Farm Food Facts

Ep 17 Mickey Rubin, Jim Adams, Protein Trend for Consumers

March 12, 2019
Farm Food Facts
Ep 17 Mickey Rubin, Jim Adams, Protein Trend for Consumers
Chapters
Farm Food Facts
Ep 17 Mickey Rubin, Jim Adams, Protein Trend for Consumers
Mar 12, 2019
USFRA
Today, our thought leader is Dr. Mickey Rubin the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Board, and one of the nation’s leaders on sports nutrition and the dietary effects of what we eat on cardiometabolic health outcomes. Food News of the Week:•Want to learn the “Life Story” of a Chicken in your Supermarket? Well, now you can.•High-fat Diets cause Food Prices to balloon—challenging Farmers to Keep Up.•What Food Companies should learn from Smithfield Foods, who has exceeded its Grain Sustainability Goal •Remember those ugly smoke stacks? Turns out there’s a reclaimed smoke-stack Mineral that could help Grow Crops.•It’s all about the retail experience to compete with online shoppingFarmer of the Week:Jim is a former chairman of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and serves as a board member of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.
Show Notes Transcript

Today, our thought leader is Dr. Mickey Rubin the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Board, and one of the nation’s leaders on sports nutrition and the dietary effects of what we eat on cardiometabolic health outcomes. 

Food News of the Week: 
•Want to learn the “Life Story” of a Chicken in your Supermarket? Well, now you can.
•High-fat Diets cause Food Prices to balloon—challenging Farmers to Keep Up. 
•What Food Companies should learn from Smithfield Foods, who has exceeded its Grain Sustainability Goal 
•Remember those ugly smoke stacks? Turns out there’s a reclaimed smoke-stack Mineral that could help Grow Crops. 
•It’s all about the retail experience to compete with online shopping 

Farmer of the Week: Jim is a former chairman of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and serves as a board member of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

Phil Lempert:
0:01
Farm, Food, Facts: where every farmer, every acre and every voice matter.:
Phil Lempert:
0:09
This week on Farm, Food, Facts, we will discuss the protein trend for consumers and how important protein is for our bodies and our minds, why chickens are wearing new bracelets - and it's not about making a fashion statement - and talking about fashion, we all want to look good and feel good and the latest diets may be shedding pounds, but they also seem to be shrinking our wallets at the checkout. I'll offer you a new way to look at those eyesore smokestacks and how the retail experience is changing. And coming up, an important update on pig production. Welcome to Farm, Food, Facts interactive podcast presented by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Allaince for Wednesday, March 13, 2019. This week is National Ag Week, a time to recognize and celebrate the importance of agriculture, which is what we do at U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance every single day and every single week. I hope you'll join us in the celebration. Today, our thought leaders, Dr Mickey Ruben, the executive director of the Egg Nutrition Board and one of the nation's leaders on sports nutrition and the dietary effects of what we eat on cardio-metabolic health outcomes. Our podcast will then continue with a discussion with Jim Adams. Jim is a former chairman of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and serves as Board Member of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. He previously served as CEO - he's now retired - of The Wenger Group that manufacturers poultry and swine feeds and provides eggs, poultry, and pork products to customers in the mid-Atlantic region. Our focus today will be on nutrition. Doctor Rubin, welcome to Farm, Food, Facts.:
Mickey Rubin:
1:48
Thanks for having me, Phil.:
Phil Lempert:
1:50
So, Mickey, it seems like every consumer and every food product are now focused on protein, getting more protein in our diets than ever before. I know that eggs are an excellent, very affordable source of protein. Give us the Nutrition 101 on protein. Why is it so important for our bodies and what makes the protein in eggs so different?:
Mickey Rubin:
2:12
Well, we're all interested in protein because it's so important for our muscles and our bones. On the sports nutrition world, everybody is always interested in protein because they're interested in recovery for their muscles after hard workouts. But a lot of the great research lately on protein has shown that there's some really great benefits for bone health as well. So, it's not just for athletes, it's for all of us. It's for all of us as we're growing older, we want to maintain the strength in our muscles and bones. Just so, you know, we can maintain our mobility. So it's athletes, it's the everyday person, it's everybody throughout their lifespan.:
Phil Lempert:
2:47
So, when we talk about protein not all protein is the same, correct?:
Mickey Rubin:
2:53
That's right. There are some proteins that we say are more high quality proteins, and those are protein from eggs or other animal products like dairy foods. Those proteins have all of the essential amino acids, and those amino acids are ones that cannot be produced by our body. We have to get them from our diets and foods such as eggs have all of those essential amino acids, all just in one package.:
Phil Lempert:
3:18
