Meat, Money and Health, Oh, My!
Everyone wants to make a positive impact on the world around them, whether we can be a hero, a smart recycler, or a great spiritual inspiration. It can not be denied that thinking and responding to the world with the safety of others in mind, creates an environment that is safe, loving, and something that lasts for the next generations.
There is an aspect of this “Pay it forward” environmental practice that impacts our health, the care we take with our food, and the air quality of our world. Believe it or not, It comes down to how many vegetables we eat in comparison to the amount of meat we consume. Our mother’s rule of “Eat your veggies!” is coming back with an environmental benefit. Moms are smiling, kids are cringing, so allow me to explain…
It all comes down to how food is produced. Vegetables, fruits and grains, when grown with the soil health in mind and in a rotating crop rotation, actually replenishes the soil with nutrients and creates a vibrant environment. Producing meats, however, if done in an industrial, factory-style farm where over 1,000 cattle are raised in an enclosed space for more than 45 days a year, produces 16 times more fossil fuel energy and generates 24 times more greenhouse gases than producing the same number of calories of vegetables and grains. (https://www.nrdc.org)
Let’s break that down a little more. Most of the meat purchased in grocery store chains is produced in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) farms. On these farms, animals are packed into massive barns and are simply fed. They don’t graze on grass under the sun, their hooves never touch real grass, and their water sources are questionable. Very often animals in these CAFO farms are standing in their own feces, or standing on grates that allow the feces to fall through to the ground below. The conditions are barbaric. The energy required to feed this many animals requires farmers to produce feed from natural sources, altering it to make it simple to deliver to the animals.
The cost of meat from CAFO farms is more affordable than from organic farming, but the effects on
our health are profound. So what is a family to do? How can we afford to feed our families organic, grass-fed beef, pork, and chicken?
Purchase from smaller, family-owned farms. Purchase in bulk and pack your freezer. Then, serve smaller portions of meat at meals and fill out the meals with more vegetables, fruits and some grains. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that if every American eliminated just 4 ounces of beef a week, the reduction in global-warming gas emissions would be equivalent to taking 4 to 6 million cars off the road!
Let’s recap: We know we should eat more vegetables, fruits and grains, produce that is as free from pesticides as possible. We know that our health, be it heart health, overcoming diabetes, weight management, cancer prevention, or energy levels, all depends on what we eat. And now, we know that if we cut back on our meat consumption just 4 ounces a week, we can protect our environment from gas emissions as well as saving our hard-earned money.
How Schaub Family Farms can help: We grow all our produce in an organic garden. We are not certified organic, but we follow all of the practices without charging you for the pricey title of “Certified Organic”. (If you ever want a tour to see the garden, just call!) We raise beef and chicken that is grass-fed and our animals are outside, feet in the grass, sun on their backs, access to clean water for their entire life. We raise egg-laying chickens who have full range of our barn-yard and pasture and, boy, do they range!
We raise beautiful chickens for your freezer throughout the summer. If you would like to place an
order, email us how many chickens you would like and I will add you to our schedule. The chickens are ‘harvested’ every few weeks and will need to be picked up between 1:00-2:00 on the afternoon of our harvesting day. The birds will be kept in ice water until you arrive with your own coolers and ice to bring them home. The birds are completely cleaned and ready for you to package to your liking.
We will email our customers as beef and pork becomes available. We also raise goats for both milk and meat. If you are interested in goat meat, email us. We typically process the goats in the fall.