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Meats and Poultry

Festival Features Beer, Bacon, Music

Beer, bacon and music have long been essential ingredients for an ideal day, according to the organizers of the Beer Bacon Music festival coming up in Frederick, Md.

Taking place at the Fairgrounds on May 17 and 18, Beer Bacon Music will provide attendees with 150+ craft beer varieties from which to choose, a two-ton all-you-can-eat bacon bar including 50+ creative bacon dishes and a rockin’ band every hour, on the hour.

“This truly is the first event of its kind, anywhere in the world,” says Kenneth MacFawn, Beer Bacon Music festival owner. “It’s the perfect place for people to celebrate three of life’s greatest pleasures, try new beer in an unintimidating environment, get inspiration for new culinary endeavors, and sample some of the best bands on the East Coast.”

With three appealing themes and a multitude of attractions, Beer Bacon Music offers enjoyment for even the most discerning palate, the most astute music connoisseur, even the most competitive home brewer, MacFawn says.

Beer – Enter Beer Bacon Music’s Brewer’s $6K Homebrew Competition to win the world’s largest prize in the world’s largest home brewing competition by competing in one or more of 10 competition style categories judged by BCJP officials. Included with admission for 21+ attendees is a sampling glass in which 100+ different beer varieties can be sampled from 30+ breweries. Beginners and craft beer aficionados alike can talk beer shop with brewery staff, and watch live demonstrations of the latest and greatest home brew equipment.

Bacon – With the price of admission, enjoy a two-ton all-you-can-eat Bacon Bar containing sliced bacon prepared in a wide variety of flavors including peppered, glazed, maple, and more. Also available for purchase will be intriguing gourmet bacon dishes served a la carte, and an abundance of cuisine from around the world including vegetarian and other options made available by 15+ on-site food truck vendors.

Music – Over the two-day festival, there will be 10 live bands on stage — a new band every hour on the hour, following the Homebrew Competition winner announcements. To help ensure there will be something for everyone’s ears to enjoy, the festival will feature many styles of music.

Tickets for the event are on sale now, with the first 1,000 offered at the reduced rate of just $39 for a 1-day pass, or $65 for a weekend pass, limited to 500. Ticket options are also available for those wanting to enter the homebrew competition or attend as a non-drinker.

For more information or to enter the Brewer’s $6K today, visit: http://beerbaconmusic.com.

Hyatt Hotels Choose Grass-fed Beef

Strauss Brands  is working with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in their drive to serve the best tasting, highest quality sustainably and ethically raised foods available to their hotel guests through the launch of Strauss Free Raised® American grass-fed beef burgers. Launched at the end of 2013, the burgers are available at Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and HYATT branded hotels in the United States.

Since the launch of their food and beverage philosophy, “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served,” Hyatt has been driven to bring great quality food and beverage products to their customers. Three pillars ground this philosophy: Healthy People, Healthy Planet and Healthy Communities. By selecting Strauss as a partner, Hyatt has taken another step towards satisfying a customer demand for sustainable options on its menus.

“Customer research indicated that grass fed beef was very important to our customers, yet, we knew to meet both ours and our guest’s expectations, we had to find the best-tasting grass fed beef in the United States. When we tasted Strauss Free Raised, we knew we had found what we were looking for,” said Jim Milkovich, Corporate Director of Purchasing for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts – Americas.

Strauss Free Raised is sourced from independent American family farmers who raise and finish their heritage bred, free-roaming cattle on a 100 percent grass and forage diet. Cattle never receive grains, are never confined to a feedlot and are never administered hormones or antibiotics.

“We wanted to create something very special for Hyatt guests – the best of the best,” said Randy Strauss, CEO and third-generation co-owner of Strauss Brands. “Our family’s passion is to not only provide the healthiest burgers – but also the best tasting burgers possible.” To do that, Strauss and Hyatt started with the best cuts possible – whole chucks, briskets and sirloins – that are ground fresh weekly and are always fresh, never frozen. The result is a flavor-packed, juicy burger.

Independent research has shown that grass fed beef is high in CLAs and Omega3s, and Vitamin E, while lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than grain-finished beef. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) may help reduce body fat deposits and improve immune function. Omega 3s, Vitamin E and low amounts of saturated fat are all recommended as part of a heart-healthy diet.

