Research supplies crucial science-based information related to beef nutrition, beef safety and beef production methods, as well as consumer market analysis.
Research enables producers to improve beef products, and enables the IBC to not only carry out its programs effectively, but to evaluate their impact as well.
Around the world, consumers are increasingly calling for high-quality, safe and nutritious products. As protein choices continue to expand, it is vital to conduct beef safety, production and nutrition research to ensure consumers have confidence in their purchasing decisions. Research helps maintain and grow consumers’ trust in beef and beef production by providing resources that counteract misperceptions and showcase the industry’s commitment to quality and safety. Research over the years has also aided producers in their quest to improve beef quality and better respond to evolving consumer needs.
In January 2021 the Idaho Beef Council (IBC) announced a $250,000 gift to the University of Idaho to fund a graduate fellowship endowment benefiting students whose studies are aimed at strengthening the beef industry’s position in the marketplace, maintaining and expanding domestic and foreign markets, and identifying new opportunities.
This investment of state beef checkoff dollars will establish the IBC Graduate Fellowship Endowment in the U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and provide scholarship support to graduate students conducting research on topics from beef safety and nutrition attributes to quality, consistency and marketability and new product development. Through an endowment, the beef industry benefits by enabling research to be conducted not just today, but for years to come.
Checkoff-funded research, conducted by the University of Illinois and Colorado State University, which compared beef burgers with pork, soy-based and pea-based burgers, deliver a deeper understanding about how these proteins measured up.
The research found that the protein quality of beef a burgers is greater than that of soy-based or pea-based burger. This is important because, while these plant alternatives list similar quantity (amounts) of protein on the nutrition label, this new research shows that, when protein quality is taken into consideration, beef burgers are considered an “excellent” source of protein whereas plant-based alternatives do not always fit that classification. When it comes to meeting nutritional needs, it is not just the grams of protein on the label, the quality of that protein source matters too. Only high-quality protein provides all of the essential amino acids required for growth, development, and maintenance of body tissues such as muscle in quantities that meet the requirement.