Weatherford Democrat


February 24, 2013

NOW HEAR THIS / As the saying goes: Where’s the beef?


Back in 1984, the Wendy’s hamburger chain launched a television advertisement where a “little old lady,” after inspecting her burger, angrily demanded to know, “Where’s the beef?”

In modern terms, the ad went viral, and actress Clara Peller gained instant celebrity. Since then, the term has become an accepted part of the American language, a phrase which questions the purpose, value or substance of something.

Recently I was reminded of this catchy little saying as I read an article about use of a cattle growth hormone that’s supposedly making beef taste more like chicken. Over the years, I’ve heard many things touted as “tasting just like chicken,” most notably, rattlesnake meat. I enjoy chicken prepared in a variety of ways, but when I have a steak, by golly I want it to taste like beef!

Use of growth hormones by cattle producers and feedlot operators is nothing new. One of the earliest I recall was a synthetic estrogen called stilbestrol which was given to feedlot cattle to promote more rapid growth. I read that it has since been discontinued because of suspected carcinogenic properties. Many others have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are regularly used on feeder cattle.

One of the latest such hormones is called Zilmax. It was approved by the FDA in 2006 and has been in widespread use throughout the country. In the original application for approval by the FDA, the manufacturer stated that the drug impacts “overall tenderness, juiciness, flavor intensity and beef flavor.”  The drug causes the treated animal to produce more muscle and less fat. In doing so it removes a prime characteristic of beef that gives it the flavor and tenderness we seek – the fatty marbling that adds the flavor.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Fort Worth concluded its 118th annual Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.  For decades it was called the “Fat Stock Show.” However, the PC police intervened and removed the offensive and politically incorrect term “fat” from the title. Back in the old days, folks understood and appreciated the tenderness, flavor and texture of a nicely marbled steak obtained from a fat steer.  

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    Not much is known about this Joseph’s life. The one thing I know for sure is that he was a very brave man.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hamilton, Lee.jpg HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet!

    Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Showing respect

    My sister Robbie Benton’s funeral was Friday afternoon at White’s Funeral Home. The gravesite was outside of Mineral Wells. The respect shown by the good folks of Parker County and the surrounding area was overwhelming.

    April 17, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Going on a wild goose chase

    In recent years I’ve written quite a bit about the introduction and negative consequences of non-native or invasive species. Fire ants, killer bees, English sparrows, Asian carp, feral hogs and others too numerous to list have forever changed our local ecosystem.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo


    Have you seen those TV offers where they give a price for one product and then offer a second like items for-free? All you have to do is pay a separate shipping and handling charge for the “free” items.

    April 13, 2014

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s in a name?

    Names are important. When my son, Rush, (who’s named after my father) and his wife, Vanessa, were expecting their third daughter, I gave up on having a male namesake and suggested, in jest, they call her “Johnnie Pauline.”

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: The Christian and the government

    The church in the Old Testament lived under a theocracy. That is, both the church and state were one. God anointed kings. Civil laws and religious laws were one and the same.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Getting in the chicken business

    Anyone who is my age or older has heard the famous quote, “A chicken in every pot.” It is normally attributed to Herbert Hoover during his 1928 presidential bid.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIEWPOINT: Obsessed with sports

    I remember reading a synopsis of the five reasons for the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Edward Gibbon in which he listed the Romans’ obsession with sports at the coliseum as a cause of the fall of the empire.

    April 6, 2014

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    On March 21, this paper published an article about a six-month drug trafficking investigation involving 12 people. On the front page was a photo of the 12 people involved. The use of drugs had made them a sorry-looking bunch. The look in their eyes was particularly disturbing.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

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