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Carabeef ready for market prime time

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BEAST OF BURDEN. Carabaos, like these animals used to ferry tourists in Palawan, offer the country fresh hope for food sufficiency and the alleviation of poverty, according to the country’s dairy industry. EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

BAGUIO CITY—It’s time for carabao meat (carabeef) to get some respect in the domestic market, an agriculture official said during the recent Dairy Congress here.

Once described as an inferior quality product because only aged carabaos used to be slaughtered for meat, carabeef or water buffalo meat now tastes like prime beef due to improved processing technology, says Emelina Lopez, acting director of the Animal Products Development Center of the Bureau of Animal Industry (APDC-BAI).

Yet despite the upgrade, carabeef remains cheaper compared to beef, she says.

Beef sells for as high as P250 a kilogram but carabeef costs just P116 a kilo in local markets.

Lopez also cites a study conducted by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), which says that carabeef has 20.43 percent protein compared to beef, which has 19.02 percent. For the health conscious, Lopez says the fat content of carabeef is 2.87 percent, compared to the 4.34 percent fat content of beef.

At the 15th Dairy Congress here last week, officials of the Dairy Confederation of the Philippines (Dairycon) stressed the need for improving the population of dairy animals, like carabaos, as it pursues plans to increase Philippine-produced dairy products in a market that is dominated by imported milk.

Danilo Fausto, Dairycon chair, says the National Dairy Authority had taken “the bold step of targeting to infuse 60,000 head of dairy animals and the production of 55,000 genetically upgraded dairy cattle… up to the year 2016,” to increase homegrown supplies of fresh milk and meat.

The country’s carabao population is estimated at three million head, based on a March to April 2010 inventory of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).

But the supply is insufficient for the high demand of meat processing, which is why manufacturers still use imported buffalo meat from India, Lopez says.

Fausto says another problem is the lack of knowledge on how to properly feed dairy animals.

“Generally, cows and water buffaloes are underfed because farmers do not understand the required volume or nutritive value of various [animal] feed,” he says.

But in her presentation at the Dairy Congress, Lopez spoke of technologies that would improve farmers’ knowledge of their farm animals.

She says the PCC is pursuing genetic upgrading programs to harness the market potentials of carabeef and carabao milk, as well as byproducts like leather from carabao hide and handicraft from carabao bones, hooves and horns.

The PCC, in its website, says: “The Philippine carabao will continue to play a significant role in the country’s small hold farming system for many years to come, particularly in view of the dramatic decrease in the last couple of decades of land ownership above two hectares, and the corresponding increase in land ownership below one hectare.”

“This development is attributed to the continuous decline in land available for cultivation due to increases in urban usage, as against increases in relative number of people in the rural villages,” it adds.

Lopez says for carabeef to make a dent in the mainstream market, it will need to compete with imported products like hotdogs and European sausages, as well as local tocino (cured meat) and longganiza (native sausage).

To showcase the marketability of carabeef, APDC-BAI has produced pastrami, sausages, meatloaf, hotdog and sausages from meat of local carabaos.

It has also published a book which features recipes for carabeef, Lopez says.  With a report from Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon


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  • MG

    It might interest you to know that the majority of imports of manufacturing beef comes from the Indian buffalo ( aka kalabaw ). Mura kasi. Although the manufacturers will not indicate so because of the bias. Matagal na natin ginagawa ito. Nothing new here. Carabeef as a quality product that’s another story. But it can be done.

