How Grass-Fed Beef Can Save Our Planet
I’d like to provide some food for thought on how cows and regenerative agriculture play a pivotal role in helping save our planet and reversing climate change.
But first, a confession. When we started down this path, I did it for very selfish reasons. We just had our first child and I wanted to be able to provide her with the best food possible. (I’m a total mama bear.) At the time I was only concerned about feeding her foods that hadn’t been grown with harmful chemicals and was gung-ho on being “organic”.
But as we’ve grown and continued to educate ourselves, we’ve realized being organic alone is not enough. If we’re truly to be good stewards of our planet, regenerative agriculture is a must. Allow me to explain why…
-HOW REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE CAN SAVE OUR PLANET-
I think we all remember hearing about photosynthesis in science class in 8th grade but here’s a quick, basic refresher.
By using the energy of sunlight, plants can convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen in a process called photosynthesis.
Think of this as plants breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen.
Did you catch that? Breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen. What’s the concern with climate change? Too much CO2.
These amazing plants are able to take carbon from the atmosphere and through a magical process put into the soil and store it there.
According to (my fav) Dr. Zach Bush, MD…."Humans produce 9 gigatons of carbon annually. The ocean can recycle an extra 3 gigatons of carbon, the soils of the earth, on the other hand, can hold more than 2000 gigatons of carbon. The steady rise of CO2 in our atmosphere is less due to overproduction, and much more the result of our killing of our soils and water systems with chemical agriculture.”
Are you following me here? It’s so simple!
So now that we’ve established why plants and grasses are so important for our climate, let’s take a minute and talk about why cows (when raised properly) are so beneficial.
-WHY COWS ARE GOOD FOR CLIMATE CHANGE-
Cows have an incredible ability to digest grass and plants, that you and I don’t have, and turn it into delicious grass-fed beef or milk. Once a cow takes a bite off one of these plants, it stuns the plant and stimulates its roots to grow deeper, creating a more healthy and robust plant to regrow.
As farmers, our job is to properly manage this process. If too much or too little of the plant is eaten we won’t have the beneficial effects of root stimulation and regrowth of the plant.
I won’t bore you with the details but if you’d like to see first hand how we do this I’d encourage you to come for a farm tour next summer to see it for yourself!
In addition to proper management, the cows are so generous in spreading their manure on our fields which provides fertilizer and food for the plants and soil. Without the help of cows, plant life would be very stagnant and we wouldn’t be able to rebuild our soils or capture as much carbon as we’re able to.
But removing carbon from the atmosphere is only one of the many benefits regenerative agriculture provides us. Dr. Vandna Shiva stated “Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy.”
We didn’t know all of this when we started out. We’ve come so far in what we know in terms of what it takes to rebuild healthy soils, create diversity and raise high quality grass-fed beef.Take a look at one of the fields we planted this year.
How much carbon do you think we’ve removed from the atmosphere from our tiny farm?
Not only that...we’re able to provide so many families with safe, nutrient dense beef, pork, chicken, eggs & milk off this land. I know it's easy to get discouraged and feel helpless when it comes to issues like climate change, but as farmers AND consumers we all have the power to make better choices.
We’ve got an opportunity to fight for a healthier planet, food, water and air and work together with mother nature to restore her natural regenerative cycles.
Thank you to all of you that have reached out and shared how motivated you are to join us in the regenerative movement. You truly are inspiring! And thank you to those who choose to seek out ethically, locally, responsibly raised food. You are the driving force behind the changes we're seeing that will impact many generations to come!
Cheers to climate changing, carbon capturing cows!