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Posts tagged ‘Feedlot’

Water usage and the Environmental Cost of Beef Production

I recently received this question:

Question for MND: meat farming is considered by some to be very resource-intensive and bad for the environment, compared with the nutrition you can get from grains and other farmed foods. I know you don't like grains - but where does the balance lie?

And I thought I would share the answer with you, for your interest:

MotherNaturesDiet replies: Thanks, you raise a really good point, and it's something I am going to be covering in detail in one of the books I am writing, which will be available later in the year.

The principle argument is a classic case of ‘distorted data’. The anti-meat lobby and many hard-line vegetarian blogs love to quote all this water-and-land usage data to argue for eating grains and not meat. They quote that it takes some huge number, 2,000 gallons or more, of fresh water to raise 1 pound of beef, therefore meat is this terrible resource-guzzling food, and so the story goes. They quote that the developing world could never all eat meat the way Americans do, because it would require so much land and fresh water to raise that much beef.

Summary of this post:
•Modern beef production wastes a lot of water, is cruel to the animals and has a high impact on the environment.
•It doesn’t HAVE to be that way, organic is sustainable and achievable.
•However, in the short term, organic is likely to remain a ‘niche choice’ for the conscientious consumer.
•The human population on Earth has only become so harmfully inflated due to intensive industrialised farming processes that started since the industrial revolution.

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