Kudos to Hy-Vee

By: DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

The agricultural industry plays defense time and time again. Food is often a victim of misunderstandings, as most consumers are generations removed from the food source and the process. Food is an entry point to climate change, employment, health, immigration and the economy; making it a pretty easy target.

The most recent misunderstanding: “pink slime” or “lean, finely textured beef”. This controversy over processed food has been all the rage in the media recently.

“The more people are disconnected with their food supply and the sources of their food, the more questions they will have, and we understand that,” said Craig Letch, director of food safety and quality assurance for South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. But, “We don’t produce ‘pink slime.’ We produce 100 percent quality lean beef. That’s it. That whole thing is a farce. There’s no substance to it.”

Hy-Vee, a Midwestern supermarket chain, ranks among the top 20 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States, and for good reason. Hy-Vee’s “helpful smile” is seen in the meat counter aisle this week as they listened to their customers and released this statement yesterday regarding lean, finely textured beef (LFTB).

“Hy-Vee takes great pride in listening to the voices of our customers and offering them outstanding values on the quality products they want to buy. Following our recent decision to stop purchasing ground beef containing Lean Finely Textured Beef, we heard from many customers who asked us to continue carrying this product. They’ve sent us a clear message: They want a choice when it comes to ground beef, and they want to support companies that provide thousands of jobs in our Midwest trade area. In response to this feedback, Hy-Vee has made a decision to offer both kinds of ground beef – both with and without Lean Finely Textured Beef. Both products will be identified so customers can determine for themselves which type of ground beef they want to buy. This transition is underway and will be implemented in our retail stores as quickly as possible. We thank our customers for sharing their views on this issue, and encourage them to continue telling us what we can do to improve their shopping experience at Hy-Vee.”

I believe Hy-Vee deserves to be commended for their service to consumers and not buckling under the media hype. Consumers and “agvocates”, thanks for making your voice heard and asking for what you wanted from the grocery-store chain.

There is no reason for lost jobs and hurt families over something that’s a non-issue. 236 families have temporarily lost at least one income at just the Garden City, KS plant alone. Hy-Vee took a risk and stepped out in support. Let’s show them we have their back. Let them know on Facebook or write Hy-Vee to show your appreciation.

Letters can be sent to:
Hy-Vee, Inc.
Attn: Rose Comer, VP
5820 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, IA 50266-8223

You can also fill out a comment form here.

Hy-Vee continues to show that consumers come first. Please join me in thanking them.

For more information on LFTB:
Get the Facts on Lean Beef Trimmings

Meat-processing company gets chewed up in ‘pink slime’ uproar

NPR: Why ‘Pink Slime’ Isn’t That Different From Other Meat Products

Pink slime push-back: Someone smarter, or more emotional, than me has to figure this out

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for hearing our voices about picking back up Lean Finely Textured Beef.

    Reply

  2. To the editors of Kansas Grains,

    I wanted to express how much the blog post titled “Kudos to HyVee” (from March 29) really resonated with me. As a resident of central Missouri (Columbia), HyVee is as much of a staple as Wal-Mart, but as you might know, the Midwestern supermarket chain is highly favored. I was extremely impressed to discover HyVee’s stance on the “pink slime” or lean, finely trimmed beef, as I believe the grocer is empowering customers by allowing them to make a choice on what they would like to purchase. Labeling and identifying the leaner, processed ground beef creates an honest relationship with the customers, HyVee and even the beef industry. This way you have the innate ability to choose the grade of beef you consume and it is not at the cost of 1,000’s of American jobs and millions of cattle.
    I wanted to share with you a video about the “pink slime” controversy that I think you will find interesting and supplemental to your coverage. I hope you enjoy it, as I included the link below.

    “Pink Slime Controversy Continues”

    http://www.newsy.com/videos/pink-slime-controversy-continues/

    The clip does a great job of concisely sourcing and compiling news reports to emphasize the scope and context the content being reported on. Newsy synthesizes and analyzes news into neutral comprehensive video clips showing a variety of opinions on the story.

    I hope you will embed this video into your blog and maybe in the future, we could swap blogroll links and widgets. We have covered the “pink slime” epidemic in the past, as well as a number of food stories you might find of interest. I included the links below!

    http://www.newsy.com/videos/analysis-pink-slime-oozes-back-into-headlines/

    http://www.newsy.com/videos/woman-finds-maggots-in-airline-snack

    http://www.newsy.com/videos/burger-king-expands-menu-to-feature-healthy-items/

    http://www.newsy.com/videos/food-coloring-linked-to-adhd/

    Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to working with you in the future,

    Lyndsey Garza
    Community for Newsy
    Twitter: @newsyvideos

    http://www.facebook.com/newsyvideos

    Reply

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