Where's The Beef?*
Welcome to week 2 of Earth Care Month.
Have you wondered what the single most impactful thing you can do to reduce Climate Change? If you've ever looked on-line you will find that virtually always one of the top 3 recommendations is to eat more plants and less meat, especially beef. Why is that?
No doubt you have heard that cows 'burp' methane gas which is 80% worse for a warming climate than carbon dioxide (CO2). But that's only part of the problem. Cows are either penned in stockyards or graze on acres of land. The waste from cows raised in stockyards is so concentrated it must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Pasture grazing cows need space at the expense of trees and other flora which absorb CO2. Acres of trees are cut down annually for cattle grazing. Also, 40% of all corn grown in the US goes to feeding cattle, making beef a much less efficient food source than plant based foods (30% of corn is grown for ethanol, only 10% of corn grown is for human consumption).
We do not need to become vegetarians to have a positive effect on the environment. Even cutting out meat one day a week is enormously beneficial. Adopting "Meatless Mondays" is a common way to make this a habit. And if you're curious how much changing your diet affects your family's carbon footprint, check out the Carbon Footprint Calculator on our Earth Care Webpages (https://andrewpres.org/earth-care-carbon-footprint/). By going from 2 servings to 1 serving of meat, fish and eggs per day our footprint declined by over 2 tons of CO2 per year!
If you are interested in knowing more about how your diet not only affects the planet but also your health, I highly recommend "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. It is no exaggeration that this book changed me forever. His mantra: "Eat food, not too much, and mostly plants."
*If you don't know what this title means, Google "Where's the Beef", it's a very funny commercial from 1984