Currently Browsing: Grass-fed vs. grain-fed

Tipping sacred cows: Reviewing “Meat: A Benign Extravagance”

Mainstream culture and news abound with broad statements about our food system and the choices we make about what we put on the dinner table. Surely you’ve heard that if you want to save the planet, you should eat a vegan diet, since raising livestock contributes significantly to carbon emissions and thus...

The Marin Carbon Project studies carbon sequestration

Soil carbon sequestration — the process of converting gaseous carbon dioxide into carbon in the soil — offers a promising (and possibly necessary) route to addressing climate change because it could be a massive carbon sink. Indeed, a report by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change estimated that use of...

Tossing cowpies at today’s New York Times “Greening the Pasture” story

Right idea, wrong approach: We were so happy to see the New York Times piece, "Greening the Herd," about a Stonyfield Farm-backed program to change dairy cows' diets to see if it might reduce their methane emissions and thus curb their contribution to climate change. Especially this sentence: "Since...

Let’s cure Absencia Grassosis! Weigh in on organic pasture rule by Dec. 23

We've reported before on a disturbing disease that's been plaguing large-scale organic dairies: Absencia Grassosis. Sounds pretty nasty, doesn't it? Loosely translated, it means lack of grass. Industrial-organic companies including Aurora (supplier of organic milk to Safeway and other private-label brands)...

Grass act: Gene Logsdon’s “All Flesh Is Grass”

As the problems of industrial meat production — CAFOs, excessive waste and pollution, worker safety, and the overuse of antibiotics, among many others — become more evident and more dangerous to public health, consumers are turning in greater numbers to local and/or organic meats and poultry, especially...

Organic dairy pioneer Albert Straus at the Commonwealth Club

If I made a list of the pioneers of the modern sustainable food movement in Northern California, Straus Family Creamery would be one of the first names I would add. For decades, the family dairy farm has been trying new approaches to reduce the environmental impact of their farm while also improving the...

Keepin’ it natural: Urgent action on meat labels

On a recent trip to the grocery store, a friend of mine living in the Midwest decided to put in a plug for grass-fed beef. They won't supply it if we don't ask for it, right? She approached the man behind the meat counter and asked if they carried it. With a completely straight face, he responded:...

The experts have spoken: Grass-fed beef is worth the cost

Consumers Union, the nonprofit advocacy group that tests products and publishes its results in Consumer Reports, says grass-fed beef is likely better for human and soil health.  In the magazine’s March 2008 "claim check" column (not yet online), Consumer Reports asks, “Is...

Digest – Blogs: Juicy distinctions, egg licensing, grassfed beef dissin’

Adding it all up: Marion Nestle weighs in on a new promotion for Minute Maid's specially enhanced fruit juices, and explains in an interesting aside what it means that the FDA regulates label claims but the FTC governs advertising. (Eating Liberally) What exactly is "candling" anyway?: Chronicling...

Digest – Blogs: Blogfights breaking out all over the place

The Raw-Milk Defender vs. the E. Coli Avenger : Reporter-blogger David Gumpert comes out swinging, writing, "Gee, I’ll go to bed tonight feeling a lot more secure that food poisoning lawyer Bill Marler is out there protecting my loved ones and me." Mr. Bill calls him "pathetic and...

Digest – News: Grassless beef, Monsanto’s rBST pep rallies, sugar wants in on ethanol

Desperate for greener pastures: More beef producers are going grass-fed. Or they would be, if they had grass. The Southeast's "exceptional" drought -- the kind that comes around only once or twice every 100 years -- and extreme weather elsewhere are crippling many of the newcomers' attempts. The...

Breaking news: USDA limits “grass fed” label to meat that actually is

Photos are of Clark Summit Farm in Tomales, CA; see note at end. Exciting announcement for Ethicurean readers: After almost five years of deliberation and two rounds of public comments, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has finally issued standards for "grass (forage) fed" marketing...