In just four years, retail sales of grass fed beef in the United States have increased 1,500 percent. As Americans have become more conscious about what they are eating, producers have improved consistency in their product quality and distribution.
Unfortunately, while this trend certainly means positive things for grass fed beef producers, over 75 percent of all grass fed beef is imported* from countries like Uruguay, New Zealand and Australia. Not only are American farmers missing out on significant economic benefits, our country is missing out on the benefits that well-managed grass feed programs can contribute to our environment.
Every single American steer raised on a grass fed and finished diet preserves a minimum of four acres of pasture land, which may otherwise be used for crop production. Well-managed grass pastures have naturally fertilized. Thus eliminating hundreds of pounds of dangerous chemical fertilizers from our soils – preventing runoff into lakes and streams. These fertilizers contain phosphorus and nitrogen which feed toxic algae blooms in fresh water lakes and the Gulf of Mexico – to the detriment of marine life and the local fishing industry. (Read more about this here.)
Thanks to their deep-roots, pastures grasses have been shown to prevent up to 4 tons of soil erosion as compared to tilled row-crop land; they absorb carbon from the air and return it to the soil where it fuels future growth, and even improves rainwater absorption. Nature’s perfect circle of life is literally beneath our cattle’s feet – nutrient-rich soil grows green grass, which feeds the cattle, which feeds us. It is one environmentally-friendly cycle that is truly better for the Earth, better for the animals, and better for you and your family.