People don’t know this yet, but Canadian Beef is the next logical step in the trend of sustainability. Sounds strange, but hear me out.
Cambridge Dictionary defines sustainable as “causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time”. There’s no denying that our current food production practices need to be more thoughtful of the environment. But how can we - the consumers - contribute to helping?
You’ve probably seen companies professing their products being from Canadian farmers, maybe you’ve seen the labels that say “Real Canadian Beef” or something similar. At first glance, this seems like a great progression - supporting the hard work of local farmers is something we should’ve emphasized long ago. But if we dig a little deeper, we can understand just why these claims need to be more than just a trend.
Canada’s prairie lands have evolved over a million years, the soil developing into a rich and fertile habitat that supports a diversity of plants and animals. So, why do we source so much of our food elsewhere? According to research, the cattle numbers in Brazil have increased exponentially from 5 million to over 80 million since 1960, thus becoming the second largest producer of beef in the world, after the US. This growth means needing more space and plants, which has led to 15% of the Amazon rainforest destroyed for this exact purpose. This is clearly not “causing little or no damage to the environment” and therefore not sustainable. When folks rant about beef and carbon, when they talk about deforestation, soil destruction - they are talking about places like Brazil. Though it’s not the fault of Brazil - they’ve simply taken up the mantle and met the demands of the food industry. However, it’s clearly not a sustainable method and, most importantly, not the exclusive method to do so.
The fact is sourcing and sustainability are intrinsically intertwined. If you want to be sustainable, you need to be willing to look for Canadian Beef and to pay for it. The good news is that we’re here to make that easy.
Canadian Cattle Ranchers are already amongst the earliest, most knowledgeable and capable conservationists we have. The Canadian grass-lands already produce beef in tremendous volumes in provinces like Alberta, with magnificent grass-lands open for grazing and protecting the land from other negative environmental impacts, like natural resource exploitation. It already allows for best practices in animal husbandry and for a grazing life for animals that is to be valued and respected. Researchers from the University of California, Davis have found that grasslands and rangelands are better carbon sinks than forests. It is estimated that soils under native grasslands in Western Canada may contain up to 200 tonnes of carbon per hectare within the first metre under fescue prairie, and up to two to three billion tonnes of carbon within the uncultivated grasslands of Western Canada. It’s not even about sustainability anymore - it’s about logic. How can we not utilize the expertise that we have on hand, the endless environmental benefits at our disposal, the opportunity that we have in front of us?
You should be buying Canadian Beef to support local farmers. You should be buying it to support the domestic economy. But perhaps the knowledge that you are contributing to the sustainability cycle can be another valuable incentive to joining this trend.
At Reign Gourmet Nutrition and Meatsmith we pay for and use only grass-fed Canadian Beef because we value Canadian Beef. For its quality, taste, contribution to our economy, for the families who raise it and most of all for the sustainability that it, well…sustains.