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Consumers Value “Locally Sourced” Food Despite Difficulties Defining

US - New research confirms that interest in locally sourced foods is taking hold among consumers who equate “local” with “fresh” and “healthier” and who want to support their local economy.
Yet definitions of “local” vary widely by age group and were found to encompass national brands, according to a survey commissioned by food industry marketing company Charleston|Orwig.
In the recent survey, consumers indicated that a national brand can be considered “locally sourced” based on where its growers/products are located (63 per cent). Nearly that many, 58 per cent , believe a national brand is “locally sourced” when it uses local sources for ingredients and products. About half of the restaurant operators surveyed agreed with both statements, at 55 per cent and 45 per cent .
Both consumers and operators said a brand can be considered locally sourced because units/sales help the local economy (27 per cent and 19 per cent). On the other hand, 21 per cent of operators and 17 per cent of consumers say a national brand can never be considered locally sourced.
When asked to define “locally sourced,” a majority of consumers responded “food or products from within their state.” Younger consumers, however, defined “local” as much closer to home, within five to 10 miles.
The new survey was inspired by 2012 Charleston|Orwig-sponsored research that found a majority of consumers had recently purchased locally sourced food. Interestingly, “local” was a more important consideration than “organic” and was cited as a key driver of “sustainability,” according to consumers surveyed last fall.
“It seems locally sourced is gaining ground around the country and certainly is a frequent topic among our clients and friends in the food industry,” said Mark Gale, Charleston|Orwig partner and chief executive officer. “We thought it was important to dig deeper into this trend and the insights from last year’s research.”

Safety First

The 2013 survey compared priorities between locally sourced food and brand, convenience, availability and cost. Datassential led the research, which surveyed more than 2,700 consumers and 300-plus restaurant and food-service operators.
As much as both consumers and operators value locally sourced, they identify significant hurdles to purchasing and offering local items including short growing seasons that limit stocks of fresh produce, price, and quality and safety concerns. Both groups agree that food safety is more important than locally sourced, with operators showing particular concern about food safety.
“The research suggests an opportunity for national brands to support chain and franchisee efforts to source some ingredients locally,” said Gale. “And national brands can source locally to appeal to consumers and operators who see the benefits of locally sourced, but are concerned about safety and availability.”
Gale noted that addressing locally sourced concerns is important for brands: one-third of consumers and one-quarter of operators in the Charleston|Orwig survey identified themselves as brand loyal. Half of consumers and two-thirds of operators said they are “somewhat” brand loyal.
The research further noted a correlation between retail purchases of locally sourced and demand for local foods when dining out. Nearly 50 per cent of the consumers surveyed by Datassential who “always” or “usually” purchase locally sourced foods for home use, also order local foods when eating out. But finding local items on restaurant menus may be difficult because nearly 60 per cent of operators surveyed indicated they do not include locally sourced or farm-identified items on menus because of seasonal availability and cost issues or safety concerns.
Fine and casual dining operators are most likely to offer local or farm-identified items, indicating an opportunity for quick-serve and midscale restaurants to address demand for locally sourced foods, Gale said.

No Meat in School

Cheryl Day

On May 1, the first day of Beef month, I read a fellow aggie’s social media post of a Wall State Journal’s Headline

As a mom, I shook my head
You see as a parent of two school-aged children, one in elementary and one in high school, I often have a love-hate relationship with the school’s menu.  I have never been impressed with the main dish item being breadsticks. Sure, I admit I have done the occasional breadstick-cheese combo for quick lunch, once in while, but not as a hard-core calculated planned menu for kids. 
However as an individual raising beef, I shook my head… counted to 10….. took a deep breath……waited a few days before writing this blog post......and tried to rationalize the school district’s decisions to erode away the child’s freedom to choose or threaten the health and performance of children-Especially in a public school setting where food served at the school may be the only real meal of the day.
Administrators of Public School 244 in Flushing section of Queens proudly claim switching to all vegetarian menu is providing a healthier option for their students. However, this mom knows that eliminating animal proteins will deprive students of essential nutrients for brain power and building lean muscles.
Protein makes up about 20 percent of the weight of the heart, muscles and liver. In addition, protein also counts for 10 percent of the brain. The quality of the protein is essential for a health. Every cell contains protein and it helps bond the body together in bones, ligaments, and tendons.  Enzymes and hormones, which play vital roles in keeping your body running smoothly, also contain protein. Your body cannot repair tissues or cells without protein. More importantly, eating enough proteins signals the body to retain and to make muscle.  Muscle burns more calories than fat.

Animal vs. Plant Protein

Here are the facts Plant Proteins are not equal to Animal Proteins.  There is no way a pro-vegetarian agenda can spin it. Animal sources contain greater amount of protein.  It takes a large amount of plant sources to equally substitute. 

Complete vs. Incomplete Protein

The only plant source protein that is considered "complete" by food scientists is soybean.  On the flip side lean meats, eggs, and dairy products are all labeled complete or high-quality protein. Please note that the actual grams of protein present in soybean are extremely low therefore for your calories intake Animal Protein provides more nutrients for fewer calories.

Bonus Factor

Animal protein sources are packed full of Vitamin B12 . Name one plant source that contains this important vitamin that is crucial for nerve and brain function
Wait for it…
         Wait for it…
There is NO plant source that naturally contain B12.  
Supporters of the P.S. 244 Adminstrators' decision to serve all vegetarian menu (including People for the Ethincal Treatment of Animals -PETA), applaud the school for making a healthy decisions on behalf of its studnets.
"We think this is a really exciting development," said Ryan Huling, who coordinates PETA's work with colleges that serve vegetarian fare. "The school should be commended for providing students with low-fat, nutrient-packed brain food."
Mr. Huling, let's review the information above which source Animal -or- Plant provide better Brain food?
In my opinion,  this school’s decision to adopt an all vegetarian menu will only contribute to poor academic performance, increase mind wandering due to hunger pains, and zap energy. If that was the school's goal then they made the right decision.
We live in the land of freedom. Where many have died to protect and preserve our right to choose.  As parent please do not make an important lifestyle change on behalf of my child based on false information. Just offer a variety of balanced, healthy food options -animal and plant source.  Teach the kids the true science behind the food they eat and give them confidence to select healthy items.

New Freeman Big Baler with greater capacity cuts and bales at same time

The Freeman model 1592D Big Baler, which cuts and bales at the same time, is redesigned for 25% greater capacity. It can package up to 45 tons per hour. The hydraulic drive feed system is reversible from the tractor seat, saving hours of hand work unplugging the baler.
With the state-of-the-art drive system there are fewer moving parts than gear-driven balers. This means that annual repair, maintenance and equipment costs are lower.
Built-in work-saving features of the rugged 1592D Big Baler include the reversible feed system and the time-saving use of hydraulic relief valves instead of shear bolts.
The hydraulic drive system ensures that hay flows directly from the windrow through the feed chute directly into the bale chamber, without the use of a precompression chamber.
The only time the hydraulically driven bale chamber operates is when the bale chamber is fully charged. This design feature gives you 17 to 22 uniform bale flakes per 8-ft. bale, protects alfalfa and other fragile crops, and makes feeding easier — bales break apart readily and controllably.
Price: $500,000 for self-propelled model, depending on options; $240,000 for pull-type model. For more information, call 503/625-2560, or