This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The Low-Cow, Mad-Carb Portfolio

It's not often that two contradictory investment themes duke it out in the supermarket of public opinion and taste at the same time. But that's the meat of the matter today in grocery aisles and trading rooms across the country as we witness the battle of Mad Cow vs. Atkins.

In one corner, we have the challenger -- an investment theme fronted by consumers who fear that the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a Washington state Holstein shows our protein food chain has been compromised and therefore should be shut down.

In the far corner stands the current champ -- an investment theme fronted by people who believe a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein, popularized by the late Dr. Robert Atkins, can keep them from getting fat as a pig.

Each theme logically argues against the other. If the beef-bashers are correct, it should be time to take a cue from Japan, Mexico and South Korea -- which have forbidden imports of U.S. beef -- and swap meatpacker stocks for shares of veggie processors like Fresh Del Monte Produce (FDP), or the la-di-da organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market (WFMI). If the beef-eaters are right, then it's time to take advantage of the current fear of frying and buy a lifetime supply of meat stocks.

Of course, there is a middle ground where all can dine and trade in peace, which I will propose in a moment. But first let's examine what's at stake and consider the major players.

Protein Craze Goes Mainstream

The food industry sells close to $600 billion worth of products in the U.S. every year, and beef accounts for an impressive 8% to 10% of that. Tyson Foods (TSN), which entered the beef biz in a big way in 2001 by purchasing IBP, slaughters 37,000 cattle daily to keep up the pace of its $10.2 billion division.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,067.56 -30.89 -0.18%
S&P 500 2,002.28 -1.09 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,598.1880 +17.9170 0.39%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs