Defending Beef

The Case for Sustainable Meat Production

Author: Nicolette Hahn Niman

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585370

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 2743

For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef. The public has long been led to believe that livestock, especially cattle, erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations. In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment. The author—a longtime vegetarian—goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false. She shows how foods from cattle—milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass—are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system. Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition. Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale—she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching. While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.
Posted in Social Science

Defending Beef

The Case for Sustainable Meat Production

Author: Nicolette Hahn Niman

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585362

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 274

View: 1508

For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists that livestock--goats, sheep, and others, but especially cattle--are Public Enemy Number One. They erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization bolstered the credibility of this notion with its 2007 report that declared livestock to be the single largest contributor to human-generated climate-change emissions. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly. In her new book, Defending Beef, environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for the Earth. The impact of grazing can be either negative or positive, depending on how livestock are managed. In fact, with proper oversight livestock can actually play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by performing the same functions as the natural herbivores that once roamed and grazed there. She shows how dispersed, grass-based, smaller-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production. And while no single book could definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth's growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world's future food system looks like, livestock can and must be part of the solution.
Posted in Business & Economics

Meat

A Benign Extravagance

Author: Simon Fairlie

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603583254

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 2479

Meat: A Benign Extravagance is a groundbreaking exploration of the difficult environmental, ethical and health issues surrounding the human consumption of animals. Garnering huge praise in the UK, this is a book that answers the question: should we be farming animals, or not? Not a simple answer, but one that takes all views on meat eating into account. It lays out in detail the reasons why we must indeed decrease the amount of meat we eat, both for the planet and for ourselves, and yet explores how different forms of agriculture--including livestock--shape our landscape and culture. At the heart of this book, Simon Fairlie argues that society needs to re-orient itself back to the land, both physically and spiritually, and explains why an agriculture that can most readily achieve this is one that includes a measure of livestock farming. It is a well-researched look at agricultural and environmental theory from a fabulous writer and a farmer, and is sure to take off where other books on vegetarianism and veganism have fallen short in their global scope.
Posted in Social Science

Cows Save the Planet

And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth

Author: Judith Schwartz

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603584331

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 240

View: 4676

In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil—"green water"—in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility. Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.
Posted in Technology & Engineering

Righteous Porkchop

Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms

Author: Nicolette Hahn Niman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061998451

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 855

Asked to head up Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s environmental organization's "hog campaign," Nicolette Hahn Niman embarked upon a fascinating odyssey through the inner workings of the “factory farm” industry. What she discovered transformed her into an intrepid environmental lawyer determined to lock horns with the big business farming establishment. She even, unexpectedly, found love along the way. A searing account of an industry gone awry and one woman’s passionate fight to remedy it, Righteous Porkchop chronicles Niman’s investigation and her determination to organize a national reform movement to fight the shocking practices of industrial animal operations. She offers necessary alternatives, showing how livestock farming can be done in a better way—and she details both why and how to choose meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish from traditionally farmed sources.
Posted in Business & Economics

Beyond the Rangeland Conflict

Toward a West that Works

Author: Dan Dagget

Publisher: University of Nevada Press

ISBN: 9780966622904

Category: Nature

Page: 104

View: 5721

The author reveals a process for bringing solutions to issues that reach beyond grasslands and cows. The individuals he profiles here signal to the reader to follow their example; to set aside differences and work towards a common vision of a green and growing land alive with cultural diversity.
Posted in Nature

Dirt to Soil

One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture

Author: Gabe Brown

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603587632

Category: Integrated agricultural systems

Page: 240

View: 5123

Gabe Brown didn't set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brown--in an effort to simply survive--began experimenting with new practices he'd learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture. Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life--starting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time. In Dirt to Soil Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge--restoring the soil. The Brown's Ranch model, developed over twenty years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown's Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only twenty years! The 5,000-acre ranch profitably produces a wide variety of cash crops and cover crops as well as grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured laying hens, broilers, and pastured pork, all marketed directly to consumers. The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mindset was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the land--more plants, animals, and beneficial insects. "The greatest roadblock to solving a problem," Brown says, "is the human mind."
Posted in Integrated agricultural systems