  • yetbo

    Whatever happened to compassion on the Filipino farmers’ loyal companion, Inquirer? 
    Hindi ba si Guyito (beast of burden) ang inyong mascot? Sana man lang respect sa ating beast of burden, hindi nyo na inencourage ang pag slaughter sa kanya. Napaka heartless ninyo! Bastapagkakakitaan.
    Sa inyo rin galing ang mga articles na experts have long sounded the alarm that animal food is the most destructive in the environment including carabeef.
    Food and Agriculture Organization report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” which declared that the meat industry has been “one of the top two most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”
    Ang dami ninyong storya linking animal food and destruction of our health and the environment. Gagawa gawa pa kayo ng mga ganitong storya eh inconsistent din pala kayo sa mga environmental values ng newspaper ninyo!
    I might be forced to campaign for Pinoys (mga kasama ko sa overseas Filipino organizations) to stop subscription in both your newspaper and online. You are so heartless! Tanggalin nyo na rin si Guyito sa inyong front page. Papano ko ieexplain sa anak kong wide reader ito? Na may Guyito kayo sa harap na kinatutuwaan niya pagkatapos may carabeef story kayo na storya! Nasaan ang inyong konsensya? Pera pera na lang ba talaga? Mga heartless at walang konsensiya! 
    Bureau of Animal Industry you suck.

  • alconce

    Carabeef has been on prime time for so long but it calls itseff Ox beef.

  • alconce

    Our local corned beef canners have been lying to us in all these years by deliberately omitting carabeef to make it appear like it comes from the meat of real cows. It is not only corned beef that they use as their main ingredient but that also includes hotdogs. It is highly possible that these imported buffalo meat will find its way to the wet market and the supermarkets and will be sold as prime beef.

  • yetbo

    Whatever
    happened to compassion on the Filipino farmers’ loyal companion,
    Inquirer? Hindi ba si Guyito (beast of burden) ang inyong mascot?
    Sana man lang respect sa ating beast of burden, hindi nyo na
    inencourage ang pag slaughter sa kanya. Napaka heartless ninyo! Basta
    pagkakakitaan.

    Sa
    inyo rin galing ang mga articles na experts have long sounded the
    alarm that animal food is the most destructive in the environment
    including carabeef.

    Food
    and Agriculture Organization report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,”
    which declared that the meat industry has been “one of the top two
    most significant contributors to the most serious environmental
    problems, at every scale from local to global.”

    Ang dami ninyong storya linking animal food and destruction of our health and the environment. Gagawa gawa pa kayo ng mga
    ganitong storya eh inconsistent din pala kayo sa mga environmental values ng
    newspaper ninyo!

    I
    might be forced to campaign for Pinoys (mga kasama ko sa overseas
    Filipino organizations) to stop subscription in both your newspaper
    and online. You are so heartless! Tanggalin nyo na rin si Guyito sa
    inyong front page. Papano ko ieexplain sa anak kong wide reader ito?
    Na may guyito kayo sa harap na kinatutuwaan niya pagkatapos may
    carabeef story kayo na storya! Nasaan ang inyong konsensya? Pera pera
    na lang ba talaga? Mga heartless at walang konsensiya! 

  • 1VeritasAequitas

    Nakakahambal na pagkatapos magsilbi sa tao ang mga kalabaw na tinatawag na beasts of burden na walang humpay na pinagtratrabaho sa bukid umulan man o umaraw ay pagbebenta sa kanila at pagdala sa mga slaughterhouse para patayin at katayin ang isinusukli sa kanila ng mga magsasaka na nagmamay-ari sa kanila. Sa loob ng mahabang panahon na sagad sa hirap at pagod na paninilbihan ng mga kahabag-habag na mga hayup na ito na walang tutol na naglingkod sa mga magsasaka, at sa napakalaking tulong na naibigay nila para magtanim, maka-ani, at kumita ng pera ang mga magsasaka na ito, wala man lamang bang emotional attachment at gratitude na nadama ang mga magsasaka para sa mga kahabag-habag ng mga kalabaw na siya nilang kasama sa hirap at tumulong para sila magkapera? Imbes na gantimpalaan ang mga kalabaw ng retirement sa isang sulok ng kanilang bukirin , ang mga kalabaw na ito na maraming taong nag-silbi at nagpakahirap ay ibebenta para patayin. Hanggang sa kahuli-hulihan, sila ay pinagkakaperahan pa rin ng mga walang pusong magsasaka. Ganyan din ang nangyayari sa mga kaawa-awang mga kabayo na matapos mag-silbi ng buong buhay nila ay ipinagbibili at kinakatay para kainin ng mga masisiba sa karne. Panahon na para baguhin ang napakasamang tradisyonal na pag-uugali ng mga Pilipino. Sobra-sobra ang kalupitan ng mga Pilipino sa mga hayup at ito ay nagpapakita lamang ng ating kinalakhang pagkatao na walang awa at gratitude. Ang mga hayup ,kapareho natin ay nilikha ng Paginoong Diyos. Lahat ng nararamdaman nating emosyon na takot, tuwa, lungkot, pasasalamat at pagmamahal; maging ang sakit, gutom, init, ginaw, at iba pang nadarama ng tao ay nararamdaman din nila, danga’t hindi sila makapagsalita. Kung hindi maiwasang kumain ng karne ang tao, dapat ay ang mga traditonal na lamang na sources of meat ang siya nilang kainin. Sana ay mayroong mayamang Pilantropo na tumulong din maging sa mga animals at magtayo ng isang malaking retirement sanctuary para sa mga carabaos and horses. Imbes na i-promote ang carabeef, dapat at tutukan ng pamahalaan ang moral issues tungkol sa pag-trato natin sa ating fellow God’s creatures

