Eating Grass Fed Beef Can Lower Your Carbon Footprint

Women On SwingYou’re at an Argentinean steakhouse and the waiter walks by with a glistening sword. He emerges from the kitchen, and a hunk of perfectly slow-roasted beef has been impaled upon his sword-like knife. You put your stoplight signal on the table on green, inviting him over to give you slices of the meat. He takes out a sharpened knife that looks like it’s out of a modern horror movie and slowly carves off a delectable piece of meat.

They are lean and juicy, perfectly pink in the middle as a steak should always be.

Everyone begins eating, marveling in how delicious and intense the flavor is, wondering why your homemade steak doesn’t taste the same. The secret? The best beef comes from grass-fed beef.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of grass fed beef now.

For starters, grass-fed beef is better for the environment. Grass fed beef goes straight from the pasture to the slaughterhouse, unlike grain-fed beef which is made to gorge on corn in a feedlot. Thus, grass fed beef doesn’t have the carbon footprint of thousands of pounds of corn with it. Pastures are better for the soil and produce less pollution.

This is offset somewhat though as grass fed cows often produce more methane than grain fed, but the major impact of grain fed beef needing corn and other products borders on the absurd. Almost 80% of all soybeans and 50% of all corn the world produces goes to feeding livestock, of which grain fed cows are one of the major consumers. Grass fed beef lives off the land, consuming less resources, so it’s the green way to go.

Grass-fed does not need all the antibiotics that corn fed beef needs, which means these harmful chemicals don’t pollute grass fed cow farms or the surrounding environment. Grass fed beef is also healthier for you, so you can enjoy it with less guilt or waistline repercussions. As someone who is addicted to staying healthy and in shape, the benefits of grass fed beef really drew me to it.

Our favorite grass-fed beef has fewer calories and from 33% to 50% less fat than grain fed beef. It also has more of a fat called CLA which is critical for good health, along with more Omega 3 fatty acid, and Vitamin E. I hate, and I mean loathe carrots with a passion, and grass fed beef has over twice the beta carotene than grain fed beef. One of the major negatives of grass fed beef is the price tag. While not exorbitant, it is clearly more expensive than grain-fed beef if you are buying low-end cuts or hamburger meat. It’s often about a dollar more per pound, but this margin has been shrinking recently. Steaks are often more expensive by a couple of dollars a pound as well.

However, when it comes to the premium cuts of beef and high-end steak, grass-fed beef is often cheaper than supposedly the best grain fed beef. One of the knocks on grass fed beef is that the flavor is inconsistent, but this has been vastly overstated. In many cases as evidenced by sites like the Union, Slate, and Village Voice, grass fed beef has won blind taste tests over more expensive, more recognized grain fed beef.

When it becomes clear that grass-fed beef is better for the environment, markedly healthier, and as delicious if not better than grain fed beef, it’s hard to continue eating grain fed beef. I’ll take my cue from those Argentinean steakhouses and recreate that experience in my own home. Their secret is out.

John-R-Garnett-Picture1-150x150Be sure to also read: Gift Ideas For A Green Handyman, What is Phantom Electricity?, Green Cleaning Products, Savvy Green, Energy Efficient Windows, Water Conservation Around The House, Carbon Impact of Meats, Energy Misconceptions, Low Flows in the Home Shower.


About the author

John R. Garnet

John's work in the energy market fostered his interest in the environment. He recently completed his graduate work at George Mason University, But more interestingly, John has a passion for food and cooking and to provides some light-hearted tips to make people's lives greener while enjoy the good life with everyday practical tips from brewing tea, growing basil, or drinking raw milk.