February 2017

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Livestock industry gives back

Did you know the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation raises funds to save young lives by auctioning steers? Neither did we. Here's the story so far, and what we're going to do next.

Livestock industry gives back more

Find out here how Gentec facilitated a healthy beefy meal for Edmonton's less fortunate at a difficult time of year.
This month’s presentation features John Stika, President of Certified Angus Beef, discussing the challenges and opportunities facing producers as they recognize that they are less and less in the “cow” business and ever more in the consumer food industry. He points out that, while the consumer’s understanding of beef production is not very high, they are very interested in the process and where their food comes from. Trust, transparency and the story matter as does the quality of the product (as judged by the consumer). 

In CAB's experience, as the price disparity between pork, chicken,and beef grew, the demand for premium quality beef increased dramatically while demand for commodity beef stayed flat or declined.
It is not so much about price, but about the value and the eating experience that quality beef can provide. Many of these gains are made by applying genetics and genomics to improve beef quality.

Eat better, eat less, food for all

So says the mantra of the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition study, whose goal it is to shift the world towards more sustainable food systems through research, dissemination and public engagement. Check out here how Canada is doing, and compare with other countries.

Teenager raped to death in US animal research centre

Apologies for the eye-popping headline--but that's exactly the reaction Gentec-associated researcher Alison Van Eenennaam wanted as she blasts NY Times journalist Michael Moss for favouring sensationalism over impartiality. Read more here. She doesn't mince her words!

How delicious are gene-edited foods?

We'll have to ask the A-listers invited to a meal hosted by Cellectis at a swanky New York restaurant. The premise was that nobody would know the difference between edited and non-edited foods--and indeed may never know because these foods won't be labelled. Read more here.

Do GM food crops live up to the hype?

In this article, Anastasia Bodnar evaluates whether the biotechnology industry’s nutrition-related claims about GM crops are true or not. The verdict might surprise you.

Gentec in Ontario

Gentec CEO Graham Plastow spent the last week of January in southern Ontario in his role on LRIC's (see our article here) international advisory board.

Here he is at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, a world-class centre for horticulture science and innovation in Guelph with the other board members:

Top L-R: Graham Plastow, Peter Groot Koerkamp, Brian Lindsay, John Oldham Bottom L-R: Cornelia Kreplin, Heather Burrow, Tim Nelson (LRIC) Foreground: Shelby VanderEnde (Vineland)

Lab vs nature

If an animal is selectively bred for meat, is it less safe to eat than a "mutt" animal? If humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas, does it matter if there's a fish gene in tomatoes? Find out here.

Canada approves irradiated beef

Ground beef is to join the list of other food items that can be irradiated to reduce the risk of pathogens and food poisoning. Irradiated beef will be labelled as such. Read more here.

Putting the flavour back in tomatoes

After a student in his lab picked a store-bought tomato as her favourite in a taste test, UFlorida's Harry Klee decided this was a problem that needed fixing. He's doing this "old school"--no genetic modification. Read more here.

Beef/hog prices down--but not at the store

The farm price for beef has fallen 20%, but the cut of meat in the store only 5%. Pork is following a similar trend. Find out here what the factors are behind rising/falling prices.

"Mucking in" on the farm

Animal Science students at UAlberta got their hands dirty at real livestock operations during reading week. The experience opened their minds to new lucrative career paths (as well as being an eye-opener for the more urban students). Read more here.

Events calendar

The lighter side

Oh, it's the usual story.... Girl asks for a pony. Mom and Dad say No! Girl pouts and gets her own way (kind of). Check it out here.
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