    • otepau68

      Totally agree with you Veritas. But it is one of those things ‘easier said than done’. More so with the case in our country. To survive as a people is a struggle itself. So imagine how the rest of the animal kingdom (the beast of burden specially) will! UnfortunatelyIt boils down to survival of the fittest. So yes, we can only hope & wait for the coming of the rich messiah as a saving grace. Meantime the reality is, starving homo sapiens have to be fed.  

    • jclarendo

      Narito na ako sa US long time ago about 35 years ngayon I don’t eat meat because I know how they maltreated and slauther this animal. Nag-alaga din ako ng kalabaw pero I treatw him like human being Before going to the field my kalabaw s already well feed and only has to work up to 10am and I never hurt my kalabaw. Our own people doesn’t care basta magkapera lang sila kaya tingnan mo naman nakakarma rin sila. Shame on you farmers who don’t care about your animals.

      • yetbo

        jclarendo: human being lang ang capable of betraying the animals who have loved and served him well. Shame on the Filipino farmers. Walang konsensya itong mga ito na nag isip na patayin ang ating national animal, beast of burden. Shame on Inquirer na nag eencourage na ang kanyang mascot na si Guyito na kinatutuwaan ng mga kabataan ay gagawan ng storya ng carabeef. 
        matagal na akong hindi kumakain ng beef, pork, chicken at iba pang hayop dahil din sa mga nilalabas na mga storya ng PDI regarding irreversible effects sa planet earth ng consumption ng animal food pero itong storya na ito ang pinakawalang konsensya sa lahat. pinaka inconsistent sa inyong environmental campaign. mga walang konsensya

    • yetbo

      1VeritasAequitas: super agree ako sayo. at ito ang dyaryo na gumagamit ng Guyito Kalabaw na mascot at naglabas ng storya ng kaawa awang kabayo na minaltrato ng amo niya. sa isang storya na lumabas sa front page nila, isang matandang kabayo ang bumagsak sa harap ng inquirer office sa makati. itong matandang kabayo ay dadalhin na nang amo niya sa slaughterhouse after magsilbi ng matagal na panahon. ito rin ang dyaryo na naglalabas ng storya ng destructive effects ng livestock and animal food.. nakakapanghina. papano ko ieexplain sa anak ko na isang voracious reader na ang dyaryo na kinatutuwaan niya dahil may kalabaw sa harap (model niya sa kasipagan) ay diyaryo din na nag eencourage na patayin ang mga kalabaw para kainin. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7FDDNRT65UQX2MA463JWDZZRMA drifter

    If only the article included ways on where and how to buy carabeef, people will try it. Kaso eng eng talaga itong mga gumagawa ng articles sa mga dyaryo. mga inutil.



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