Video addresses impact of large cattle operations
Feb. 14, 2012
by Meat&Poultry Staff
WASHINGTON – The American Meat Institute (AMI), in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association (AMSA), launched the fifth installment of seven new myth-crushing videos Feb. 14. The new video aims to set the record straight about myths associated with the environmental impact of large modern cattle operations.
The videos, available on www.meatmythcrushers.com, were created to educate consumers on the meat industry and to make sense of common misconceptions when it comes to the meat and poultry production industry.
The video, featuring Judith Capper, Ph.D., associate professor, department of animal sciences, Washington State Univ., clears the common misperception that larger, modern cattle operations have a greater negative environmental impact than small, local operations.
“That’s a common consumer misperception,” Capper says. “The first thing we have to understand is that generally the bigger the operation, the more modern it is, the more accepting of technology, the lower the land use, the water use and the carbon footprint.”
Capper also notes than many consumers are not aware of the transportation efficiencies gained over the last century or so.
“Actually, to truck beef, for example to Kansas to Iowa, has a far, far lower carbon footprint than to air freight it, for example, or to drive locally to a farm, buy it and take it home again,” Capper notes.
AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Janet Riley, is seen on the videos asking frequently asked questions about the meat production industry. In this video, Riley raises a question about the common myth that grass-fed beef has a smaller environmental impact than beef finished on corn or grain.
“[The grass-fed system] has a greater number of days from birth to harvest, the animals grow more slowly and that means overall they use more land, more water, more energy, more fuel and have a far greater carbon footprint than animals grown on corn,” Capper says.