The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

Where's the Beef?

Modified: Tuesday, 20 July 2021 21:56 by admin - Categorized as: Podcasts
The following is a collection of the materials used in creating the twenty-fifth episode of the Citizen Reagan podcast about the Reagan's Radio Commentaries.





This is the Citizen Reagan podcast and I need to get in the habit of doing a few things with every episode, like asking you to rate and review the podcast with whatever services you use. Like asking you to share us with your friends, family, complete strangers and your worst enemies, I don’t care really, just as long as you share it. Like telling you that you can find past episodes, transcripts, research and more on a wiki on my webspace. The address for the wiki is but if you just visit, I have a variety of other projects there. I sell digitally restored books, magazines and pamphlets. I have constructed an archive of old pulp short stories. I accept donations through Ko-fi, if you're willing help out. It’s all there on the website. Now, with that out of the way, let's get to Reagan.

This past Earth Day 2021, less than a week before I wrote this, our United States President made a rather bold goal, to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030, less than 10 years. Shortly after, a screenshot from Fox News began circulating the Internet, stating that Biden's Climate Requirements would, essentially, ration beef, limiting individuals to roughly 4 pounds per year, or one hamburger per month. I will admit, I believed it myself, thinking Biden said something that crazy. But, Biden had not made any statement about meat or beef. The Fox News graphic conflated Biden’s plan with a University of Michigan study that explained one possible scenario for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Politifact rated it a "Pants on Fire" lie. Personally, I'm unsure if I completely support the tag. Lie? Yes. Pants on Fire? Not sure.

However, at the same time, I see no reason to believe that beef is not on the chopping block. The document that circulated a few years ago, which I have mentioned before, includes the following statement: "We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we'll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast..." This seems to suggest that reducing the cattle population may very well be part of any overall climate change policy.

This is not the first time the cattle industry has come under attack. Reagan recorded at least two episodes of his show to talk about beef. The two I know of were very early on in the life of the show, from 1975. The first, which I will not be playing today, concerns a significant rise in the price of beef in the stores that occurred during the early 1970s which Reagan attempts to rationalize. The second discusses a movement to end the consumption of beef on the ground that the feed grain would be better used to feed the hungry around the world. So, let’s listen to his broadcast and I'll be back after.

It may surprise you to learn that there's a lot more to a cow than meets the eye or gets on the dinner table. I'll be right back.

I'm sure we all know that a beef animal isn't all steak. It has a variety of cuts some more tasty and desirable than others. But when I say a steer is not all steak-I have something else in mind. Actually that line is the title of an educational display by some young people in the 4H Club in Arizona.

Perhaps you aren't aware of that growing attempt to shame us into not eating beef on the grounds that we're feeding several pounds of grain to cattle for each pound of beef we get back. Now the argument goes that grain could be used to feed the worldwide famine victims.

Well the exhibit sponsored by these farm youngsters over in Arizona can be summed up in the words of a man who deals in meat. He says, "There are four meat quarters in a beef animal. The fifth quarter is the byproduct." In a lot of ways that fifth quarter is done more than the other four to enrich and even to lengthen our lives.

Before we take too seriously those sincere but ill-informed people who see cattle as taking food from the hungry let's take a look at that fifth quarter we don't see in the meat market. Without it your tires might blow up in a mile and a half. One tire company alone uses about 20 million pounds of stearic acid a year. Stearic acid, a byproduct of the beef animal, is what keeps your tires cool. During last summer's beef shortage this company had to cut back on production of tires.

Here are some other things you won't see on a steakhouse menu, products from the bones, horns and hoofs, glue, gelatin (including the edible kind used in ice cream), case hardening steel, refining sugar, processed bone meal used as animal feed and fertilizer to grow more grain for the hungry.

