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How Cows Can Save the Planet

January 21, 2010 |  by  |  Nutrition

Not sure about the statement that grass-fed cows can save the planet, but I am a meat eater and a fan of eating good quality grass-fed meat and think there is something to be said about raising animals the way they were supposed to be raised…in a pasture. It makes me happy to finally see this hitting some of the mainstream media, but there is a long way to go. I really hope that more farms will be taking to this practice so it is more readily available to us. We eat meat about twice at week at our home, usually when my son is with us (big meat eater). I have been buying Hearst Ranch Beef at New Frontiers and am in the process of researching other ranches on the Central Coast and will be posting resources for those soon.


How Cows (Grass-Fed Only) Could Save the Planet

Time Magazine
By Lisa Abend
Monday, Jan. 25, 2010

On a farm in coastal Maine, a barn is going up. Right now it’s little more than a concrete slab and some wooden beams, but when it’s finished, the barn will provide winter shelter for up to six cows and a few head of sheep. None of this would be remarkable if it weren’t for the fact that the people building the barn are two of the most highly regarded organic-vegetable farmers in the country: Eliot Coleman wrote the bible of organic farming, The New Organic Grower, and Barbara Damrosch is the Washington Post’s gardening columnist. At a time when a growing number of environmental activists are calling for an end to eating meat, this veggie-centric power couple is beginning to raise it. “Why?” asks Coleman, tromping through the mud on his way toward a greenhouse bursting with December turnips. “Because I care about the fate of the planet.”

The idea that giving up meat is the solution for the world’s ills is ridiculous

Ever since the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization released a 2006 report that attributed 18% of the world’s man-made greenhouse-gas emissions to livestock — more, the report noted, than what’s produced by transportation — livestock has taken an increasingly hard rap. At first, it was just vegetarian groups that used the U.N.’s findings as evidence for the superiority of an all-plant diet. But since then, a broader range of environmentalists has taken up the cause. At a recent European Parliament hearing titled “Global Warming and Food Policy: Less Meat = Less Heat,” Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, argued that reducing meat consumption is a “simple, effective and short-term delivery measure in which everybody could contribute” to emissions reductions. (See the top 10 green ideas of 2009.)

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Another good article from Time (a little dated, but still good):

The Grass-Fed Revolution

Sunday, Jun. 11, 2006

Until he saw the light, Jon Taggart–6 ft. 5 in., jeans, white cowboy hat, Texas twang–was a rancher like any other in the southern Great Plains. He crowded his cattle onto pasture sprayed with weed killers and fertilizers. When they were half grown, he shipped them in diesel-fueled trucks to huge feedlots. There they were stuffed with corn and soy–pesticide treated, of course–and implanted with synthetic hormones to make them grow faster. To prevent disease, they were given antibiotics. They were trucked again to slaughterhouses, butchered and shrink-wrapped for far-flung supermarkets. “It was the chemical solution to everything,” Taggart recalls.

Today his 500 steers stay home on the range. And they’re in the forefront of a back-to-the-future movement: 100% grass-fed beef. In the seven years since Taggart began to “pay attention to Mother Nature,” as he puts it, he has restored his 1,350 acres in Grandview, Texas, to native tallgrass prairie, thus eliminating the need for irrigation and chemicals. He rotates his cattle every few days among different fields to allow the grass to reach its nutritional peak. And when the steers have gained enough weight, he has them slaughtered just down the road. Finally, he and his wife Wendy dry-age and butcher the meat in their store, Burgundy Boucherie. Twice weekly, they deliver it to customers in Fort Worth and Dallas happy to pay a premium for what the Taggarts call “beef with integrity–straight from pasture to dinner plate.”

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Laureen Wallravin, NTP
San Luis Obispo County
(805) 242-3677

is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner specializing in a holistic approach to nutrition and total body wellness. She helps clients with digestive, blood sugar, hormone, immune, and detoxification imbalances. Her methods include a Metabolic Type Diet, functional diagnostic testing, and food sensitivity testing (MRT). Laureen’s practice is located in Grover Beach and she serves the surrounding areas of the Central Coast including Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and Morro Bay.