Beef is nourishing and sustainable.1,5,6 It promotes health and helps prevent nutrient deficiencies.4 Environmentally, cattle play a unique role in our food system because they upgrade inedible plants to high-quality protein.2,3 Most people are already eating beef within global dietary guidelines4, so we believe the biggest opportunity for a healthy sustainable diet will come from reducing food waste, including beef, eating fewer empty calories and enjoying more balanced meals.
A new study, recently published in the journal Agricultural Systems, is the most comprehensive beef cattle lifecycle assessment ever completed. In the report, titled Environmental Footprints of Beef Cattle Production in the United States, the researchers found widely accepted measures related to beef cattle’s impact in the U.S. are often overestimated.
We all know beef tastes great – but did you know that it can be sustainable too? Check out some answers to your most pressing questions when it comes to beef’s role in a healthy, sustainable diet.
Cattle production has long been a bedrock of American agriculture. And while it's clear that better efficiencies are needed to alleviate the worst environmental effects, it's also important to understand the ways the beef industry positively contributes to the environment and human welfare.
Everything we eat depends on the sun. This statement probably seems obvious, but it’s key to understanding why we need both plants and animals working together in a sustainable food system.
Food security is a most basic human need. Historical accounts show that for centuries, human societies around the world have raised concerns about our food supply. This contemplation has driven innovation and we have, quite successfully, adapted to feed and nourish people.
We have a grand challenge ahead in the next three decades. Our global population is projected to increase by 2 billion, yet we will not have an appreciable increase in agricultural land. Our challenge is to nourish a global population of increasing affluence without degrading the earth’s resources or compromising the success of future generations.
Does grass-finished beef leave a lower carbon footprint than grain-finished beef?
If we fed corn to humans instead of cattle, would land use be more sustainable?
How does beef fit into a sustainable food system?
White, RR, Hall MB. Nutritional and greenhouse gas impacts of removing animals from US agriculture. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Nov 28;114(48):E10301-E10308.