First there is a good likelihood you’ll go blind, followed by death

Did anyone else see the research that proved reading a daily paper (a daily paper, not Grainews), but reading a newspaper every day could cause premature blindness, and in 95 per cent of cases, leads to death.

Yes, it is fact proven by a research team from the University of Manyberries, Alberta that those people who regularly read a daily newspaper will die. In the same study they found people who also eat carrots will die, and anyone raised on mother’s milk will die. I was a bit alarmed until I went online, and found a few more details near the end of the report, which showed the average age at mortality was 90.

The point of this is to emphasize how thoroughly disappointed I get at times with the daily media — not just newspapers, but radio and TV as well. Their shallow and often sensational treatment of news causes me to shake my head. And I use to work for some of those organizations.

Case in point in late March was a major headline in the Calgary Herald, and likely the story appeared in other daily papers as well “Eating red meat raises risk of death: study”. The subhead “limit of 500 grams per week urged by cancer society”.

The study findings themselves, may be valid and even some of it you wonder about, but the main point is the presentation and treatment of the story. The words you remember are “eating red meat” and “death”.

Fortunately many consumers will see that headline, say, ‘oh, ya, I’ll bet there will be another study next week, that says eating three burgers a day will add years to your life’, and then turn the page and move on. But there will be some who will remember ‘red meat and death’ and buy more chicken (not that there is anything wrong with chicken or pork, I enjoy that too).

But the problem for me is that with this story, or in the days following, the newspaper didn’t bother to look at the other side of the issue. What is the health risk of eating beef?

Well in the average Canadian diet there is no health risk. Ron Glaser with the Beef Information Centre in Calgary points out that the highest level of meat consumption, which prompted the health concerns in this U. S. study is at least twice what the average Canadian consumer is eating.

“Beef is a tremendously nutritious food source,” says Glaser. “It contains 14 essential nutrients the human body needs, it fits all guidelines set out in the Canada Food Guide, and eight cuts of beef including lean ground beef, qualify for the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation Health Check program. So beef does fit into a healthy diet.”

Glaser notes the Canada Food Guide recommends one to three servings per day of meat or meat alternatives, with one serving equaling 75 grams of meat (total for a day for adults is 75 to 225 grams per day per person). On average Canadian consumers eat about 78 grams of meat per day, which is just over one serving.

But the facts of the situation get glazed over in favor of reporting “red meat and death”.

Yes, I am bit biased because I work in the agriculture industry, but I am disappointed because I also work in the media. And this reporting is just lazy, bordering on irresponsible. Comments in a column or an editorial are one thing, but the journalism school I went to which was just next to the dining hall on The Ark, drilled home the point there are two sides to every story. (Or maybe it was my mother who told me that, but regardless, it is a point all journalists need to remember).

Lee Hart Editor

HIGH RISK

A rancher from Consort, Alta. and his ever-nagging wife went on an Easter vacation to Jerusalem. While they were there, the wife passed away. The undertaker told the husband, “you can have her shipped home for $5000, or you can bury her here, in the holy land for $150. The man thought about it and told him he would just have her shipped home. The undertaker asked, “Why would you spend $5000 to ship your wife home, when it would be wonderful to have her buried here and you would only spend $150?”

The rancher replied, “long ago a man died here, was buried here, and three days later rose from the dead. I just can’t take that chance.”

SALE RESULTS

Regina Bull Sale, March 16, 2009, sale summary, all breeds:

www.reginabullsale.comSimmental Sale

17 lots sold for $53,550 to average $3,150.

THE HIGH SELLING LOT and Grand Champion Simmental was City View Unbeaten 46U, from City View Simmentals, Moose Jaw. It was purchased by Les Johnston from Fillmore for $8,500.

THE SECOND HIGH SELLING LOT was Double G Ultimate 49U, from Double G Simmentals, Stalwart. It was purchased by Alan McDade, from Imperial, for $3,800. Charolais Sale

22 lots sold for $77,900 to average $3,541.

HIGH SELLING LOT and Reserve Grand Champion Charolais was Elder’s Diego 815U, from Elder Charolais Farm, Coronach. It was purchased by Prairie Sky Farms, Avonlea, for $5,200.

SECOND HIGH SELLING LOT was Elders Special Edition 835U, from Elder Charolais Farm, Coronach. It was purchased by Hunter Charolais, Roblin, Man., for $5,000. Hereford Sale

21 lots sold for $64,150 to average $3,055

HIGH SELLING LOT Hereford Bull and Grand Champion was OBF Valor 62N 3T, from Old Burchill Farms, Alameda. It was purchased by Blaschuck Land & Cattle Co., Chaplin, for $6,000.

SECOND HIGH SELLING LOT was Meadow-Acres 62P Preview 54T, from Meadow-Acres Polled Herefords, Lampman. It was purchased by Blaschuck Land & Cattle Co., Chaplin, for $4,600. Limousin sale

5 lots sold for $13,350 to average $2,670

HIGH SELLING LOT and Grand Champion Limousin was HiWays Uplander 1U, from Hi-Way Limousin, Bethune. It was purchased by Troy Haugen, Bengough, for $3,050.

THE SECOND HIGH SELLING LOT and Reserve Grand Champion Limousin was EDW Unbelievable 7U, from Edwards Limousin, Craik. It was purchased by Kenneth Weichel, Montmartre, for $2,950. Angus sale

34 lots sold for $100,950 to average $2,969

HIGH SELLING LOT was Bar B Full Throttle 12U, from Bryce’s Bar B Ranch, Arcola. It sold to Lorpat Farms, Arcola for $9,500.

THE SECOND HIGH SELLING LOT Bar B Mach 3, from Bryce’s Bar B Ranch, Arcola. It was purchased by Arntzen, Sedgewick, Alta., for $6,000.

Red Angus

46 lots sold for $142,600 to average $3,100.

HIGH SELLING LOT and Senior Champion Red Angus was Red SMW Patent Pending 87T, from Wagner Angus, Moose Jaw. It was purchased by Adam Dinwoodie, Gladmar for $5,600.

SECOND HIGH SELLING LOT was Red JJL Gravity 17U, from JJL Livestock, Melville. It was purchased by Riverdale Stock Farm, Grenfell for $5,500. TOTAL

145 lots sold for $452,500 to average $3,121

The 104th Regina Bull Sale saw the overall average increase by nearly $300.

FAMILY HISTORY

A little girl asked her mother: ‘How did the human Race appear?’ Her mother answered, ‘God made Adam and Eve; They had children; and so was all mankind made.’ Two days later the girl asked her father the same question. Her father answered, ‘Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved.’ The confused girl returned to her mother and said, ‘Mum, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said they developed from monkeys?’ Her mother answered, ‘Well, Dear, it is very simple… I told you about my side of the family, and your father Told you about his.’

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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