Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grass-fed Cows Save The Earth

Since we sell grass-fed beef jerky, we like to plug any story we hear about how much better grass-fed beef is. It's usually about how the grass is better food for cows, which make the cows better food for you. So, we have this saying:

Grass-fed beef is better for you, the animals, and the planet.

What you don't usually hear is how grass-fed beef is better for the planet. We like to tout the fact that these animals are not eating corn, so you can subtract all the petroleum and other resources that get used to feed cows corn. But this story about how cows help the soil caught my eye.

Grass is a perennial. If cattle and other ruminants are rotated across pastures full of it, the animals' grazing will cut the blades, spurring new growth, while their trampling helps work manure and other decaying organic matter into the soil, turning it into rich humus. And healthy soil keeps carbon dioxide underground and out of the atmosphere. 

So there you have it. How grass-fed beef can save the planet!

The article goes on to mention that yes, grass-fed cows create more methane than the corn-fed animals, but that that is more than offset by the CO2 sequestration taking place in the fields. And they're not even taking the petroleum out of the equation. So, grass-fed is actually much better for the planet than corn fed.

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