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Why Grassfed Is Best

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Organic Transitions page, Health Issues page and our CAFO's vs. Free Range page.

I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to learn that Al Gore has gone vegan. I don't begrudge his right to do so, of course, and I don't know his specific reason for the switch, though the article I read suggested it was a variation on the "red meat is bad for the planet" argument that ones hears all the time. This was disappointing because there is an alternate take on the meat question that too often gets lost in the news. It's called grassfed beef. Here's a profile I wrote recently as part of my 2% Solutions series:

"Eat less red meat" is the most frequent response I hear at conferences when a distraught member of the audience asks a presenter "What's the one thing I can do for the planet?" What the presenter should have said is "Eat less feedlot meat." A lot less, in fact.

Actually, the correct answer is "Eat grassfed meat." It's the only type of meat to eat - for our health, for the welfare of livestock and for the well-being of the planet.

That's what Joe Morris has been doing since 1991, when he became one of the first ranchers in California to offer grassfed beef to customers, predating the recent boom in grassfed production by a dozen years. Born and raised in San Francisco, Joe was inspired to give ranching a go by his grandfather, who owned and ran a ranch near San Juan Bautista, south of San Jose. Equally inspired by the writings of Wendell Berry, Joe decided to reject the industrial model of livestock production for a type of agriculture that worked with nature's principles. When he discovered the holistic grazing practices pioneered by Allan Savory, everything fell into place.

Producing grassfed beef was an easy choice for Joe because it squared with his values. By definition, grassfed means an animal has spent its entire life on grass or other green plants, from birth to death. This contrasts with the feedlot model in which an animal finishes its life in confinement, fattened on grain and assorted agricultural byproducts and pumped full of medication and other chemicals.  
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