Live Consciously Idea #1 – Find Locally Sourced Organic Meat

Meat production is a huge contributor of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Not only do the animals produce methane and nitrous oxide, there is also a cost in energy and water to transport the meat across the nation, to run the farm equipment to produce the grain fed to factory farmed animals, and to water the fields to grow the crops. Within this process there is additional damage due to the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to grow the crops to produce the animal feed. That being said, one of the worst things you can tell meat eating people with regard to saving the planet is to become a vegetarian. Not only is this difficult for people who have been raised on meat, but there are also those who have a strong belief that meat is not only tasty, but an essential part of a healthy diet. The reality is that many small gains can add up to a huge sum total. If people can be comfortable while trying to do small things to make the world a better, then there is a better chance we can be successful as a society in prolonging the life of the planet.

Making the effort to find organically sourced, local, grass fed meat encourages organic farming practices, therefore reducing the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. This keeps those chemicals out of the water runoff and is makes for a healthier meal for you once the animal is processed for consumption. Because of the reduced use of pesticides, supporting organically fed animals on local farms also helps keep bees alive. Having a healthy bee population is critical for pollination for healthy crops. Research also shows that grass fed beef has lower levels of unhealthy fats, higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, lower levels of cholesterol, and is higher in vitamins A, E, and antioxidants. Buying grass fed meat at the supermarket can be misleading however. An article from Mother Earth News points out that the USDA label for grass fed animals adheres to standards set back in 2007. These standards indicated an animal had to be started on grass but could be shipped to feedlots for finishing. So, paying a premium at a national chain market for grassfed meat may be a waste of money. If you focus on local ranchers/farmers, you can ask questions and even visit the property to ensure you are getting what you are paying for. This affords you the opportunity to get to know your meat provider. You can ensure the animals live the best life possible prior to slaughter. This is not only nice for the animal, but less stress makes for better, healthier meat.

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