In Meat We Trust

An Unexpected History of Carnivore America

Author: Maureen Ogle

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544103130

Category: Cooking

Page: 384

View: 4304

The untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history "Ogle is a terrific writer, and she takes us on a brisk romp through two centuries of history, full of deft portraits of entrepreneurs, inventors, promoters and charlatans.... Ms. Ogle believes, all exceptions admitted, that [the food industry] has delivered Americans good value, and her book makes that case in fascinating detail." —Wall Street Journal The moment European settlers arrived in North America, they began transforming the land into a meat-eater’s paradise. Long before revolution turned colonies into nation, Americans were eating meat on a scale the Old World could neither imagine nor provide: an average European was lucky to see meat once a week, while even a poor American man put away about two hundred pounds a year. Maureen Ogle guides us from that colonial paradise to the urban meat-making factories of the nineteenth century to the hyperefficient packing plants of the late twentieth century. From Swift and Armour to Tyson, Cargill, and ConAgra. From the 1880s cattle bonanza to 1980s feedlots. From agribusiness to today’s “local” meat suppliers and organic countercuisine. Along the way, Ogle explains how Americans’ carnivorous demands shaped urban landscapes, midwestern prairies, and western ranges, and how the American system of meat making became a source of both pride and controversy.
Posted in Cooking

Chew On This

Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food

Author: Charles Wilson,Eric Schlosser

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547531168

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 304

View: 9356

Kids love fast food. And the fast food industry definitely loves kids. It couldn’t survive without them. Did you know that the biggest toy company in the world is McDonald’s? It’s true. In fact, one out of every three toys given to a child in the United States each year is from a fast food restaurant. Not only has fast food reached into the toy industry, it’s moving into our schools. One out of every five public schools in the United States now serves brand name fast food. But do kids know what they’re eating? Where do fast food hamburgers come from? And what makes those fries taste so good? When Eric Schlosser’s best-selling book, Fast Food Nation, was published for adults in 2001, many called for his groundbreaking insight to be shared with young people. Now Schlosser, along with co-writer Charles Wilson, has investigated the subject further, uncovering new facts children need to know. In Chew On This, they share with kids the fascinating and sometimes frightening truth about what lurks between those sesame seed buns, what a chicken ‘nugget’ really is, and how the fast food industry has been feeding off children for generations.
Posted in Young Adult Nonfiction

Reefer Madness

Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market

Author: Eric Schlosser

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 9780547526751

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 5771

New York Times Bestseller: The shadowy world of “off the books” businesses—from marijuana to migrant workers—brought to life by the author of Fast Food Nation. America’s black market is much larger than we realize, and it affects us all deeply, whether or not we smoke pot, rent a risqué video, or pay our kids’ nannies in cash. In Reefer Madness, the award-winning investigative journalist Eric Schlosser turns his exacting eye to the underbelly of American capitalism and its far-reaching influence on our society. Exposing three American mainstays—pot, porn, and illegal immigrants—Schlosser shows how the black market has burgeoned over the past several decades. He also draws compelling parallels between underground and overground: how tycoons and gangsters rise and fall, how new technology shapes a market, how government intervention can reinvigorate black markets as well as mainstream ones, and how big business learns—and profits—from the underground. “Captivating . . . Compelling tales of crime and punishment as well as an illuminating glimpse at the inner workings of the underground economy. The book revolves around two figures: Mark Young of Indiana, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for his relatively minor role in a marijuana deal; and Reuben Sturman, an enigmatic Ohio man who built and controlled a formidable pornography distribution empire before finally being convicted of tax evasion. . . . Schlosser unravels an American society that has ‘become alienated and at odds with itself.’ Like Fast Food Nation, this is an eye-opening book, offering the same high level of reporting and research.” —Publishers Weekly
Posted in Social Science

Grass, Soil, Hope

A Journey Through Carbon Country

Author: Courtney White

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585451

Category: Science

Page: 244

View: 6374

Explores the impact an increase in the carbon content in soil would have on greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, and offers ways to accomplish this.
Posted in Science

