At Cargill, we're committed to making responsible use of nature's gifts. That's why, for more than two decades, we have considered the production of Finely Textured Beef (FTB) a natural extension of our efforts to maintain a sustainable, affordable food supply. While FTB isn't used in all of our ground beef products, we're proud to offer this 100% pure beef product as an option our customers can use to feed more people, more affordably.
Simply put, it's the 100% pure lean beef remaining on the fat trimmed from steaks and roasts. Since it's too small to remove efficiently with a knife, we've developed a patented technology that helps us recover as much beef as possible. This helps us make better use of the animals we harvest, produce more food and keep beef prices more affordable. And since FTB is 95% lean, it helps us create the many lean points available in your grocer's meat case.
Curious about how FTB is made? Watch our video and learn more.
Now that you know what FTB really is, let's take a look at why it is so important to our future.
By 2050, the global population will reach 9 to 10 billion. To feed that many people, Norman Borlaug, father of the modern Green Revolution, estimated that we would need to produce the same amount of food in the next 40 years that we have produced in the last 10,000 years.1 So maintaining a sustainable food supply is critical. While FTB historically represents only 8 to 9 percent of the total ground beef supply, without it we would need an additional 1.5 million cattle each year to make up the difference, forcing us to rely heavily on imports.
Explore the world without FTB: Watch our video and see what it would take to replace this critical food source.
Because the use of FTB helps maximize the amount of lean beef we can collect from each animal for human food, it is a key element in keeping beef prices stable. Without FTB, consumers would pay 5 to 10 percent more for their ground beef. In addition, prices would likely increase for all beef, as more of the overall beef supply would need to be used for ground beef production. With nearly one in five American families struggling to put food on the table due to rising food prices and economic challenges, those higher prices could have an enormous impact on many families.
It's important that you understand how critical FTB is to beef production, both now and in the future. It's respectful of the animals we use for our food and eliminates waste. And in today's world, where hunger is so common, waste is more than unjustified. It's just plain wrong.
Have more questions? Visit GroundBeefAnswers.com for more information.
The proven process used to produce FTB is simple, and has been in use for decades. In fact, during a recent study, a representative sample of primary U.S. grocery shoppers favored the taste, tenderness and texture of FTB ground beef over non-FTB product.
May 2012: Guinness World Record for Most Expensive Hamburger Sells for $295 at Serendipity 3 in New York City.