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Reducing Your Environmental Impact: Practical Measures for the Meat Industry

April 30, 2015

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The meat industry can anticipate an era of new challenges marked by the release of the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). In the report, the USDA and USHHS advise Americans to eliminate meat from their diets due to saturated fats and environmental impact.

While this is the first time that the DGAC has included environmental impact as a reason to implement a dietary restriction, meat industry leaders are pushing back with cost-effective and practical ways to reduce the environmental impact of meat production and distribution.

One method of curbing environmental impact is to change meat labels. In a 2014 study, researchers at Washington State University found that consumers are willing to pay a 10% premium on meat products labeled to reflect environmentally friendly production practices, such as water conservation.

"Labels currently available to consumers ... can be misleading, as information available about the management associated with those labels can be difficult to find and is often incomplete," lead researcher Robin White reported in The Salt. "We need logical, clear labels that resonate with consumers while incentivizing the adoption of management practices that improve environmental impact."

Yet another method of lessening environmental impact is the reduction of harmful chemicals during the testing and analysis phases of production. CEM prides itself on offering a product line that eliminates the need for hazardous solvents and reagents.

Of particular interest to the meat industry are our MEAT Trac, HYBRID Trac, SMART ProFat, and SMART Turbo moisture, fat and solids analyzers. Notably, our MEAT Trac analyzes fat and moisture content through an innovative mechanism that combines microwave technology and NMR which dramatically reduces the energy consumed and eliminates the need for harmful solvents.

Unlike the Soxhlet, acid hydrolysis, and chloroform-methanol fat extraction methods, the MEAT Trac does not use of hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, NMR technology requires fewer calibrations than NIR methodologies, reducing the amount of wasted and out-of-specification product generated.

To learn more about reducing your environmental impact, get in touch with a CEM representative today.

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