That's only the beginning. There's neats-foot oil, plaster retarder, foaming fire extinguisher, paper boxes, sizing, wallpaper, sandpaper and emery cloth. Would you believe cosmetics, camera film, band-aids, spray-on adhesives, vitamins, violin strings, crochet hooks, combs and toothbrush handles? In the field of pharmaceuticals we truly get into the life-saving field-with Heparin which keeps the blood from coagulating during an operation. It's also used in preventing blood clots. There are enzymes used to aid babies digestion, epinephrine for asthma and allergies, adrenal cortex used in treating Addison's disease and to overcome shock. The list of really exotic medicines is too long for this time slot but just as an example; we've known about diabetes since the 15th century. It took 400 years to find insulin and we found it in the pancreas of cattle. Today chemists feel they've only scratched the surface in developing useful things other than food from meat animals.

As for that grain we're wasting-it is feed grain not eaten by humans and cattle only get that for about a hundred days. Beef and dairy cattle provide two-thirds of our protein and most of that comes from converting grass and brush on 40 percent of our land that would otherwise be waste because it couldn't be converted to raising crops. In the meantime our farmers are exporting 75 percent of our wheat and 57 percent of our rice to that hungry world. Let's pat Bossie on the back with gratitude.

This is Ronald Reagan. Thanks for listening.

From my research, everything Reagan said about the fifth quarter is accurate. I've found all those products and more. The only part of Reagan’s broadcast I might find any fault with is his statement that feed grain is not eaten by humans. I'm finding a wide variety of grains listed and none of them are not consumed by humans. Corn, soy, wheat, barley, oats are all on the various lists and I believe all these are used, to some degree, for human consumption. The only thing I can rationalize in my own mind is that perhaps the grains fed to cattle are of a lower quality and not fit for us to eat.

But getting back to the by-product, I wanted to go into more depth regarding its use and some of the other interesting stats I found along the way.

  • Roughly 64% of a beef animal is going to be used for meat, but very little, if anything, of the animal is wasted. That remaining 36% is considered the by-product and it is commonly broken up into three categories. Edible, inedible and medicinal.

    [Clemson University Cooperative Extention Presentation on Beef By-Product]
    [ Fun Facts: Products We Get From Beef Cattle]

  • In the edible category, there are certain parts of the animal which are not considered cuts, like the tongue, liver and kidneys. Reagan mentioned gelatins which go into ice cream, jello, gummy bears and marshmallows. This comes from the bones and connective tissue. Hooves and ears are used often as dog chew toys. Natural sausage casing comes from the small intestine. Beef fats have a wide variety of uses, like OLEO margarines and shortenings and chewing gum. Beef byproduct goes into dog foods.

  • In the inedible category, there is a very long list. Bone char is used in the refining of sugar and strengthening of steel. Like to tickle the ivories from time to time? Well, ivory can’t be used, obviously, but cattle bone works as a substitute. Bone china gives new meaning to a bull in a china shop. Combs, toothbrushes, crochet needles and hooks, dice all can be made from the bones as well. Leather from hides is made into basketballs, footballs, volleyballs, baseballs, baseball mitts, upholstered furniture, wallets, purses, clothing, and that list goes on. Those small intestines I mentioned a moment ago can be used for instrument strings and tennis rackets. A wide variety of glues and adhesives, as Reagan says, used everywhere from band-aids to wallpaper paste. Hair used in paintbrushes. Gelatin can be used in abrasives, from emory boards to sandpaper. The fats can be used in crayons, cosmetics, shaving cream, deodorant, soaps, tallow for tanning, herbicides and pesticides, tires, as Reagan said. Not exactly a byproduct of the beef itself, we mustn’t forget that manure is used as both a fertilizer and a source of methane gas.

  • In the medicinal category, Reagan mentions the beef pancreas provides a natural insulin, but also has given us Chymotrypsin which is used for burns, pancreatin, a digestive enzyme and Glucagon, for low-blood sugar. From the liver, we get Heparin, Vitamin B-12, treatments for anemia. Bone marrow used for a number of blood disorders, ACTH, a hormone that stimulates cortisol production helps with arthritis and allergies comes from the pituitary gland, while epinephrine comes from the Adrenals. Cattle blood provides another coagulant called Thrombin.

So, if reducing the cattle population does end up as a stated goal of this or any future administration due to the cattle's impact on greenhouse gasses, the impact of doing so is far greater than forcing a reduction in American’s burger intake, though I must say, from the reactions I’ve been seeing online, taking away our meat might be a last straw.

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