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.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bush Administration Ignored Organic Laws

I'm shocked, shocked to discover that Bush was the head of a giant criminal organization. In this case, it seems we were all being ripped off, paying for organic that probably wasn't.

New Management at USDA Reforms, Strengthens National Organic Program

WASHINGTON, DC: After an extensive audit and investigation of alleged improprieties at the USDA’s National Organic Program, the agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) made public their formal report, dated March 9, substantiating the allegations of prominent organic industry watchdog groups — that under the Bush administration, the USDA did an inadequate job of enforcing federal organic law.

Since 2002, when the USDA adopted the federal organic regulations, the agency has been plagued by underfunding and a number of scandals and complaints about its cozy relationship with agribusiness interests and lobbyists.

While I'm happy to hear that things are getting better under the Obama administration, one way to avoid putting your trust in a corporatocracy is to know and support your local farmers. Join a CSA. Buy produce at your local farmer's market. I'm sure that even un-certified  local growers are more organic than some of the big companies that helped keep George W Bush in the White House for 8 years.

This is, of course, par for the course for the Bush administration. They had foxes guarding the hen houses in all departments of the Executive branch. I'm sure we'll be finding out all kinds of ways that the American people were duped, ripped-off, lied to, harmed, and even killed in order to boost the bottom line of some international conglomerate.

Oh, wait. We already have, haven't we? That was the whole Bush raison d'ĂȘtre.