Posted: June 29, 2011
In an age of new media and self-proclaimed experts, getting credible information on food can feel like playing telephone in grade school. At the end of the game, the message doesn’t sound at all like the original, and no one is quite sure who changed it.
The many myths surrounding “magical” grass-fed beef illustrate this point precisely. Oft touted for its environmental and health benefits, proponents rely on the halo-effect that foodies grant nearly any item produced by a small-scale operation that involves a hefty price tag. But when you get down to it, statements promoting the sustainability of grass-fed beef are as accurate as if they had been transported through a children’s telephone play chain.
Luckily, real, non-biased experts are setting the record straight. Hudson Institute Center for Global Food Issues Director of Research and Education Alex Avery’s message is clear – corn-fed beef is a more environmentally-friendly, sustainable choice.
Noting that he “loves the sustainability question, if it’s an honest discussion,” Avery offers concrete data to back up his assertions. In place of dubious claims involving hip buzzwords, he explains his analysis citing studies that conclude corn production reduces greenhouse gases emissions and land use in beef production. An avid proponent of the practice, he confidently has presented arguments to corn-fed beef ranchers that they should place labels on their packaging to help consumers understand that their product is actually environmentally-friendly and sustainable.
It’s time to stop relying on feel-good messaging created by agenda-driven propagandists disguised as friendly hippies. Don’t play telephone. Share real, concrete information by posting a link to this article on your Facebook or Twitter page.