that is required by McDonalds to have source verified records on the live animals you sell and I call that Mandatory.I don't see any VOLUNTARY ID,I don't see any way around McDonalds or the other chains rules,or DO YOU?
 

mrj

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PORKER said:
MRJ,Seems to me that McDonalds is requiring Mandatory traceback.They are just like a goverment ,nothing but a big corp. that mandates rules to be followed .(NO ID is required on beef produced by USA producers )MRJ quote.************ You could make the above statement UNLESS your meat from your cattle end up at a packer that that is required by McDonalds to have source verified records on the live animals you sell and I call that Mandatory.I don't see any VOLUNTARY ID,I don't see any way around McDonalds or the other chains rules,or DO YOU?

{The fact that McDonalds requires traceback as a condition of selling beef to them has NOTHING to do with a government mandated requirement (M-ID) that ALL beef producers must identify their animals. It is VOLUNTARY because you are not required to sell to a BUSINESS requiring ID.

McDonalds may be the biggest customer of US cattle producers, but certainly is not the ONLY one. No one HAS to sell their beef to McDonalds, do they? If a cattle producer wants to sell to McDonalds, it must be the best deal he can get, so why should he complain about their requirement of ID?

I have no problem with M-ID, as I believe there are valid and even necessary reasons for government doing so, and for the producer providing a superior animal, there can be added value for the information properly controlled by the producer. It MUST be a cooperative effort between Government, cattle producer, and the beef industry, not solely a government program, IMO.

MRJ}
 

Mike

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MRJ said:
PORKER said:
MRJ,Seems to me that McDonalds is requiring Mandatory traceback.They are just like a goverment ,nothing but a big corp. that mandates rules to be followed .(NO ID is required on beef produced by USA producers )MRJ quote.************ You could make the above statement UNLESS your meat from your cattle end up at a packer that that is required by McDonalds to have source verified records on the live animals you sell and I call that Mandatory.I don't see any VOLUNTARY ID,I don't see any way around McDonalds or the other chains rules,or DO YOU?

{The fact that McDonalds requires traceback as a condition of selling beef to them has NOTHING to do with a government mandated requirement (M-ID) that ALL beef producers must identify their animals. It is VOLUNTARY because you are not required to sell to a BUSINESS requiring ID.

McDonalds may be the biggest customer of US cattle producers, but certainly is not the ONLY one. No one HAS to sell their beef to McDonalds, do they? If a cattle producer wants to sell to McDonalds, it must be the best deal he can get, so why should he complain about their requirement of ID?

I have no problem with M-ID, as I believe there are valid and even necessary reasons for government doing so, and for the producer providing a superior animal, there can be added value for the information properly controlled by the producer. It MUST be a cooperative effort between Government, cattle producer, and the beef industry, not solely a government program, IMO.

MRJ}

MRJ, I'm surprised at this statement! Your last sentence is EXACTLY why the U.S. Congress prohibited M'ID in the COOL law. They were leaving ID to the packers, producers, and retailers to work out between themselves for a far more efficient system than probably would have been if solely guvment mandated. AND.............. it would have been voluntary!
Some think R-Calf prohibited M'ID but not so! The writers of COOL were simply leaving the means to ID to the ones in the business.
A voluntary necessity.................it was brilliant!
 

PORKER

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MRJ Quotes ******McDonalds may be the biggest customer of US cattle producers, but certainly is not the ONLY one?
I DID NOT say they were the only buyer of beef as many plants will sell any producers beef per McDonalds specs which needs traceback for all food handlers

MRJNo one HAS to sell their beef to McDonalds, do they?
Maybe the next animal from your ranch will go to a plant that supplys McDonalds but without traceback records and RFID its diverted away from that boning line an it isn;t worth that much when it didn't have any records on the animal.I don't think the cattle buyers are that blind when sitting in the buyers chairs.

MRJ If a cattle producer wants to sell to McDonalds, it must be the best deal he can get, so why should he complain about their requirement of ID?
Unless those RFID cattle were under contract for a plant that sells to Mickey D's how would a buyer buy more cattle for the company in open bidding at a sales market and be willing to bid up the price for source verified RFID animals.In open bidding the only way to know the source is records like SSI's ScoringAg from an RFID tag.
 

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