So, you know, when I go into the supermarket and I'm seeing products, whether it's breakfast cereal or bars or all the bread, everybody that's touting all this added protein, I really need to look at the labels very carefully to make sure that I'm getting the right protein. Correct?:
Mickey Rubin:
3:37
Exactly. I think there's a lot of different places to get protein in your diet, but I think what we can all be rest assured, if we're getting the protein from animal foods like eggs or milk or other meats, we're getting the highest quality protein that you can get. So, that's great to have a varied diet to get a lot of different nutrients from a lot of different sources, plant foods, animal foods. But when we really are looking to get the highest quality protein, and to really round out that part of our diets, food like eggs are really the best. And as you said before, from a cost perspective, we're looking at 15 cents for one large egg and six grams of high quality protein. Not much better than that.:
Phil Lempert:
4:16
Yeah, it's much better than buying a protein bar for a $1.99. So, I'm also hearing a lot about brain health these days; do eggs do anything for our brains and our cognitive functions?:
Mickey Rubin:
4:32
Yeah, this is the most exciting aspect of egg nutrition research, I think. There are several nutrients in eggs, two in particular, cholineand lutein, that are very high in eggs. And choline and lutein are two nutrients that we're learning much more about, that are really important for cognitive health, and neurocognitive development too with children, and perhaps even for cognitive health across the lifespan. You know, some studies have shown that those who consume more eggs have reduced risk for cognitive decline. It's really that source of choline, which eggs have one of the highest amounts of choline of any food commonly consumed that you can get.:
Phil Lempert:
5:11
Now, I know you've done a lot of research and work on sports nutrition and exercise endocrinology. What are the effects of our diet on the cardio-metabolic health?:
Mickey Rubin:
5:22
Well, I think when it comes to our diet, and I'd even add exercise, they're both important. You know, you always hear the question, what's more important for my health? Is it that I eat the right foods or that I get enough exercise? I always say the answer is yes, you gotta do both. So, I think that when you get a lot of food, from a nutrition perspective, following that very diet where you get a lot of nutrient-rich foods - eggs are a good example, there's a lot of great other foods like plants and animal foods - but also making sure that you get that heart moving every once in awhile and get some exercise. It helps maintain a healthy body weight and better cardio-respiratory fitness.:
Phil Lempert:
6:08
Well, Mickey, thanks so much for your insights and for joining us on Farm, Food, Facts. Appreciate it.:
Phil Lempert:
6:19
And now, here's the food news you need to know. Want to learn the life story of a chicken in your supermarket? Well, now you can. The Wall Street Journal reports that the food industry is investing heavily in technology that will help producers, shippers, regulators, and consumers know where our food is at every step. And it goes well beyond blockchain. Introducing GoGo Chicken, a poultry monitoring technology in which every chicken wears a tracking device on its foot. Soon, consumers may be able to learn about their chicken's life story. Everything from its living conditions to its route to the supermarket. The device automatically uploads its real time movements through the supply chain to a digital ledger or blockchain. Sensors monitor temperature, humidity, and other aspects of the chicken's environment, while algorithms evaluate the bird's health using video analysis. There's no doubt that these kinds of technologies will offer the industry and shoppers more transparency, and could greatly assist in sourcing food safety outbreaks. But the question is on the consumer side, does it just confuse shoppers? What grocers need to know is that while the food industry is implementing technology to meet the public's demand for information about what we eat, we must as an industry come together and create standards that are uniform throughout the supply chain. Farmers and ranchers and retailers need to be part of the conversation and not just leave it to the tech companies to create and hand it over to us.:
Phil Lempert:
7:50
In other news, if you're wondering why avocados are so expensive lately, it's all about the high fat diets that are causing food prices to balloon, challenging farmers to keep up. High fat diets, like the Keto Diet and Paleo Diet, have grown increasingly popular, causing the demand and prices for food items such as avocados, olive oil and salmon to jump significantly, putting pressure on farmers who're struggling to catch up. The Wall Street Journal reports that the average prices of avocados, butter, and olive oil have climbed as much as 60% since 2013. And the price of salmon? Well, that's ballooned more than 128% since 2012. This new fat health kick is also forcing avocado growers and fish farmers to come up with new, innovative ways to meet this overwhelming demand, even as environmental constraints due to climate change become evermore pressing on a global level. What grocers need to know is with high fat diets growing in popularity and grocers devoting more shelf space to those products that fit within their guidelines, it's important to strike a balance for shoppers to stay within their budgets. Be sure to work with your retail dietitian to offer lower cost alternatives for your shoppers.:
Phil Lempert:
9:13
