Mad Cow Beef Demand

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

It is hard to quantify, but experts say high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are helping the beef industry.

Consumer demand and prices for beef remain high despite the nation's first case of mad cow disease.

University of Nebraska agriculture economist Darrell Mark says the popular Atkins diet and low supplies of cattle are helping.

Restaurants have caught on to the diet fad, with Ruby Tuesday, Burger King, Hardee's and other chains emphasizing beef over bread.

Ruby Tuesday began offering 30 items in November labeled as low in carbohydrates. This month, Burger King began selling breadless Whoppers and Hardee's in December dumped the bread from some of its hamburgers.

Ruby Tuesday senior vice president Rick Johnson says demand for low-carb choices has not lessened since the mad cow case.

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