Saturday, March 16, 2013

My time in Africa

I spent the last summer traveling the globe and learned many surprising things about the world food supply.  Here in the U.S., we often complain about the price of food or even sometimes the quality, but after my recent travels, I won’t be complaining anytime soon.
My first stop on my trip was London, a very high-class country with a lot of money.  We didn’t travel outside the city so I wasn’t able to see any farmland, but I can tell you that beef was only on the menu once during my whole trip.  With all the essential vitamins and nutrition that beef contains, it’s obvious that they don’t consume it regularly in their diet. Can you imagine a life without hamburgers or steaks fresh off the grill?  It’s a shame that they don’t get to enjoy high quality protein as we do here in the US.
Next stop was Morocco, a very poor country in Africa. After several hours on a train, we watched men tending to their cattle and sheep and I was instantly shocked at the body condition of these animals.  The grass as dry and overgrazed, but the animals were extremely skinny. Most of them had a body condition of 1 or 2, almost all the cattle I saw were Holsteins which makes perfect sense to have a dual purpose animal.  We all know that Holsteins don’t produce the highest quality meat, but when you only have one cow it’s nice to get milk and meat from the same animal.  Over the course of my time in Morocco, I never saw beef on the menu once. Camel was on the menu and I tried it, but trust me, stick to beef!
My last stop was Uganda, which is a third world country with main income stemming from agriculture.   Right away, we saw several cows roaming the town.  The cattle were well fed and well taken care of; they were taken on walks every day and were identified differently depending on the owner.  I saw a few calves but lots of milk cows and plenty of bulls.  Beef was a staple on their American restaurant menus. I tried a few hamburgers and found it good but not comparable to American beef.  One of my favorite things was beef from a street vendor, seasoned with plain salt and grilled on charcoal. It had to be some of the best meat I had eaten in weeks, I also tried goat and fried grasshopper.  As much as I enjoyed my travels I am happy to be home and enjoying a high quality American steak!
Don’t take our high quality food here for advantage, every day we can walk into a grocery store and get a steak that is safe and delicious for our family.  We can enjoy all the vitamins and nutrients that beef contains everyday if we would like.  We are truly blessed to have such hard working farmers and ranchers who care about raising the best product they can!

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