Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day -- by eating steak


[ Photo caption: Dinner cook John Mockles keeps ribeye steaks handy for orders at Vic's Branding Iron restaurant in Cottonwood, Calif. ]

With Earth Day coming April 22, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board is urging people to celebrate it by eating steak.

Cattle raised today require less land, water and energy than before and each serving provides nutrients essential to the diet, the board asserts.

From its press release:

Producers can be proud of so many things:

* About two-thirds of cattle farms and ranches have been in the same family for two generations or more.
* On average, each cattleman has 13 different practices in place to accomplish environmental goals such as nurturing wildlife, preventing erosion and conserving and protecting water.
* Thanks to smart practices, raising livestock in the United States today accounts for less than 3 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Not only that, but the average American farmer feeds about 155 people worldwide, compared to 26 just a few decades ago. And experts estimate global food production will need to increase 70 percent by 2050 to feed a growing world population. Many experts agree U.S. livestock production practices are an environmentally sustainable solution for raising food and should be considered a model for the rest of the world.

“As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day, we’d like to remind beef and dairy producers to share their production story with everyone they know – family, friends, neighbors and even those they just met at the grocery store. We need to let them know that we’re proud cattle producers, providing 20 percent of the world’s iron-rich beef with just 7 percent of the cattle,” says Daryl Berlier Owen, chair of the checkoff’s Joint Public Opinion and Issues Management Group, and cow/calf producer from Amarillo, Texas. “That means people can enjoy a good steak as part of a healthy, balanced diet, knowing that it is being produced in such a way that’s good for their personal health and the health of the planet.”

For my story, check later in the week.

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