The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
Canadians are responding to the beef industry's encouragement to: 'Enjoy Canadian beef more often.' Nationally, 62% more beef moved through the supply chain in July 2003 compared to July 2002. "Such volumes haven't been seen in close to 30 years," says Margaret Thibeault, National Communications Manager for the Beef Information Centre (BIC). "This would not have been achieved without the tremendous cooperation we received from all our supply chain partners in retail and foodservice and ultimately from Canadian consumers." "We asked people to not only enjoy more of their favourite meat, but to change the type of cuts they normally enjoy in the summer," explains Thibeault. "To encourage purchase of marinating and simmering steaks and roasts, we had to quickly introduce new ways of merchandising to retailers and new recipe ideas for both consumers and chefs." The good news for consumers is that by eating more beef they are also helping themselves to a more nutritious diet. "Beef contains 12 essential nutrients, and is a rich source of highly absorbable iron and zinc," says Pat Scarlett, BIC's National Nutrition Manager. Scarlett explains that many Canadians are putting their health at risk due to insufficient intakes of iron and zinc. A national nutrition study at McGill University showed that about 40% of women and 25% of men aren't eating the minimum recommendation of two servings from the Meat and Alternatives food group as suggested in Canada's Food Guide to Health Eating. "There is definitely room in Canadians' diet for nutrient dense foods like meat," says Scarlett. "The McGill study also found that the 'Other Foods' category - a group of foods that contains significant amounts of fat and Calories, but are low in nutrients - contributes more than 25% of the Calories in our daily diet. By replacing snacks, such as chips and chocolate bars, with a burger or a salad with steak strips, consumers benefit themselves ... and the beef industry." Consumers can enjoy the delicious, nutritious taste of beef guilt free. All cuts of beef, except short ribs, qualify as lean when trimmed of visible fat - that is, they have no more than 10% fat. As for ground beef, Scarlett points out that lean and extra lean ground beef make up the majority of ground beef purchases in Canada. "However, consumers wanting to take advantage of feature pricing on regular ground beef will be pleased to learn that during cooking much of the fat drains off," explains Scarlett. "When cooked, drained, and rinsed of excess fat, regular ground beef is similar in fat content to cooked, drained lean ground beef." For more information on beef's role in a healthy diet and to test your iron knowledge with an interactive quiz, visit the Nutrition and Health section of the Beef Information Centre's website at www.beefinfo.org.