Initially my intention to switch to grass-fed beef was purely selfish. I had stayed away from beef and pork for years. I remember the day I wanted to go vegetarian. I watched a video, The Earthlings, as part of my holistic nutrition certification. Watching the way animals are treated pushed me over the edge. In addition to that, I wanted to skip all the added hormones and antibiotics that were injected into animals so it was an easy choice. I even quit poultry and dairy for several years. As time passed I tired of eating Pescatarian and yearned for chicken enchiladas. I’m sorry but eating cheese enchiladas made me feel like a giant cheeseball.
Fast forward a few years I made sure my chicken and turkey were organic, my eggs were from chickens that had a good life, that saw sunlight or so I hoped. Then I learned about grass-fed beef and the higher level of Vitamin K, plus no antibiotics or hormones injected right? Yes, I wanted to be able to able to enjoy a beef taco salad or possibly chili without added hormones so purely selfish reason to switch to grass-fed beef. Then I learned about Regenerative Agriculture.
As a side, I’m not huge climate change activist, but I’ve always felt that I personally, should do what I could right? I hate paper plates. I’ve been phasing out plastic containers throughout my house and I try to use as little paper towels, plastic wrap and plastic ziplocs and, yes, I remember my reusable shopping bags when grocery shopping. I rarely eat beef (and no pork) which requires a lot of water and creates water pollution so I felt pretty darn good about my efforts for the environment.
When I learned about Regenerative Agriculture (also termed holistic grazing) I was excited! If you’re not familiar with the term, cattle are raised on grass pastures where the grass grows longer and the cows eat some of the grass but the balance is trampled down and mixed with their waste which is broken down by microorganisms. This process raises carbon in the soil acting like a sponge. According to the USDA, a 1% increase in soil organic carbon represents 20,0000 gallons of water per acre that can be held on the land. Some farmers strategically place the cattle’s salt feeders across the pasture from the cattle’s water so that cows are encouraged to go back and forth across the pasture trampling waste and putting microorganisms and nutrients back into the grass and soil producing nutrient-dense food.
After so many years of not eating beef and pork I still prefer the taste of organic ground turkey to grass-fed beef, BUT….I feel better about what beef I do eat. I get more nutrients AND the environment benefits from the process.
What are your thoughts about holistic grazing and what can you do for the environment?