We know you love the Earth and all our fellow creatures great and small. As humans our choices have more of an impact on our environment than all other organisms combined. According to Islamic tradition, the Earth is our Mother and our final resting place, for it was from her womb we were brought forth, and where we will be put back again. What you eat every day can have a profound impact on whether we are helping to heal our delicate environment, or further sicken it. And unfortunately our Mother is very sick. There is a lot we can do, and should be doing, but for our purposes we’ll focus on the benefits of grass fed meats.
Can eating grass fed meat save the planet? Well maybe not by itself, but the positive impact it can make is amazing. There are so many benefits to grass fed meat, and by choosing to eat grass fed organic you are helping in ways you may have not even been aware of.
GZ Model vs. Industrial
It’s important to understand how conventional meat is raised in order to understand the benefits of grass fed. Industrial meat production seeks to make meat as cheaply as possible, so animals are packed tight, fed cheap substandard food, and chemicals (hormones, pesticides etc.) are used to for everything from keeping animals to raising their feed. And as with most modern industrial models, the real costs of the meat production are hidden because they are externalized. Which means that certain elements of industrial production are not paid by the livestock producers, but fall upon all of us to pay collectively. One example is the toxic pollution runoff. Contrast this to grass fed organic in which cows eat grass, not soy or grain, and no hormones/antibiotics are used in the life cycle, a sustainable model of agriculture. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of grass fed meat that have been outlined.
- Much less Pollution: Grass fed organic meat produces far less pollution than industrial meats for several reasons.
- No Pesticides/Herbicides: No pesticides or herbicides are used on the pastures for grass fed beef/lamb/goat, and none are used for chicken feed grain since it is organic. The runoff of pesticides/herbicides used for agribusiness is one of the primary reasons for a ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico, an area the size of New Jersey which has such low levels of oxygen nothing can live there!
- Manure run off: Quick what is the number one cause of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay (one of the world’s largest estuaries)? Oil? Gas? Manufacturing waste? No, its chicken manure from industrial poultry farms! And by the way, that chicken manure is toxic stuff, which contains arsenic and high levels of nitrogen. Cattle feedlot manure is also a big problem, when you have hundreds of thousands of cows packed together, they make a lot of manure, and in many cases they just collect in fetid lagoons filled with hormones, antibiotics and possibly E.Coli pathogens. Grass fed meat is pastured and their manure isn’t a problem, its part of the solution. It’s free from any chemicals and by walking around, the cows fertilize with their droppings, providing rich nutrients for dung beetles and soil alike.
- More pasture: By supporting grass fed farmers with fair prices, we allow them to keep farming and keep their pasture as pasture for livestock. They don’t have to feel compelled to plant cash crops like soy or corn, or sell out to a developer because they can’t make payments. Essentially grass fed cows are using solar energy captured in the grass and convert it to meat, instead of having to use pesticides, fuel and herbicides to grow corn to feed them. The pasture stays green and small farms say in business. By keeping it as pasture it also helps with carbon emissions.
- Sequestering Carbon: GZ animals graze on a piece of pasture, then they are moved to fresh pasture to allow the grass to recover. This simple process is called managed intensive grazing, or rotational grazing. The soil loves this process, since it gets fertilized, and grass loves it because it helps it to grow stronger, ultimately helping it to sequester, or capture, more carbon.
- Erosion: Making the soil and grass stronger, leads to less erosion.
- Non GMO: None of the grass or grains used by GZ farmers utilizes GMOs. How does this help the environment? We put this point in environment, because one of the biggest issues with GMOs is that they are so invasive. If you plan GMO corn, the pollen can spread over dozens of miles, infecting non-GMO crops. And if this continues there is concern that there will be few non-GMO crops left, and since there are no long term tests we don’t really know what that means.
You can feel good that GZ meats are doing a small part to help out. You can also take some solace in knowing that GZ was the first grass fed meat company to receive the prestigious Green America’s Certified Green Business certification. We’re happy about that and look forward to trying to even get better.