Upcycling before it was cool


Beef – well-known as a premium protein source and for its numerous other health benefits – is also beneficial for the environment and the utilization of natural resources. “Cattle ranching is the perfect example of ‘upcycling.’  Cattle graze on grasslands turning natural resources like pastureland and solar energy into beef and other everyday products.” Upcycling is the process of taking materials that would be otherwise unusable and transforming them into viable resources.

Cattle ranching is the embodiment of this idea, taking land and foodstuffs that can not be used in their current forms in a productive manner and redirecting them through the raising of cattle, thereby transforming those resources into protein-packed beef. Around 90% of the current diet of beef cattle cannot be digested by humans and about 35% of the land within the United States is unsuitable for farming.

Much of the land used for grazing is home to plants that are inedible to other animals, but due to cattle’s unique digestive system, they can utilize these nutrients. They are also able to give second life to other food byproducts such as brewers’ grains and potato peelings, increasing the utility of those goods. Likewise, due to arid climates or challenging landscapes, cattle are able to turn land that would be otherwise unproductive and extract usefulness from it in a non-invasive manner. Grazing has the added benefits of enhancing soil fertility, increasing drought resistance, restoring wildlife habitat, and sequestering carbon, allowing cattle to have an exponentially positive impact on the land through responsible ranching.

This idea of not only maintaining the integrity of the land being utilized, but improving it by reversing damage previously done, is known as regenerative agriculture; a concept that may come as a surprise to some. “If you’ve never heard about the amazing potential of regenerative agriculture and land use practices to naturally sequester a critical mass of CO2 in the soil and forests, you’re not alone. One of the best-kept secrets in the world today is that the solution to global warming and the climate crisis (as well as poverty and deteriorating public health) lies right under our feet, and at the end of our knives and forks,” states Ronnie Cummins, a member of the Regeneration International Steering Committee.

Healthy for both you and your environment, beef is truly the premium choice.


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