And on that note, here's some sustainable ag news. What food companies should learn from Smithfield Foods who has exceeded its grain sustainability goal. In 2013, Smithfield Foods and the Environmental Defense Fund partnered together to work with grain farmers in the Smithfield supply chain in order to adopt farming practices that would optimize fertilizer and build soil health on 75% of the land from which Smithfield sources grain, which is about 450,000 acres. Smithfield recently announced that it exceeded their goal and reports improving practices on 560,000 acres in 2018, in just five years. Smithfield also published a case study in alignment with the announcement that explains just how Smithfield exceeded its grain sustainability goal so that other companies may follow their example and drive sustainable changes throughout the ag industry. Three important notes from the report include that 1) food companies can improve sustainability and commodity grain supply chains. 2) The most successful initiatives focused on shared value to the environment, farmers and Smithfield. And lastly, the next evolution of grain sustainability will be collecting data that shows the environmental impact. What grocers need to know is that Smithfield has taken the position to share information, even with its competitors, so that agriculture and the planet will all prosper. It's a great formula that should be throughout the supply chain.:
Phil Lempert:
10:49
And here's another ag practice that could significantly help with sustainability and soil health. Remember those ugly smokestacks? Turns out there's a reclaimed smokestack mineral that could help grow crops. Sulfur is often chemically scrubbed from the flue gas emissions of coal burning power plants in an attempt to reduce air pollution and gypsum or calcium sulfate. It's produced as a byproduct of the process. Unfortunately, this gypsum typically winds up in landfills. However, there's new research claiming that the byproduct gypsum could be used to boost crops in several ways. While gypsum is already sometimes used in agriculture, it's typically mined from geological deposits. But scientists from Ohio State University have now determined that the reclaimed gypsum is also high in both sulfur and calcium, which as you know, helps plants grow. One other huge discovery was that because particles of the tested material were small and uniform in size, they proved to be especially when added to the soil. Even a couple of years after being applied to crops, the gypsum was still supplying sulfur. Another benefit is that it changes the soil's Ph level slightly, making it less acidic. And gypsum is semi-soluble itself, so the calcium from it was able to move deep down into the soil; even deeper than the calcium for more commonly used agriculture lime, or calcium carbonate. This caused the plant's roots to grow deeper and allowing them to take up more water and nutrients. What grocers need to know is that farmers and researchers are working together to make more efficient uses of our land in order to produce better crops. Retailers, especially those near farmland and land grant. Universities need to reach out, learn and partner with the ag world wherever they can.:
Phil Lempert:
12:45
And while farmers continue to work hard and explore new sustainability practices, here's what retailers can do to keep their physical stores lucrative. It's all about the retail experience if you want to compete with online shopping. Successful and growing retailers have figured out an excellent reason for shoppers to visit their brick-and mortar-stores. The unique, real time experience that comes along with enjoying the foods and beverages that they love. Grocers have always had in store demonstrations and parking lot festivals, but now retailers are taking a more focused look at their shoppers, seeing what appeals most to them, and giving it to them. Food retailers turn themselves into community centers and offer shoppers another great reason to visit their stores. Lowe's food stores throughout the Carolinas have a "pick and prep station," where shoppers can choose fresh fruits and vegetables and then tell the folks behind the counter exactly how they'd like the fresh produce cut, sliced, diced or cubed, making food preparation at home that much easier and personalized - think of it as a produce butcher. Now here's an idea we would love to see in every supermarket. Newport avenue market in Bend, Oregon realized how important local products are to its customers. So, they held a Meet the Producers Day with live music, demonstrations, and sampling stations staffed by reps from the local farms, vendors, breweries and wineries that supply their stores. "We just thought of having a great party for our customers," said Dorothy Lane, Market CEO, Norman Main. Norman is one of the most outstanding independent retailers in the nation, a good friend, and to follow his lead is always successful. What grocers need to know is that retailers have found unique ways to give their customers an experience that demonstrates the value of their community, and having farmers and ranchers in their stores and events bring us stronger relationship with shoppers by offering them transparency, information, and of course, great food.:
Phil Lempert:
14:53
Up next: my interview with Jim Adams, a USFRA Board Member. Jim, welcome to Farm, Food, Facts. Now, as the former CEO of Wenger Feeds, can you explain to me a little bit more about your work manufacturing poultry and swine feeds and providing eggs, poultry and pork products to customers throughout the mid-Atlantic region?:
Jim Adams:
15:17
