That Juicy Burger Can be Good for the Environment


I love to eat a juicy burger because, well, juicy burgers are delicious. Lately, it seems that eating burgers, or any kind of meat, comes with a measure of guilt.

On top of everything else, cows are being blamed as a source of greenhouse gasses. But consider this: The environment without cattle and other grazing animals would be in a lot worse shape. Here’s why.

Grasslands comprise about 40 percent of the world’s landmass. It’s not just the American prairie, it’s the Pampas of South America, the Steppes of Russia and the Savannas of Africa.

Grasslands remove carbon from the air, and store it safely in the soil. Bison, cattle and other grazing animals have been a vital part of healthy grasslands through the ages. Their grazing forces the plants to build strong root systems, their hooves bury the seeds, and their manure acts as nature’s fertilizer.

Organic beef producers keep their animals out on pastures during the growing season each year. Other producers of grass-fed beef make sure their animals spend their lives on the pastures and rangelands as well.

Buying organic and grassfed meat assures that your great-tasting burger is also good for the environment. That’s something you can really chew on the next time you enjoy a nice, juicy burger.

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One Response to That Juicy Burger Can be Good for the Environment

  1. RebekahT says:

    Sadly there are very few meat producers who are producing sustainably (organic is a large move in the right direction but still monoculture farming), and with all the different labels that say one thing and mean another and the special interest groups that are painting ALL animal producers with the same brush (they are all polluting the environment by simply existing, so our options are change nothing or go vegan), the general public’s eyes glaze and they buy the product with the price tag that is comfortable and who’s label makes them believe they are getting the best quality for that price.

    The reality of how meat is produced is not shared on any major scale in part due to ag-gag laws, and in part due to corporate bullying and legislation. People like Allan Savory who speak about grassland carbon sequestration and reversal of desertification of our planet through the use of livestock are shared within groups that are already aware of these issues and solutions, but finding ways to get this information to the masses that don’t know there is a better way and who can vote with their dollars should be a major focus for those of us who are in the know.

    Once the general public is aware that they can have their healthier sustainably grown grass fed/finished meat and eat it too, those who can afford it will seek it out, helping growers who are producing in an organic way to move to a more sustainable way and conventional farms will move to organic and sustainable methods in order to meet demand. Ultimately we’ll see the prices adjust so that the sustainable and organic becomes more affordable as the number of farms switch over and government subsidies are directed accordingly. When we the people vote at the cash register, that is what drives the lobbyists who are able to change where the government funding is going.

    The take home message… get the word out. Tell your kids to tell their friends and teachers. Seek out the local farmer who is raising their meat animals in their orchards and gardens or on the rangelands that so desperately need them. Big corporations like Walmart are making big moves and we need to help guide them to make the best choices so that we have a healthy future for our families and our planet!

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