Operation Grassland Community, a program of the Alberta Fish and Game Association recently posted a blog on their website discussing why sustainable beef isn’t just about the environment. The article has a very interesting and important perspective on the challenges & opportunities associated with sustainability, and I think provides background information for people interested in the subject. Of particular interest to me, is the mention of the important work the Global Sustainable Round Table for Beef and the Canadian Round Table for Beef are doing to bring together a variety of stakeholders in the beef production value chain.
When it comes to the topic of sustainable beef production, there are no shortage of opinions.
Often centered on environmental effects, the loudest voices tend to heavily land in two camps 1) Beef production provides great ecological benefits or, 2) Beef production is harmful to the environment. Both camps are correct, although neither in its entirety. (And both could benefit from a mutual sit-down over a pint or two). There have been countless articles—both research and popular—dedicated to the facts, figures, and stats of beef production and its effects on water, soil, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and greenhouse gas emissions.
The consensus? It’s complicated….