Leaner meats can lead to better health and lower costs

By Peter Kent

cows in a pasture; photo by peter kent

Obesity has become a high-priority health hazard. Animal biology researchers are seeking ways to control fat in food animals. Leaner meats may not be the only benefit. New production methods can improve farm efficiency, keeping costs down for the farmer and consumer.

Food animal researcher Susan Duckett is examining fat cells in livestock. She is looking at how animals gain fat and what can be done to minimize fatty tissue. Duckett’s research includes identifying the genes and proteins that signal the development of fat cells and fatty acids.

Her work could become the basis for new production methods that would in increase the health value of meats and help livestock producers improve the feed-to-food ratio for their cattle.

For more information: Susan Duckett, 864-656-5151, sducket@clemson.edu or http://people.clemson.edu/~sducket/.