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Grass-fed vs. vegan, vegetarian

People who are excited about the environmental benefits of 100% grassfed beef regularly buck a tide of criticism from people who have not learned about these benefits. Many vegetarians and vegans base their food choices on the belief that eschewing all meat and meat products in favor of vegetables, fruit, and grains will help the planet. 

But the article linked below – “Grass-fed Beef – the Most Vegan Item in the Supermarket” argues the opposite.  Food and health author Drew French asserts that, “the least harmful foods to eat come from perennial plants, and the animals that eat those perennial plants.  The synergy of cows and grass can hardly be bested as an ideal system.”  Read the article.

Regenerative agriculture explored in NYT Magazine, April 18

"Can Dirt Save the Earth," does a good job of explaining how carbon can be sequestered via photosynthesis, and even acknowledges that grazing might have an important role. The article's subtitle says, "Agriculture could pull carbon out of the air and into the soil - but it would mean a whole new way of thinking about tending the land."  They got that right.

The author, Moises Velasquez-Manoff, is less well informed about methane from cattle, however.  Methane is one of many problems connected with corn-fed feedlot cattle, but is not a problem with 100% grass-fed beef. Find out more about this issue on our website here.  Read the article from the NYT magazine here.

Progressive Farmer published article on Big Picture Beef

"Grass-Fed Game Changer" is the title of an article in the March issue of Progressive Farmer magazine (page 48). The author, Loretta Sorenson, gives some background on our Big Picture Beef founder and CEO, a general overview of our company, and some criteria for raising cattle for our program.  Read the article.

New book on industrial chicken production reveals larger threat 

Big Chicken, Marion McKenna’s eye-opening book released this month, is a carefully documented expose of threats posed by industrial livestock practices, particularly the misuse of antibiotics. 

A hair-raising excerpt from Chapter 4 gives a feeling for McKenna’s writing and research and a sense of how important it is that we know what we’re eating.

McKenna is an independent journalist and author who specializes in public health, global health, and food policy and a contributor to National Geographic. In 2015 she gave a TED talk titled, “What do we do when antibiotics don’t work anymore?”

Weeds resistant to glyphosate (Roundup) are increasing

To kill weeds on their GMO corn crops, farmers use Roundup, in which the active ingredient is glyphosate, widely considered a human carcinogen. Increasingly weeds are becoming resistant to glyphosate and farmers are using more. See Marion Nestle's column for charts and graphs. Thirty-six percent of corn grown in the U.S. goes to feed livestock.

"Serious potential" for grassfed in mainstream market

An article on the Civil Eats website comments on a recent conference Stone Barns Center held to release a report on the market for grassfed. (See below, "Report on grass-fed market potential.")

Food Sleuth Radio, Ridge Shinn interview

Ridge Shinn, CEO and founder of Big Picture Beef, talks about how he became interested in grass-fed beef and started the company; why he believes it is so important to health and the environment; and how shoppers can determine if the beef in the package is really grass-fed. His radio host is Registered Dietician, Melinda Hemmelgarn.  Find the 28 minute interview here.   

Grass-fed beef meets needs of today's Northeast farmers

Lancaster Farming features Big Picture Beef CEO Ridge Shinn in a recent article about the growing demand for grassfed in the marketplace.

Report on grassfed market potential

An April report on the growing market for grass-fed beef points to the need for more accurate labeling, ways to reduce the cost of the product, and outreach on the superior taste of grass-fed beef as well as the environmental benefits of grazing. Download the full report from the Stone Barns Center website here.

Why more farmers are making the switch to grass-fed meat and dairy

This NPR article interviews three entrepreneurs - Tim Joseph of Maple Hill Creamery, Ridge Shinn of Big Picture Beef, and Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest of EPIC meat-based protein bars – on the benefits of grass-fed meat and dairy products.

Farmers: rely on ecology, not fertilizers and pesticides, says NRCS soil expert.

A recent article on the Progressive Farmer website features Ray Archuleta, a 33-year employee of the Natural Resources Conservation Service…

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New satellite data suggests that good grazing practices will increase rainfall.

It’s well established that rotational grazing, correctly managed, increases the organic matter in soil significantly. This in turns means that…

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Maple Hill Creamery seeks to define grass-fed dairy

Founded in 2003, Maple Hill did not start producing yogurt until 2009. In just five years, the brand has become…

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Peer reviewed study shows net climate benefit of rotational grazing

A report published on Sept. 30, 2015 compares the net climate effect of various strategies for grazing beef cattle in…

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American Academy of Pediatrics: routine use of antibiotics in livestock threatens human health

In November the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) publicly opposed the routine practice of adding antibiotics to livestock feed. Use…

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