This year, in a twist on our usual “Top Gifts from Big Ag,” we present the "The Twelve Days of Business," featuring special ‘gifts’ from Big Food, industrial agriculture and the corporations that now dominate our rural communities. Enjoy, and…
With all the words and phrases on today’s food packaging, food writers, bloggers and advocacy groups now play a vital role once occupied by scientists and practitioners in educating consumers, helping them navigate the ‘food labels minefield.’ It’s a big…
A professor at Cornell University is suggesting that shale gas and shale oil production—and not cattle—are the most likely cause of a steep increase in global methane emissions. Robert Howarth, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University—and an…
Grazed and Confused?—the new report from the University of Oxford’s Food Climate Research Network—represents an important step forward in advancing our scientific knowledge on how we might feed ourselves sustainably.
Written by a number of eminent scientists involved in exploring sustainable food production, the report seeks to address a specific—but vital—question in the sustainable food debate: What is the role of grazing ruminants in contributing to or mitigating climate change?
It is therefore extremely disappointing to see this important report being widely misrepresented in the media and misused by those who are calling for an end to food animal production, or to discredit grassfed or pasture-based livestock operations in favor of other species or production models.
The United States Department of Agriculture has recently approved imports of Irish beef making grassfed claims based on criteria including “More than 80% grass diet” and “Pasture for more than 6/7/8 months per year.” In response, A Greener World–North America’s leading sustainability certifier–is asking U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to consider the impact of this decision on the fledgling U.S. grassfed market and to ensure transparency for farmers and consumers.
From the perspective of a farming-based program driven by sound science, President Trump’s announcement yesterday to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement is calamitous, and flies directly in the face of scientific consensus and humanity itself.…
Let’s face facts: America has a very deep-seated meat culture—and that’s not going to change any time soon. Despite the efforts of some food advocates to persuade people to stop eating meat, U.S. per capita meat consumption rose by a whopping 5 percent in 2015—the largest increase in over 40 years.
As an organization promoting high-welfare, sustainable food animal production—and working directly with thousands of livestock farmers and ranchers—this represents a real challenge. It’s now widely accepted that if we continue to consume such unsustainable levels of industrial meat, dairy and eggs, we’re all in big trouble. We urgently need to change what we eat and how it’s produced.
Over recent years, some food advocate groups have sought to find a ‘silver bullet’ solution that consumers can easily buy into, which will bring about the wholesale reform of industrial food animal production we so urgently need. While these efforts have resulted in some good (and some not so good) ideas, the food industry has always been sharper and far more effective at getting their message across to the consumer.
In our ‘post-fact’ world, it seems some advocate groups are more concerned about easy messages and generating media headlines than telling the whole story. The NRDC’s “Less Beef, Less Carbon” report is just the latest in a long list of publications, blogs and articles to erroneously tar all beef with the same brush. The failure to clarify that beef’s climate challenges are associated with specific sectors of beef production wilfully ignores the environmental contribution of high-welfare, pasture-based beef producers—arguably our best hope for sustainable protein on an increasingly resource-challenged planet.
The message from the NRDC is loud and clear—and, unfortunately, patently false: ‘Beef is bad for climate change.’ The truth? When it comes to greenhouse emissions, pasture-based and confinement beef systems are far from equal. Sadly, this isn’t the first time the NRDC have wrongly railed against all beef.
As many of you know, it’s a tradition of ours to look back over the last 12 months at the many “gifts” Big Ag has bestowed upon us. In most case, they’re gifts we’d probably all like to return… Here’s our top 5 for 2016.
#5 – Big Ag Gets… Bigger
After months of speculation, German-based chemical giant Bayer bought up Monsanto for a cool $56.5 billion. The move follows similar consolidations in the agribusiness sector—including the merger of the U.S. agrichemical giants, Dow and DuPont, in late 2015. If the Bayer-Monsanto deal is approved by regulators, the combined company would be the world’s largest suppliers of seeds and agrichemicals, which raises major issues.
In the day after the conclusion of what has been an incredibly divisive election season, we at AGW want to take this opportunity to celebrate the values we share in common, and reaffirm our commitment to our farmers and supporters. Regardless of your stance on the final outcome of the U.S. election, through our programmatic work and family of certifications, AGW has been—and will continue to be—the following:
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the environmental and animal welfare impacts of animal agriculture. First we were told to avoid processed meat; then we learned beef was the new villain; and now ALL meat is being vilified as bad for human health, animal welfare and the planet.
But is meat’s bad rap really deserved? While it’s great to see more people talking about the impact of our diets on the planet and animal welfare, encouraging the world to go meat-free misses the point entirely. Here’s why:
At A Greener World, we’re always looking for positive solutions to help fix our food system, as well as ways to give farmers and ranchers the practical support and guidance they need to transition towards sustainable, pasture-based livestock production. Well, we have some exciting news to announce…
Farm Health Online is a powerful new website, offering free and immediate access to practical, science-based advice on positive livestock management and sustainable farming practices for cattle, sheep, poultry, and pigs, with comprehensive information on over 100 common livestock diseases, best practices on nutrition, housing, breeding and husbandry—and much more!