How the big cattle auctions could change America’s food system
- by admin
Auctioning off cattle can make food more affordable for consumers and reduce carbon emissions, but there are other issues as well, according to experts who are looking at how it could change the way Americans eat.
Auctioneer Paul Waugh, who is working with auction house Livestock Auctioneers Inc. on a study, says that when a buyer wants to pay less for meat and dairy products, a big part of the problem is that people can’t afford to buy.
The big cattle markets, Waugh said, often sell cattle for less than $1 per pound.
“It’s really the ability of people to pay for that product that creates the incentive to do so,” Waugh told ABC News.
He said that’s the reason auctions are so popular.
“They make it easy for people to buy things that they want to buy.”
Waugh, whose company specializes in auctioning off livestock, said auction prices are often lower than what people would pay in the wholesale market.
A lot of cattle are sold for less in a wholesale market than they are in a retail market, which he said is “a lot more complicated” than in a cattle market.
“There are other ways of doing it that I think are more economical and are less costly to the consumer,” he said.
The auction houses are looking to add new ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the food supply, like using biodegradable and compostable feed.
Waugh is developing a new process that will help make meat and poultry easier to feed.
The new system will be used at more than 300 farms in Texas and Oklahoma, and the system could be rolled out to other states as well.
The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent, according the company.
Waugh said the cost of a pound of beef is about $1.25 today.
If the price is lowered to $1, the savings are significant, he said, adding that the process is already going on in California and Illinois.
The biggest change he sees in the auction market will be the ability for people who have money to pay to buy the meat and beef they want.
He said that could potentially reduce the number of people who buy cattle, because they don’t have the disposable income to pay that much.
“We’re actually in the process of going to the dairy market, and we’re going to try to find out how to do this with the auction house, and then we’re looking at all kinds of options for the rest of the cattle market,” he told ABC.
Auctioning off cattle can make food more affordable for consumers and reduce carbon emissions, but there are other issues as…
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