Nov 02 2019

What a Disappointment …

by Caren Cowan, Executive Director, New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association
Read this article & more in New Mexico Stockman Magazine

We learned at press time that Twitter will be banning all political ads commencing on November 22, 2019. The ban will cover ads about specific candidates AND issues. Some ads will remain including those encouraging people to vote. News organizations are currently exempt from Twitter’s rules on political advertising.

I am guessing that not all our readers are on Twitter so the impact of no political ads will be minimal for most of us. I am just wishing that television and radio could exercise similar restraint. I get it, political adverting dollars is how they are able to stay alive.

It is amusing that news organizations are exempt, at least in the beginning. Additional rules will be forthcoming. This is a stark admission that news organizations run political ads.

Chile Too Hot for UN Climate Conference

In other late breaking news, the country of Chile hiked mass transit fares to try and cover the soaring costs imposed by its climate policies mandating a transition to wind and solar energy. Its people rioted.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced that his country is canceling COP 25, the UN climate conference that was scheduled to take place in Santiago December 2 through 13.

Chile also canceled the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) that was to open November 16th and at which President Trump had hoped to sign a major accord with China.

The shocking cancellations come as Chile has been rocked by violent protests.  It appears that Chile can no longer ensure the safety of international diplomats.

The UN COP, or Conference Of the Parties, is the UN’s most important climate summit each year. (Source: CFACT)

WOTUS Woes

The battle over the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations marches on. In mid-October the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) vacated the 2015 WOTUS regs and reverted to the 1986 rules. The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association filed suit against the 1986 rules shortly thereafter.

The NMCGA, with the AZ/NM Coalition for Stable Economic Growth, of which the NMCGA is a member, has been working with the Pacific Legal Foundations (PLC) in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 regulations defining “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act since 2015. That suit is still pending in federal court in North Dakota. We are awaiting the court’s ruling on a summary judgment motion.

While the EPA repeal is a good development, it may not bring an end to the lawsuit in North Dakota. It is expected a number of states and environmental organizations will sue the EPA to prevent the repeal from taking effect. Given the success these states and organizations have had in obtaining injunctions of prior Trump administration regulations, it is likely that the repeal rule enjoined in at least part of the country, and that the North Dakota lawsuit will proceed despite the repeal.

The older regulations and guidance also violate the Clean Water Act and the Constitution in many ways, by widely regulating all tributaries (including intermittent and ephemeral) to navigable rivers and lakes, and widely regulating all wetlands bordering, contiguous to, or neighboring such tributaries. These specific provisions were found invalid by the Supreme Court in the 2006 Rapanos decision.

The NMCGA filed suit against these 1986 regulations to protect its members interests against the older regulations when they go back into effect. The case in New Mexico federal court. At issue is violation of the Clean Water Act and the definition of “navigable waters.”

The case has drawn national attention, some positive and some negative. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Rachel Conn, projects director for the Amigos Bravos, disputed the idea that the waterways subject to regulation under the 1986 and 2015 rules are insignificant.

Conn claimed that according to the state Environment Department, about 96 percent of New Mexico’s waterways could be at risk for unregulated pollution if the 1986 rules are abandoned and the proposed new rules are adopted. She also disputed the existence of prairie potholes.

“The 2019 rule would very likely strip Clean Water Act protections for the majority of the Santa Fe River,” Conn said, adding that Tijeras Creek in the Albuquerque area, the Rio Fernando de Taos, the Costilla Creek and the Gila River would also be at risk.

Americans should care about this because before the Clean Water Act was in place “our rivers were actually on fire,” she said. “They were burning from petro-chemical pollution. We don’t want to go back to a time when our rivers were literally on fire.”

Like so many advocates in New Mexico, Conn appears aptly named for her job. We also have John Horning at the WildEarth Guardian, a lady named Bunny at the Sierra Club and your own Caren Cowan representing the cowboys.

Health Care

You cannot turn on a television without hearing about the prohibitively costly health care plans that are the center piece of many 2020 presidential candidates. We often hear about the lack of health care in rural areas. We also hear about the “deserts” our society lives in, even those living in urban areas.

The first deserts we began hearing about were food deserts. Defined as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. In terms of size, a food desert is in the U.S. A food desert consists of a low-income census tract residing at least 0.5 miles in urban areas (10 miles in rural areas) or 1 mile away in urban areas (20 miles in rural areas) from the large grocery store.

