| ||Global Conference Tour Announced |
GRSB News Release | May 31, 2016
The tour will showcase the continuous improvements being made in the Canadian Beef Industry and cater to a wide range of sustainability–related interests including animal care, genetics and natural resource management.
The tour will stop at two ranches located in the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The first stop will be at CL Ranch. The CL Ranch was established in 1887 on the banks of the Jumping Pound Creek west of Calgary, Alberta. Today, the ranch consists of 2000 mother cows, a grain operation as well as other diversified divisions such as a movie set. The concurrent sessions hosted at the CL ranch will include an overview of the operation as well as the showcasing of work being undertaken by Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) membership in the areas of animal health and care and natural resource management.
The second stop will be at Triple S Red Angus situated in the Alberta foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Triple S Red Angus is owned and operated by Dave and Mary Beth Sibbald and their family. They have been dedicated to raising superior Red Angus seedstock cattle since 1972. This stop will be hosted alongside the Canadian Beef Breed's Council and the Canadian Angus Association. An overview of the Sibbald operation as well as the genetic advancements and current undertakings of the Canadian beef industry will be highlighted.
For more information on the tour and the Global Conference on Sustainable Beef taking place in Banff, Alberta, Canada on October 4–7, 2016, visit grsbeef.org/events
China Encourages Citizens to Eat Less Meat
Chelsea Harvey, The Sydney Morning Herald | May 28, 2016
An updated set of dietary guidelines released by the Chinese government and applauded by environmentalists could affect Australian exports. The new recommendations have the potential to reduce China's meat consumption, or at least slow its growth, which could help save land and water resources and put a substantial dent in global greenhouse gas emissions.
Australian beef sales to China surged six–fold in three years to a record $917 million in 2015, data from Meat & Livestock Australia show. The volume of beef shipped to China rose more than four times over the same period while the price received for the exports has jumped 37 per cent in the past 12 months. The country's meat consumption alone comes to about 62 kilograms per capita annually, while the dietary guidelines would limit it to just over 27 kilograms. Yet, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), daily meat and dairy consumption in China is expected to keep increasing over the next few decades.
Not entirely new, but I had not seen it earlier – nota bene they are still advocating a dramatic reduction in animal protein consumption that is not going to happen: Impacts of Feeding Less Food–Competing Feedstuffs to Livestock on Global Food System Sustainability
Christian Schader, Adrian Muller, Nadia El–Hage Scialabba, Judith Hecht, Anne Isensee, Karl–Heinz Erb, Pete Smith, Harinder P. S. Makkar, Peter Klocke, Florian Leiber, Patrizia Schwegler, Matthias Stolze, Urs Niggli, The Royal Society Publishing | December 16, 2015
Increasing efficiency in livestock production and reducing the share of animal products in human consumption are two strategies to curb the adverse environmental impacts of the livestock sector. Here, we explore the room for sustainable livestock production by modelling the impacts and constraints of a third strategy in which livestock feed components that compete with direct human food crop production are reduced. Thus, in the outmost scenario, animals are fed only from grassland and by–products from food production. We show that this strategy could provide sufficient food (equal amounts of human–digestible energy and a similar protein/calorie ratio as in the reference scenario for 2050) and reduce environmental impacts compared with the reference scenario (in the most extreme case of zero human–edible concentrate feed.
Sustainability Depends on Communication
Doug Rich, High Plains Journal | May 26, 2016
What is sustainability for the beef industry? Is it about the environment, animal welfare, consumers or producers?
The Beef Sustainability Knowledge Summit, sponsored by K–Coe Isom and the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University, held in Manhattan, Kansas, May 10, attempted to answer these questions. Experts and stakeholders from across the country gathered in the K–State Alumni Center to discuss beef sustainability. Tim Hardman, World Wildlife Fund, takes the triple bottom line approach to beef sustainability. He believes sustainability needs to be environmentally sound, socially acceptable and economically viable. Sustainability is not just about the environment, but the environmental footprint of the beef industry is real and has to be addressed in any sustainability system.
Although the author has attributed GRSB member Jude Capper with a new gender, this article summarises some of the reasons behind GRSB's technology neutral stance...
Performance Technologies Help Make Beef Sustainable
Roy Lewis, Western Producer (subscription) | May 26, 2016
Sustainability is one of the buzz words in our industry these days, and I suppose everyone has a different definition of what it means.
To me, sustainable means the industry will carry on and be profitable into the future, that it will be environmentally friendly and improve the land on which cattle are raised and that it will raise cattle in as stress free and humane an environment as possible. The last point addresses animal welfare needs and makes the industry " sustainable " from society's imposed standards.
A lot of misinformation exists: some is public perception, some is driven by the media or industry and some focuses on isolated instances of animal abuse. It is our collective responsibility to show the positive side of our industry so that it can remain "sustainable " into the future.
Livestock and Sustainable Development Do Mix
Francois Le Gall, Sci Dev | May 27, 2016
You would be forgiven for thinking that livestock and sustainable development don't mix. Reducing meat consumption has sometimes been cited as a great way to combat climate change — one of the anchors of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development — given that the livestock sector's carbon emissions are equal to those from all the road vehicles in the world.
But aren't we oversimplifying the role the sector can play in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Livestock production systems, enterprises and consumption patterns vastly differ around the world, and contribute more broadly to sustainable development than is currently recognised.
To harness livestock for the greatest good, it is essential to grasp this huge diversity in practices and understand the different interventions it requires.
Lab grown burgers hit the news every now and then, and I suppose that they will one day be "a thing" I wonder how much work has been done to analyse how sustainable this really is; the article mentions energy consumption as one concern. A bigger question for me is that of divorcing food entirely from natural systems. Somehow it surprises me that I have seen very little consumer objection to this idea, compared with the resistance to say GM foods. All–Beef, No Butcher: Meet the Minds Behind Lab–Grown Burgers
Elizabeth Rushe, TakePart | May 23, 2016
Sometime after the all–vegan potluck brunch and workshops about low–waste living and how to be a good ambassador of the meat–free lifestyle, Leenaert sang the praises of a particular kind of burger: one with a patty made of the lab–grown meat being developed at professor Mark Post's lab at Maastricht University. The lab–grown meat is made of cells harmlessly drawn from a cow and then cultured to grow and form muscle fibers—which means there aren't cows producing vast clouds of methane in the process, and there's no slaughter to atone for.
Theoretically, the harm–free, low–impact meat poses a challenge to some ethical qualms of vegetarians. Leenaert tried to persuade the crowd of more than 150 people to start eating cultured meat once it becomes available, in no small part because it will pull vegetarianism and veganism out of its cult status and prove that the community is interested in solving the overarching problems with meat production.
Mmm mmm Good? Lab–Made Food May Be Headed To Your Market
Christopher Doering, Des Moines Register | May 27, 2016
The cheeseburger, a staple of the summer cookout, could be getting a makeover — courtesy of a laboratory.
Nearly three years ago, Mark Post and a team of scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands introduced a futuristic lab–grown burger that cost $325,000. San Francisco–based Memphis Meats has created its own "cultured meat" with a price tag of $18,000 a pound (compared with grocer Hy–Vee, which recently advertised 85 percent lean ground beef for $4.99 a pound).
The goal by these and other groups working to change where meat — a key part of the human diet — and other animal–derived foods come from could, eventually have a jolting effect on modern agriculture, if researchers can drastically rein in the cost, maintain flavor and persuade consumers to buy it..