“Free Range” and “Pasture Raised” Officially Defined By HFAC For Certified Humane Label

Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) announces new standards for products that are labeled Certified Humane® and either “Free Range” or “Pasture Raised.”  There is currently no legal definition for “Free Range” or “Pasture Raised” in the United States, therefore these terms are often used on poultry packaging with no unilateral definitions for the consumer to trust.  HFAC’s 28-member Scientific Committee has spent nearly two years reviewing all of the current research, which has resulted in new standards for the Certified Humane label.

Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) has revised its laying hen standards, which now divide the “Free Range” section of the standards into “Pasture Raised” and “Free Range.”  The “Free Range” section was originally written for what is now defined as a “Pasture Raised” system; the revised standards add a third category for birds which are outdoors seasonally.  This change in standards means that Certified Humane producers wishing to use the terms “Pasture Raised” or “Free Range” on packages must now meet the requirements of the newly defined categories.

Dr. Ruth Newberry, Associate Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, chaired the Poultry Committee within HFAC’s Scientific Committee. The Scientific Committee and the producers had input, and the Standards Committee did the final review.  That process included review of animal research and visits to farms to review various outdoor systems.

The USDA’s (and industry standard) definition for “Free Range” is that birds must have “outdoor access” or “access to the outdoors.”  In some cases, this can mean access only through a “pop hole,” with no full-body access to the outdoors and no minimum space requirement.

HFAC’s Certified Humane “Free Range” requirement is 2 square feet per bird.  The hens must be outdoors, weather permitting (in some areas of the country, seasonal), and when they are outdoors they must be outdoors for at least six hours per day.  All other standards must be met.

HFAC’s Certified Humane “Pasture Raised” requirement is 1,000 birds per 2.5 acres (108 square feet per bird) and the fields must be rotated.  The hens must be outdoors year-round, with mobile or fixed housing where the hens can go inside at night to protect themselves from predators, or for up to two weeks out of the year, due only to very inclement weather. All additional standards must be met.

Pasture Raised and Free Range producers must meet all the standards in addition to those specific to the Pasture Raised and Free Range housing systems.

“Any product labeling terms that are important to consumers need to be clearly defined. The Certified Humane labeling program is in place to assure a trusted product for consumers who care about how animals are raised and slaughtered for food.” said Adele Douglass, HFAC’s Executive Director.  “While it takes time for the entire industry to adapt best practices, we at HFAC have the opportunity to break ground, and we do so every year as we revise and raise our standards.”

Without any legal definitions for the terms, HFAC’s previous “Free Range” standards were written for what is now defined as “Pasture Raised” standards and had a requirement of 2.5 acres per 1000 birds (108 square feet per bird), which is the standard space requirement based on the British Free Range Standard and was a recommendation of the Soil Association, an organization founded in 1946, which focuses on sustainable farming and preventing soil degradation.  As consumer demand has increased for Certified Humane products, HFAC realized a need to separate the terms to define farms that had “outdoor access” and create a standard for “Free Range” versus those that were actually “Pasture Raised.”

Currently, there are already three “Pasture Raised” egg companies on the program: Vital Farms (Austin, Texas), White Oak Pastures (Bluffton, Ga.) and Ayrshire Farm (Upperville, Va.).  The only 100 percent “Free Range” company to be on the program, so far, is Happy Egg Company (San Francisco, Calif.).

In addition to the revised best science-based standards that encompass both “Free Range” and “Pasture Raised” hens, HFAC’s current Animal Care Standards for Laying Hens include standards for the rearing of laying hens in barns either with or without outdoor access.  Cages of any type (including furnished cages) have always been prohibited.   The minimum space requirements for barn-raised chickens include clean air (less than 10 parts per million (ppm) of ammonia), 15 percent of the floor space must have litter for the hens to dust-bathe, perches must be provided at 6 inches per bird, and at least 20 percent of those perches must be elevated.  There are requirements for feeder space and drinker space, as well.  All animal byproducts are prohibited, as are antibiotics.

INDUSTRY DEFINITIONS & FINDINGS: HR 3798 Legislation, written and supported by both the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the US (HSUS), and introduced in the last Congress, defines “Free Range” as: “(1) ‘Eggs from free-range hens’ to indicate that the egg-laying hens from which the eggs or egg products were derived were, during egg production – – (A) not housed in caging devices; and (B) provided with outdoor access.”

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