La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560

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Contamination in meat imaginaries: Part II: perspectives.

Crossed views on the imaginations and practices of production and consumption.

As a follow-up of the previous article, this contribution explores the advertised messages surrounding meat, providing the opinions and reactions of breeders and meat-eaters that follow. The messages published by professionals of the meat production sector are part of the tradition that respects origin and gastronomic values while continuing along the path of a greener diet, which has been underway for several decades. The sector is confronted with new actors who try to renew this imagination: in search of purity and ethics, the entrants proceed according to a subtractive logic (products labeled without animal products, gluten free….) while diverting the symbolism of meats, the famous blood mythology, to the benefit of plants in particular. It is precisely this symbolism that displays animals in pastures, the butcher artisan and grilled meat on one’s plate that in France, join breeders and consumers. They point to industrial transformation processes and marketing practices that are a source of mistrust, each in their own way and according to their knowledge and interests. Faced with this situation, proposals have been made to place meat back in the center as a service to life, both from the point of view of words describing meat and the practices of the sector.

Contamination in meat imagination: evolution and perspectives.

Several works in language sciences including a recent conference in June 2019, (Viande (s). Semiotic stereotypes and cultural concerns) have underlined the polysemy of the word meat and the vicissitudes that the concept has known over time from flesh to meat. By focusing on the last two decades, this article aims to bring to light the main components of the territory of expression of meats. It is also about taking a step back from the symbolic struggle, as much as economic and regulatory, engaged over the use of the word meat and its associated formulations. At the center of the discussion, we have mainly considered red meat because it remains the symbolic body from which media debates are organized. New designations are emerging (synthetic meat, clean meat, ...) indicating that a process of artificialization is underway, going so far as to postulate a "beyond meat" (Beyond Meat). This movement upsets the traditional hierarchy between meat products and plants, a classification that the French language with its expressions on vegetables and meats has largely contributed to building. At the same time, a trend has been at work for several decades in the speeches of operators in the sector: the revegetation of animals and meat. In this context, is the last campaign of the interprofession: “naturally flexitarian”. We will see how this orientation marks a continuity / rupture with respect to the previous strategy of professionals and we will compare it with the different advertising discourse of companies. This article therefore offers a crossed look at the course and future of meat, the word and the dish it designates. Food with its symbolic and social meanings is treated in relation to production and consumption practices. The objective is to position the different discursive strategies that are playing out on the meat theater stage and to identify the perspectives and needs for the future.

Reference levels in livestock farming systems: keys to identify the impacts of husbandry (opinion paper)

Baseline use is common in a variety of academic disciplines, including environmental science, but they are subject to relativity depending on the geographical or historical reference considered. The measurement of livestock effects on climate change has, however, disregarded the use of baselines. Greenhouse gas emissions are not put into an ecological context. Grass-fed ruminant systems are hence in the spotlight because of high methane emissions, and conversion into intensive, grain-fed chicken and pork systems is recommended. We reviewed the existing literature on baseline greenhouse gas emissions by wild ruminants, also considering the potential of termites, in filling herbivore niches in an ungulate-free scenario. Natural baseline scenarios would be of the same order of magnitude as current livestock scenarios. Current policy recommendations on livestock sector changes are hence likely to be much less effective than currently thought. Similar considerations can be applied to the impact of livestock on water or biodiversity. Policy recommendations should take baseline levels into account, concentrate on reducing intensive use of fossil fuel and focus on methane reduction with social outcomes, such as the use of manure-fed biogas cooking stoves.

Presentation of the UMT SeSAM

Presentation of the UMT SeSAM (joint technological unit). The UMT SeSAM evaluates the services provided by the multiperforming livestock systems.
Due to the chanching context of beef & sheep production and horse farming and the expectations of consumers-citizens, the UMT SeSAM has made a priority of studying the multiperformance of bovine, ovine and equine farming systems and the services associated with it. In order to meet the challenges of farm profitability, security when faced with uncertainties (economic, climatic...) and societal expectations, three key areas are being developed within the framework of the UMT:
- construction and evaluation of the multiperformance of the productions in order to evaluate and improve, at different scales, the compromises made between services;
- improving the use of resources and animal feed efficiency;
- increasing the added-value of the productions by characterizing the intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of the products in order to improve the farm management and to favor product segmentation.

Pelvic suspension and meat ageing

Institut de l’Elevage set up an experiment for the company C.V. Plainemaison which involved 9 cows from the Limousine breed and the limousine region which carcasses weighed more than 400 kg. The study aimed to quantify the effects of carcass hanging method during chilling and ageing duration on eating qualities of 4 muscles coming from favorably priced cuts: cub roll, striploin, eye of rump and topside. At the end of the slaughter line, after weighing, one half-carcass of each animal was hung from the Achille tendon and the other one from the pelvic bone, both hanging methods being crossed with 2 ageing durations: 10 or 20 days. The 4 treatments tested within the same animal were assessed by 240 untrained consumers during a tasting of grilled steaks according to the “MSA” (« Meat Standards Australia ») protocols.
Both pelvic suspension and ageing extension up to 20 days improved tenderness, flavour liking, juiciness, overall liking and quality ranks of meat samples judged by consumers. These effects were highly significant and didn’t vary between muscles. The most important impact of tenderstretching concerned tenderness. For this criteria and for juiciness, pelvic suspension and aging had independent effects. However, for the other ones tenderstretching had a higher impact on meats aged 10 days than 20 days. These results have been introduced within the requirements specifications of the premium beef brand “Or Rouge, exceptional Limousine meat” recently launched by C.V. Plainemaison.

Animal breeding and genetics

Diversity and adaptation in a changing world
At a time when the world is undergoing global change and a climate crisis, and when many societal questions are emerging about the role and place of animal breeding, this book provides an overview of the history, methods and dynamics of change that have taken place over the last decade to shape the future of animal breeding. The domestication of animals and their selection are based on a long history shared between humans, animals and territories. This history is nourished by the continuous accumulation of new knowledge and methodological approaches that make it possible to characterize genetic diversity and progress in the choice of breeding stock adapted to increasingly diversified production systems in line with the agro-ecological transition and global food security. Genetic improvement contributes to the shaping of living organisms, which raises ethical questions whose acuteness is reinforced and renewed by the new opportunities offered by the animal biotechnologies and genomic tools.

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