Friday, January 8, 2010

Eating for Sustainablility

It takes alot of corn to fatten a steer.
But it is alot quicker than waiting for a grass fed steer to "beef" up for slaughter.
Corn fed steers are ready for slaughter after a relatively short life of about 14 months.  75 years ago,  steers were 4 or 5 years before they were ready for slaughter.  Remember cowboys?  Cowboys roaming the grassy prairie lands with their  cattle  have been replaced by CAFO's (concentrated animal feeding operations). Agribusinesses' CAFOs have made it possible for Americans to have their cow and eat it too. By confining large numbers of animals in small spaces, fattening them quickly with corn ( not a natural food for a ruminant like a cow), keeping them alive with antibiotics and processing them assembly fashion helps to keep the price low.  It is now possible for us to eat meat 3 times a day and  half pounds and pounds at a time without a serious hit to our wallets.
In some ways, that does't by itself seem like much of a problem.  But, what are the hidden costs of producing meat this way?

For the next few posts, I'll detail a number of ways that meat production negatively impacts our planet and is unsustainable.

1 comment:

  1. I love the blog Beryl! It sounds like you guys have really gotten into this local, organic, grass fed, etc. thing. I am still reading the Omnivores Dilemma and loving it. I 'm reading it slowly so it never ends.

    Also, thanks for the package, we just got it today. More good books to read on the subject. Thanks!!! Anyway, got to go.