Meat Lab teaches about slaughtering, processing
UC Davis Meat Lab manager Caleb Sehnert looks over some of the beef being processed at the facility. All of the cattle, lamb and pigs slaughtered at the lab were raised on the UC Davis campus. (photo: Edward Ortiz / The Sacramento Bee)
June 10, 2014
(from The Sacramento Bee)
A bumper sticker on Caleb Sehnert’s SUV reads “Eat beef – the West was not won on salad.” Sehnert manages the Meat Lab at UC Davis, where the coin of the realm is not only beef, but also pork and lamb.
In a year 300 pigs and 100 each of lamb and cattle are ushered into the unassuming facility, and exit as cuts of meat or as research material.
The Meat Lab has two aims: processing and teaching — mainly as part of Animal Sciences, but other departments work on or study the animals after slaughter.
“We have about 20 animal science students that come in. They’ll be on the kill floor with the USDA inspector and myself, taking notes and seeing the whole process — from stunning to bleeding to evisceration” said Sehnert. “And when they are done they look at the digestive tract.”
All of the animals that are processed at the lab are owned by the university and conceived and raised on different lots and feedlots at the UC Davis campus. Additionally, all of the meat at the facility is overseen by a USDA inspector.
The animal parts are used for teaching throughout campus. For example, biomedical engineering research on retinas uses pig eyes. Pigs are frequently used because of the similarity of pig and human physiology. In other cases animal body parts are used by students learning surgical suturing, Sehnert said.
The meat lab sells meat retail in a side room from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.
About the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis
The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, is the leading college of its kind in the world. Its researchers address critical issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, communities, and human and social sciences through cutting-edge research, top-ranked undergraduate and graduate education, and internationally recognized outreach programs. An overarching goal is to develop solutions for a better world, healthier lives, and an improved standard of living for everyone. www.caes.ucdavis.edu