Podcast Episode 144: Cattle, Consumer Behavior, & Environmental Myths – Dr. Jennie Hodgen & Dr. Jayson Lusk

Apr 22, 2020

This episode is sponsored by Merck Animal Health and we thank them for their support of the podcast. Dr. Jennie Hodgen is an employee of Merck Animal Health. Dr. Jayson Lusk is an employee of Purdue University.

Don’t feel guilty about eating beef – from a nutritional standpoint or an environmental one.” – Dr. Jennie Hodgen

Merck Animal Health

Merck Animal Health is a research-driven company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of veterinary medicines and services. They offer one of the industry’s most innovative portfolios, spanning products for the prevention, treatment and control of disease in all major farm and companion animal species. Their products and services enable pets and people to enjoy their time together and will help keep livestock healthy to ensure a safe, wholesome and affordable food supply.

Avoid focusing on just one outcome like greenhouse gasses. Instead, look at the whole system from greenhouse gasses to animal diversity to carbon sequestration to byproduct utilization. A narrow viewpoint may contribute to unintended consequences.” – Dr. Jennie Hodgen

Tune in to this episode to learn about:

  • The benefits of cattle on the land — from production to making other foods more sustainable to ensuring we have a sustainable source of protein.
  • The “what ifs” of not eating beef — what would happen to the cattle, to the land, to the food waste that cattle consume and upcycle?
  • What about other ruminant animals such as goats, llamas, giraffes in zoos that also emit methane?
  • What are consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviors when it comes to sustainability, food technology and choices in the supermarket?

We have fewer cattle today than we used to, but we are eating about the same amount of meat. This is a great environmental story because we get to enjoy the food we want while having less of a footprint on the environment than before.” – Dr. Jayson Lusk

Jennie Hodgen, PhD and Jayson Lusk, PhD

Dr. Jennie Hodgen is a meat scientist with Merck Animal Health as well as a mom and lifelong cattle raiser.

Dr. Jayson LuskDr. Jayson Lusk is Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University. He is a food and agricultural economist who studies what we eat and why we eat it, and he’s the author of four books with his most recent being Unnaturally Delicious: How Science and Technology are Serving Up Super Foods to Save the World.


Jennie: Instagram | Twitter

Jayson: Books | Blog | Twitter

Merck Animal Health: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

American National CattleWomen: Instagram

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The Freakonomics of Food – Sound Bites Podcast episode #84 with Dr. Jayson Lusk


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Music by Dave Birk

Produced by JAG in Detroit Podcasts


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