Why Eat Local?

It’s been almost a full year since Andy and I decided to start buying our meat from a local farm right here in Connecticut.  Despite the fact that we have a giant freezer chest in our guest bedroom, it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for our wallets, our health, and (now I’m realizing) our environment.

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Photo from http://www.stuartfamilyfarm.com

After I processed last week’s election results I realized that real change starts with us individuals right here at home.  We can’t sit around and wait for our leaders to enact change.  It is absolutely necessary that all of us as citizens of this country and humans of this earth begin to make changes that will reverse climate change and start to improve our environmental conditions.

By the way have you seen the new documentary ‘Before the Flood?’ Bonus…Leo is in it.

So I went to Facebook and asked my friends, what can I do to get more involved?  I received a list of organizations to look up from helping clean up our shores to learning more about solar energy.  And while I do want to investigate all of these avenues, I realized that my first step should be to share what we are already doing in our household, that 99.9% of people are not doing. 

Purchasing local, grass-fed beef and pasture raised poultry and pork, is one of the best things you can do for the environment. 

When cows are able to graze in open pastures and are rotated frequently, a natural process occurs.  

Cow eats grass > grass turns to protein and fat > cow leaves behind manure, a natural fertilizer > the roots of the grass are left behind from cow which keep the CO2 in the soil > CO2 in the soil and not in the air is important since CO2 is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. 

Did I lose you?  This video does a much better job at explaining.

“According to the U.S. Department of Energy, enhancing the natural processes that remove CO2 from the atmosphere is thought to be the most cost-effective means of reducing atmospheric levels of CO2.” From smallfootprintfamily.com.

99.9% of beef in this country does not come from small farms who are replicating the process above.  Nope, raising beef is an industry looking to make the most profit they can.  That means the more cows they can fatten up to get them to the target weight for slaughter, the better.

How do they do that you ask?  

They shove all of their cows into giant feed lots where they never see another blade of grass again.  They are fed pounds and pounds of grains including corn, barley, soy (where we find pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs).  They are given antibiotics because the grains make these grass-eating animals very sick, as well as growth hormones.  Sound like beef that you want to eat?  

I often get asked how do you afford to buy this high quality meat?  And yes while it may be a bit more expensive, this is my answer…

  • I can’t remember the last time I got sick.
  • If I’m going to spend money on anything it is going to be what I am putting in to my body, my most important asset.
  • I am investing in a future where our planet is thriving. So that it might still be here for my children and my children’s children.

We all have the power to make these small shifts.  Little by little if more and more people begin to move their dollars to local, small farms, maybe we can start to enact our  own change.

Resources I used for this post:

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