Where’s the beef?

Where’s the beef?

Michigan State hopes to track it with barcode tags
A Michigan State University tag and barcode is seen on meat at a processing plant in Byron Center, Mich. The barcodes could be used to create a system of tracking beef from the farm to the plate and providing other information about how it was raised.
A small herd of cattle from Michigan State University are seen in East Lansing, Mich. The herd was recently slaughtered with two goals: boosting the amount of locally-produced food on campus and creating a system of tracking beef from the farm to the plate. Michigan State Associate Professor Dan Buskirk sees possibilities of offering consumers more information about where their beef comes from by creating apps allowing smart phones to read the coding.
Michigan State Associate Professor Dan Buskirk says barcodes will help beef producers communicate with consumers. Avoiding feedlot raised-cattle can add value for ranchers if they can communicate their effort to shoppers, Buskirk says. “A lot of these things are things producers might be doing, but consumers have no way of knowing. ... Maybe it makes it more real if it’s grass-fed, grain-fed or organic,” he said.

Where’s the beef?

A Michigan State University tag and barcode is seen on meat at a processing plant in Byron Center, Mich. The barcodes could be used to create a system of tracking beef from the farm to the plate and providing other information about how it was raised.
A small herd of cattle from Michigan State University are seen in East Lansing, Mich. The herd was recently slaughtered with two goals: boosting the amount of locally-produced food on campus and creating a system of tracking beef from the farm to the plate. Michigan State Associate Professor Dan Buskirk sees possibilities of offering consumers more information about where their beef comes from by creating apps allowing smart phones to read the coding.
Michigan State Associate Professor Dan Buskirk says barcodes will help beef producers communicate with consumers. Avoiding feedlot raised-cattle can add value for ranchers if they can communicate their effort to shoppers, Buskirk says. “A lot of these things are things producers might be doing, but consumers have no way of knowing. ... Maybe it makes it more real if it’s grass-fed, grain-fed or organic,” he said.
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