Folks, most all of you are living in a food desert and have been for most of your lives.  That trend is only getting worse as our youth moves to far-away cities and states to find employment.

I am here to tell that we all are living in a health care desert. Over the past year, I have had what I believe is more than my share of visits to emergency rooms in Albuquerque. Not for myself, but with sick friends and family.

The deterioration of health care in just 14 months is more than alarming. If you are forced to visit an emergency room in Albuquerque, you’d better pack a lunch. Even if you arrive by ambulance, you are likely going to be taped up, put in a wheelchair and pushed into a crowded waiting room for hours on end.

Their may be a few preliminary tests on the way to the waiting room, but by and large you are on your own. If you don’t have someone to advocate for you, you are in a world of hurt.

When one friend fell seriously ill during the State Fair, she took an ambulance ride to one hospital… where she was put in a chair and deposited in the waiting room. We tried to be nice and polite seeing the mass of humanity looking for treatment for ills of all kinds. But after more than four hours being denied care or even so much as a blanket, it was enough.

There was a beleaguered receptionist who was unreasonably rude that was the gate keeper. There were nurses calling people back behind a glass for triage and there wasn’t even room to sit down for many.

With my last polite smile and all the urgency I could muster without being rude, I cut in front of sick guy who had been called for triage and literally begged that my friend get some help. The pain reliever administered at the ambulance admission had long lost its effectiveness.

Thankfully the nurse was a kind soul and she called on my friend almost immediately. After accessing the situation, she was able to get someone to find an emergency room bed — where my friend laid for another few hours before enough tests had been run to determine that the facility we were in was unable to address a case of this magnitude.

So, in the middle of the night, my friend was transported by ambulance to another hospital. After another 24 hours in a bed in that emergency room, it was decided that emergency surgery was called for. It was touch and go whether or not a bed in a hospital room would be available after the surgery.

More than two days after the surgery the friend finally ended up in a hospital room with a bed. Thankfully they are healing well and returning to a normal life… whatever that is.

I am not writing to be critical of most of the hospital staff at both facilities. Had it not been for caring nurses and doctors, my friend wouldn’t be here today. Save of course that one nasty gate keeper.

However, the whole saga reminds me of when my dad often told me that if he was badly hurt, just take him to the vet.

Albuquerque may not compete with Houston or Phoenix, but it is the most major metropolitan area in New Mexico. If health care is that overtaxed here, what chance is there for the rest of the state?

How was that helping of soy or pea protein isolate?

As the media and the guy running Impossible Meat continue to try and convince the world that there is some fake meat craze with Burger King, Carl’s Junior and some pizza joints feeding the mass, there is a movement telling the truth about what fake meat really is.

Soy was an early choice for fake meat. We have all known for some time that excesses of soy are not good for you. Next it was pea protein isolate. That doesn’t have a great reputation either.

“Pea protein does have one weakness and that is that it’s not actually nutritionally equivalent to the protein that’s in dairy — it’s not even equivalent to the protein that’s in soy,” said Johann Tergesen, chief executive officer of Burcon NutraScience, which is opening a plant-protein facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Peas also have a strong “bean-like” taste along with a chalky texture, he said, according to a Bloomberg article.

What’s next on the list of fake meat ingredients? How about hemp, mung beans or even crickets? Burcon NutraScience has two market-ready canola proteins that are high in amino acids, methionine and cysteine, which other proteins like pea are low in.

Other companies are also working on canola proteins, with Calgary-based Botaneco Inc. having recently received funding through the Canadian government.

Food makers are showing an interest in blending pea and canola protein together to reach a protein content comparable to milk.

Hemp seeds have all 10 essential amino acids and also have omega 3 and 6. Meal made from the seeds has a nutty taste and texture, similar to sunflower seeds and pine nuts. There are also no known allergens to hemp.

The seeds have been used as a food ingredient for years by companies like Winnipeg-based Manitoba Harvest. The crop is now hitting the mainstream with major North American grocery store chains, such as Walmart Inc., stocking hemp products on their shelves. In the U.S., commercial production for hemp was legalized in late 2018 after a decades-long ban because of the crop’s association with marijuana.

Manitoba Harvest offers a range of food products including hemp as an ingredient in nutrition bars, smoothie mixes and milk products.

If you are temped to eat any of this stuff, I urge you to attending Carnivores & Keto seminar during the upcoming Joint Stockmen’s Convention!      

Source: New Mexico Stockman, November 2019