By Daren Williams, NCBA Communications
According to a recent study published in the December 2011 Journal of Animal Science, the environmental footprint of beef has shrunk 16 percent since 1977. By allowing every farmer and rancher to manage their resources to the best of their ability we are using 33 percent less land, 12 percent less water and 9 percent less fuel to raise beef than we did just 35 years ago. As our population grows and land available to raise food shrinks, we must keep finding ways to use fewer resources like land and water to produce food. That’s what American farmers and ranchers do.
Does raising animals to produce food have an environmental impact? Absolutely. So does growing fruits and vegetables. Raising and growing ALL food requires land, water, and fuel. The question we should be asking is whether the food we are producing is worth it.
Making Twinkies requires land, water and fuel. Twinkies are made in factories, individually wrapped in cellophane, packed in boxes and shipped around the country to grocery stores where they are purchased and consumed by willing consumers who want to enjoy a tasty treat from time to time. Do Twinkies provide ANY nutritional value in our diet?
For the record, I don’t have a beef with Twinkies. But if we are going to tell people what NOT to eat, what would be more responsible, Meatless Monday or Twinkieless Tuesday? Which would truly improve our health and the health of the planet?