Texas Tech researchers study the genetic properties of quality beef | KLBK | KAMC
Here is a press release from Texas Tech University:
LUBBOCK, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Why are consumers willing to pay high prices for steak?
A research project from the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources at Texas Tech University, in collaboration with Irish and Australian groups, is trying to answer this question.
The project started with a simple idea from a PhD student, who wanted to know why consumers would pay $75 for a steak when much cheaper options were available. It became L GEN 2000, a collaborative genomics project funded by a $603,960 grant from the University of New England, which seeks to link genetic differences in the cooking quality of various beef cattle.
“We discovered that the part of the brain that is stimulated when you have your best experience in life – first kiss, first love, marriage, children, whatever – activates when you eat a piece of high-quality beef,” said Markus Miller. , Professor and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Chair of Meat Science, Food Processing and Preservation in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
“Why would people want to eat beef when in every country on the planet it is the most expensive protein? The reason is because of what it does to you physiologically. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy. You feel happy, you feel good about yourself. And food does that to everyone.
The L GEN 2000 project will collect data from consumers in three countries using different methods of raising beef cattle, compile this data, and attempt to isolate the genes that provide consumers with the best culinary experience.
In the United States, consumers in the test project will eat 100% grain-fed beef steaks. Beef produced for testing in Ireland will be 100% grass-fed and beef in Australia will be a blend of the two, with the aim of finding out whether the different methods of raising beef cattle produce genetics different.
“This genomics project will look at beef in different production systems and link it to the genome of the meat animal,” Miller said. “We may have the same genetics everywhere and there may not be a genetic difference, but we have to know.
“Understanding the differences, or lack thereof, allows us to know how to manage feeding and production. This will help us maximize beef quality and safety with respect to all outputs such as methane, carbon and water use.
(Texas Tech University press release)