Conventional Meat Production & The Environment

Recent popular press articles, in this case appearing at Beef.com (Conventional beef production found to be more environmentally friendly than organic, grassRPBullHead only beef production), have highlighted a study conducted at Iowa State University in conjunction with the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues that investigated the environmental impact of conventional beef production and grass-fed beef production.  The results appear to favor conventional beef – greatly.

In summary:

  • Convetional beef requires 1.7 acre-days to product the same amount of beef that 5 acre-days of organic, grass-only beef requires
  • Grain feeding + growth promoters reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by 40%, compared to grass-only beef
  • 25% of greenhouse gas reduction is due to growth promotion technology

Signs point to yes that conventional beef is “greener” than organic grass-fed beef.

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