Pig Tales

An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat

Author: Barry Estabrook

Publisher: W. W. Norton

ISBN: 9780393352931

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 8745

"An eye-opening exploration of the commercial pork industry that tells you how you can bring home the bacon without compromising your conscience."--
Posted in Business & Economics

The Vegetarian Myth

Food, Justice, and Sustainability

Author: Lierre Keith

Publisher: PM Press

ISBN: 1604861827

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 320

View: 7129

Part memoir, nutritional primer, and political manifesto, this controversial examination exposes the destructive history of agriculture—causing the devastation of prairies and forests, driving countless species extinct, altering the climate, and destroying the topsoil—and asserts that, in order to save the planet, food must come from within living communities. In order for this to happen, the argument champions eating locally and sustainably and encourages those with the resources to grow their own food. Further examining the question of what to eat from the perspective of both human and environmental health, the account goes beyond health choices and discusses potential moral issues from eating—or not eating—animals. Through the deeply personal narrative of someone who practiced veganism for 20 years, this unique exploration also discusses alternatives to industrial farming, reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms.
Posted in Health & Fitness

Shopped: The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets

Author: Joanna Blythman

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0007388837

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 400

View: 3624

An elegant demolition of the supermarket miracle, this book charts the impact that supermarkets have had on every aspect of our lives and culture.
Posted in Business & Economics

Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate

Author: Pam Williams,Jim Eber

Publisher: BookBaby

ISBN: 0969192134

Category: Cooking

Page: 288

View: 6854

"Just give me all your chocolate and no one gets hurt!" Billions of us worldwide understand what it means to scream those words. We feel lost-even unhinged-without chocolate's pleasures. And if chocolate is the music that makes our days brighter, fine chocolate is the symphony-the richest, most complex form in the chocolate universe. The most important movement in that symphony's centuries-old existence is now beginning. And that future is... what? A world of gray monochromatic flavor, or one rich with a rainbow of flavors that capture the myriad pleasures and diversity of the cocoa bean? In the spirit of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate tells the story of what that next movement in the fine flavor chocolate symphony might hold. Told in four lively parts covering everything from before the bean to after the bar-genetics, farming, manufacturing, and bonbons-the book features interviews with dozens of international stakeholders across the fine flavor industry to consider the promises and pitfalls ahead. It looks through what is happening today to understand where things are going, while unwrapping the possibilities for the millions and millions of us who believe that life without the very best chocolate is no life at all. Part One Seeds of Change: Genetics and Flavor The genetic story of the future of flavor cacao told through discussions with researchers, scientists, and experts around the world who are involved at the genetic level: from the mapping of the cacao genome to the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (HCP). The HCP seeks to connect flavor to genetics to the work being done on the ground in order to confront the spread of low-flavor beans and ensure cacao quality and diversity for future generations. Part Two From the Ground Up: Farmers, Farming, and Flavor Discussion of the issues of growing cacao from an ecological and sustainable perspective given the reality of where it is grown. Interviews and stories cover the majority of fine flavor growing regions and myriad efforts to add value and values to fine flavor chocolate; preserve, protect, and propagate flavor cacao for the future; and ensure that the beans are as good as they can possibly be. The realities and possibilities of fair trade chocolate and the work being done on fermentation are also covered. Part Three To Market, To Market: Craftsmanship, Customer Education and Flavor Can consumers learn to slow down, taste, explore, and value the costly complexity of fine chocolate? Though the future looks bright by some measurements, sometimes the numbers aren't what they seem... Discussions with both artisan and traditional chocolate manufacturers around the world on how they see the market and sources for fine flavor beans and what they are doing to educate their customers about their craft, including a survey of the nature of raw, organic, and functional chocolate. Part Four Performing Flavor: The Art of the Chocolatier Whether watching over those creations, traveling the world to discover new pairings, or simply taking their love of Junior Mints to the highest level, the worl''s fine flavor chocolatiers are all deeply aware of the "stage" they work on and the importance of taste in every performance. The future of their creations-the most flavorful and beautiful bonbons and confections in the world-are discussed as these chocolatiers confront the issues surrounding the preservation of their craft and how they see their flavors and recipe development changing (or not) in the future.
Posted in Cooking

