Sustainable foods and farming have been buzzwords for a while, and a topic near and dear to Fossil Farms heart, mission, and values, but what exactly does that mean? When you walk into your local mega mart why does the food cost less than buying from a source that offers natural and sustainably raised animals? Will the meat taste better and is it worth the extra cost? The short answer is yes, but why?
Raising animals in a sustainable way is done in a variety of ways, but the easiest way to define it is letting the livestock live as they would in nature, grazing off natural grass, not confined in overcrowded pens. Basically, allowing animals to be animals. Farmers who abide by these practices care about the animal’s welfare as well as the welfare of the planet we all live on.
When animals are raised on a factory farm, they are cooped up, given hormones, antibiotics, and steroids to grow larger, faster and deal with the harsh conditions they are forced to live in, and are fed grains their entire life rather than natural grass. This practice, while providing cheaper, mass quantities of product, is harmful to the animals, alters the taste of the product, and affects the environment in very damaging ways.
Water usage and damage alone could fill an entire blog post where it comes to factory farming versus natural pasture-raised farming. One way that water usage is worse with industrial farms is simply in the food the animals eat. By being forced to live on a grain-based diet, all those grains need to be grown, obviously. This causes extra land use as well as water use to produce the massive amounts that are needed to grow all the feed these animals are given to grow to the massive size these types of farms are looking for. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the amount of water the animals need as well as how much waste contaminates the water runoff from each of these farms.
Sustainably farmed animals don’t present these problems in the massive way that the factory farmed ones do. In fact, often times, the farmers and ranchers that raise these animals view themselves as grass farmers. This is due to their use of the natural grass on their farms and rotating the animals to make sure the land is taken care of, waste is only what is needed to fertilize, and water usage is not needed for the grains as the animals are fed by grazing on the grass being grown.
Next time you are in your local supermarket, ask yourself why this meat is cheaper compared to other sources? Realize, for the few extra dollars, you will not only be getting a higher quality product but also be helping the planet we all share. We hope with all this information you can make a more informed decision on the meat you give yourself and your family.