Best Beef Makes the Cut

Health conscious consumers are demanding that they have their cake and be able to eat it, too. Or at least their steak.  This demand is being felt out on the ranch, and the cows and their cowboys are responding. Back on the prairie, or should I say cattle farm, modern-day wranglers are investigating and experimenting with new breeds of cattle, a variety of feed-types, and new technologies to get the healthiest, leanest cuts of beef possible.

Over the past 15 years the grades of beef produced in Canada and elsewhere have improved significantly. What used to be available only in the most exclusive restaurants, the coveted AAA grade, is now available in ordinary supermarkets. Back in the bad old days only about 1/3rd or the beef being produced merited the AAA designation. Today beef producers are churning out about 70% of their beef as AAA.

These cuts tend to be leaner, smaller and with a better taste. As consumers become more educated about the meat they are eating, they prefer these high-end cuts of meat, and with breeding, feeding, and other modern meat production practices consumers are getting what they want at more affordable prices with greater availability.  Now that our steaks are so good for us, we can enjoy them guilt-free. Just don’t overcook your gourmet cut of steak!

Tycon Creek State

There’s often not all that much to do on a Saturday afternoon for the more conservative college student.  It is pretty typical for most students to be sleeping off their Friday night hangovers.  But if you just want a bit of quiet time, and want to enjoy the leisure time you have in a city that is perhaps far from home, your best bet might be a nature trail.  Especially if you are in a place as glorious as Portland, Oregon.  It doesn’t take long to get to the state park, that is just minutes from downtown Portland.  There you can enjoy a wonderful hike (in pretty much all weathers; even in the rain), check out the park’s many nature trails nestled between Boones Ferry Road and Terwilliger Boulevard, southwest of Portland or get your workout done by cycling around.  You will be privy to trilliums and all sorts of beautiful things and if you’re  not in the mood for exerting yourself then you can just take a seat and listen to the birds and squirrels talk about their day.  It’s an incredibly peaceful place to be and a wonderful experience no matter what you’re seeking.

Timing a Pregnancy Post-Miscarriage

People in the medical profession, and regular couples, have long tried to figure out the secret to healthy conception after a miscarriage.  Certainly, most couples who miscarry feel a sense of loss and frustration, and they are eager to try again quickly.  But, is this the most advantageous idea?  Or is it healthier for the mother and fetus to wait awhile before trying again?

A new study by researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland suggests that women may actually have more success with a pregnancy if they get pregnant quickly after a miscarriage.  The scientists found that women who conceived within six months of a miscarriage had better chances of having a successful and full-term pregnancy than did women who conceived later.

Interestingly, this is contrary to an earlier study from Latin American that found that women should wait more than six months after miscarrying; and, this earlier study formed the basis of the World Health Organization’s 2005 recommendations that women put off a pregnancy for six months after miscarrying.

This Scottish study is the first attempt to provide better data for the optimal timing of pregnancy.  The World Health Organization has called for more studies on conception after miscarriage, and this study certainly shows an important beginning to this research.

Dangers of Dietary Supplements

More and more people today take vitamin supplements without consulting a medical professional. Their assumption is that these supplements can only be beneficial, and that they don’t need to be approved or checked by a healthcare professional.  A recent study by Consumer Reports says otherwise.  The report listed 12 ingredients that are found in supplements that are linked to serious side effects.

These ingredients include: aconite, bitter orange, chaparral, colloidal silver, coltsfoot, country mallow, germanium, greater celandine, kava, lobelia, and yohimbe.  The FDA spokesperson says that the FDA does caution consumers about possible side effects with seven of these supplements (aconite, chaparral, colloidal silver, comfrey, germanium, kava and yohimbe), but that they do not know with what evidence or scientific basis Consumer Reports has come to these conclusions.

While the FDA used to regulate dietary supplements in the same fashion that they regulated other foods, this changed in 1994.  Since that time when DSHEA was signed into law by President Clinton, it has been up to the manufacturer to determine which supplements are safe.  Doctors urge the general public to be very aware of what supplements they are using and to check with their doctor before starting to use any new supplements.

Lower profits for Domtar

Domtar announced its financial results for the second quarter of 2010. It reflects a net profit of $ 31 million compared to $ 58 million for the first quarter.

This decline in earnings for Domtar is primarily attributed to a loss on the sale of its timber worth $ 50 million . It also includes costs for the acquisition of part of the company’s long- term debt and a charge of $14 million related to the loss and write down of fixed assets and closure costs and reorganization of $5 million .

“We continue to effectively carry out our task to produce solid financial results , “said President and CEO at Domtar, John D. Williams in a release . I am pleased that these efforts, combined with our successful bid to repurchase a portion of the long-term debt have been recognized by rating agencies.”

Indeed, with the exception of items listed above , the company recorded earnings of $ 116 million . The action is therefore amounted to $ 2.67 versus $ 1.59 for the first quarter of 2010 . The rating agencies have therefore recognized the efforts of Domtar to improve their situation.

According to the company’s forecasts , shipments of paper should remain stable during the third quarter. They are expected to decline late in the quarter because of seasonal factors.

United Malt Makes Pretty Profit for Castle Harlan

Castle Harlan Logo
Castle Harlan Logo

With their sale of United Malt Holdings for $655 million, Castle Harlan was able to realize a respectable profit, approximately 4 and a half times the money invested.

Castle Harlan and Champ Private Equity, an Australian affiliate company with Castle Harlan, sold the portfolio company, the world’s fourth largest producer of malt, to GrainCorp of Australia.

In 2006 the partners invested in total $90.54 million in equity in United Malt, which was purchased at the time from Conagra Foods and Tiger Brands. Castle Harlan supplied 55 percent of the investment, while Champ supplied the remaining percentage.

The internal rate of return was about 80 percent, but it would be incorrect to believe that the deal was risk free. Earlier tries to see United Malt ended unsuccessfully, according to BusinessWeek.