The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat

Author: Ben Bramble,Bob Fischer

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199353905

Category: Cooking

Page: 232

View: 1720

This volume collects twelve new essays by leading moral philosophers on a vitally important topic: the ethics of eating meat. Some of the key questions examined include: Are animals harmed or benefited by our practice of raising and killing them for food? Do the realities of the marketplace entail that we have no power as individuals to improve the lives of any animals by becoming vegetarian, and if so, have we any reason to stop eating meat? Suppose it is morally wrong to eat meat--should we be blamed for doing so? If we should be vegetarians, what sort should we be?
Posted in Cooking

A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism

Author: Andrew F. Smith

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137554894

Category: Philosophy

Page: 178

View: 3785

Drawing on research in plant science, systems ecology, environmental philosophy, and cultural anthropology, Andrew F. Smith shatters the distinction between vegetarianism and omnivorism. The book outlines the implications that these manufactured distinctions have for how we view food and ourselves as eaters.
Posted in Philosophy

The Myths of Safe Pesticides

Author: André Leu,Vandana Shiva

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781601730848

Category: Pesticide residues in food

Page: 168

View: 9858

Andre Leu challenges conventional farming methods by refuting the myths that surround the use and understanding of pesticides. He exposes the dangers of these chemicals and advocates organic practices as the most viable for farming in the 21st Century.
Posted in Pesticide residues in food

Eating Animals

Author: Jonathan Safran Foer

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 014103193X

Category: Cooking

Page: 352

View: 1015

'I simply wanted to know - for myself and my family - what meat is. Where does it come from? How is it produced? What are the economic, social and environmental effects? Are there animals that it is straightforwardly right to eat? Are there situations in which not eating animals is wrong? If this began as a personal quest, it didn't stay that way for long . . . ' Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals is the most original book on the subject of food written this century. It will change the way you think, and change the way you eat. For good. 'Moving, disturbing, should be compulsory reading. A genuine masterwork. Read this book. It will change you.' Time Out 'Gripping, horrible, wonderful, breathtaking, original. A brilliant synthesis of argument, science and storytelling. One of the finest books ever written on the subject of eating animals.' The Times Literary Supplement 'Horrifying, eloquent, timely.' Spectator 'If you eat meat and fish, you should read this book. Even if you don't, you should. It might bring the beginning of a change of heart about all living things.' Joanna Lumley
Posted in Cooking

Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment

Author: Denis Hayes,Gail Boyer Hayes

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393246639

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 8176

From leading ecology advocates, a revealing look at our dependence on cows and a passionate appeal for sustainable living. In Cowed, globally recognized environmentalists Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes offer a revealing analysis of how our beneficial, centuries-old relationship with bovines has evolved into one that now endangers us. Long ago, cows provided food and labor to settlers taming the wild frontier and helped the loggers, ranchers, and farmers who shaped the country’s landscape. Our society is built on the backs of bovines who indelibly stamped our culture, politics, and economics. But our national herd has doubled in size over the past hundred years to 93 million, with devastating consequences for the country’s soil and water. Our love affair with dairy and hamburgers doesn’t help either: eating one pound of beef produces a greater carbon footprint than burning a gallon of gasoline. Denis and Gail Hayes begin their story by tracing the co-evolution of cows and humans, starting with majestic horned aurochs, before taking us through the birth of today’s feedlot farms and the threat of mad cow disease. The authors show how cattle farming today has depleted America’s largest aquifer, created festering lagoons of animal waste, and drastically increased methane production. In their quest to find fresh solutions to our bovine problem, the authors take us to farms across the country from Vermont to Washington. They visit worm ranchers who compost cow waste, learn that feeding cows oregano yields surprising benefits, talk to sustainable farmers who care for their cows while contributing to their communities, and point toward a future in which we eat less, but better, beef. In a deeply researched, engagingly personal narrative, Denis and Gail Hayes provide a glimpse into what we can do now to provide a better future for cows, humans, and the world we inhabit. They show how our relationship with cows is part of the story of America itself.
Posted in Science