Sure. I worked for a Wenger Feeds, and we were a regional feed manufacturer, mainly central Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware. And we were what is called a commercial feed manufacturer. So, we made many kinds of feed and then sold it to producers. Now, some of those producers were a large customer, and you just called on one office and then you've got many points of sale from that. Generally we didn't travel around the countryside on individual calls to farmers, but we made feed for laying hands, pullet broilers, turkeys and all kinds of swine. We didn't do any dairy feed or other ruminant feeds.:
Phil Lempert:
16:08
So when I look at feed and not being a scientist, what goes into developing new feeds on a consistent basis to meet those changes that a farmer or rancher might need, or consumer preferences?:
Jim Adams:
16:27
Well, I love that you used the word "scientist," because feed manufacturing is very scientific. In the old days, people would just mix things together as best as they thought, but it wasn't always from a scientific basis. So much of what we do starts with what the National Research Council says are the minimum requirements for whatever type of animal species you're talking about. But the minimum generally doesn't get you the best performance that the animal is capable of from it's genetic standpoint. So, we have to tweak things, and put in safety margins, and try and adjust the feeds to specific needs of the animal, or the animal's situation, or the end product that might be desired by the producer or the customer.:
Phil Lempert:
17:28
So when I hear you say that, I would also think that different environmental concerns play into it as well, depending on what part of the country that the animal's in. Does that have any effect?:
Jim Adams:
17:43
You're exactly right, Phil. And specifically right now, a lot of the egg industry is changing from the traditional cage system that is very, very efficient and controls the environment very well for the animal. So, they're at a very stable standard temperature most of their lives. And they're going to more cage-free. And sometimes even the laying hands are outside in the environment. So, when you have those factors there, in a colder environment, the animals going to need more energy for its requirements and you're going to have to supply that energy above and beyond what you would have to do in a conventional house that we have.:
Phil Lempert:
18:37
And with that I would expect - and I could be wrong - that maybe the feed gets a little bit more expensive to compensate for that.:
Jim Adams:
18:47
You are right. Then the number one nutrient in balancing a ration is the energy requirement. So, we must take into account what the maintenance requirements are of the animal, iIf there's any growth involved, like with a young animal, or if there's a production output such as eggs, or milk, or baby pigs. And we have to make sure that the energy that's needed for all of those add up to what is in the diet.:
Phil Lempert:
19:17
Gotcha. Let's switch a little bit over to nutrition. This month is actually National Nutrition Month. And with a focus on chicken being a good source of lean protein, we're seeing more advertisements geared towards consumers on that. But let's look at it slightly differently; tell me about what's in today's poultry diets and the nutrition for the animals themselves.:
Jim Adams:
19:43
Okay. Basically as formulators, what we look at are two sides of a formula page. So, on the left side of the page is where the ingredients come in. And most of conventional diets, unless you're making a specialty feed, have corn and soybean meal; corn is about two-thirds of the diet and the soybean meal's another maybe 15%. Beyond that, you have fat sources, depending on if you're trying to modify some of the end product that you're producing or if you need to supplement because the other ingredients don't provide enough energy. You have limestone and phosphorous sources. And today a big factor are enzymes that help you use - maybe traditionally not as well utilized feed ingredients - but the enzymes sort of break apart the ingredients and allow the animal to utilize things that haven't been that available to them in the past. On the right side of the diet are what we call the nutrients, and the nutrient side would be, as I mentioned before, energy's a number one factor. But then you have protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, minerals. And in today's modern diets, protein is sort of a crude way of looking at what the animal needs. But really what the animal uses to grow or produce a product are the amino acids that's in protein. And today, there are companies that can provide you with individual, specific amino acids. So, the diets get more and more specific. And with that, as you mentioned earlier, we can hold down some of the costs because, instead of feeding excess of some nutrient because you can't balance properly, you can provide the exact requirement for that animal. And that helps to hold down the cost.:
Phil Lempert:
22:00
Well, Jim, lots of great information. Thanks so much for joining us today.:
Jim Adams:
22:05
You're quite welcome. Glad to do it.:
Phil Lempert:
22:07
Thank you for joining us on Farm, Food, Facts. For more information on all things food and agriculture, and to listen to our archives, please visit fooddialogues.com under the Programs and Media tab, and visit us on Facebook at U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance or on Twitter at USFRA. Until next week.:
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