“Grazed and Confused” report finds grass fed beef not any better for the environment


In the United Kingdom, a new report “Grazed and Confused” published by the Food Climate Research Network at the University of Oxford finds that grass fed beef may not be better for climate change than non-grass-fed beef after all. Past research and reports indicate that grass-fed beef is better for the environment because they can help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while they graze, but this new report found that while that is true to some extent on a local level, “that effect is time-limited, reversible, and at the global level, substantially outweighed by the greenhouse gas emissions they generate.”

As reported in NUU last week, there is hope for breeding cows that are less gassy and thus produce less methane. Eating less meat is the easiest way of course to lower livestock’s impact on GHG emissions. Lead author Dr. Tara Garnett said in the press release, “Rising animal production and consumption, whatever the farming system and animal type, is causing damaging greenhouse gas release and contributing to changes in land use. Ultimately, if high consuming individuals and countries want to do something positive for the climate, maintaining their current consumption levels but simply switching to grass-fed beef is not a solution. Eating less meat, of all types, is.”