SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Raising beef for the American dinner table does far more damage to the environment than producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy, according to a new study.
The study from Bard College of New York was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“It uses a lot of land, it uses a lot of water, it emits a lot of greenhouse gases, and finally it discharges water pollution,” said Gidon Eshel, professor of environmental physics at Bard College and the study’s lead author.
Eshel suggested, “The single take home message: whenever possible, replace beef with something else.”
Jo Robinson, an environmental expert and investigative journalist who has studied the environmental impact of raising food, suggests there is another way.
Robinson suggested eating pastured beef. “Yes, the animals produce more methane. But they produce less carbon dioxide, and this balances out that production,” she said.
Pastured cattle cuts down on fossil fuel use because there is no growing and moving grain involved, Robinson said. Grazed pasture removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere more effectively than any land use.