I was recently sent some information on beef production and carbon footprint that I thought was important to share. As we are constantly made aware, the production of food in all forms results in emissions of greenhouse gases. Carbon footprints are a measure of those greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon footprints are expressed as carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions to account for the different greenhouse gases potential to trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere which is believed to be a primary culprit in causing warming of global temperatures. Some fantastic research from Oklahoma State University did the difficult work of comparing the U.S. beef industry’s carbon footprint to other nations. In the most recent analyses of global livestock systems, North American beef production systems were found to have some of the lowest carbon footprints on earth. Many factors have been involved in reducing the U.S. carbon footprint of beef by an estimated 9% to 16% from the 1970s to the present day. Ultimately, the U.S. beef industry has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world due to improved cattle genetics, higher-quality feeds, lower impacts of stress on animals, advancements in reproductive performance, reduced time required for an animal to reach its slaughter weigh, and the overall use of improved technologies. (Source: OSUExtension)
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