Episode 23: Thousand Hills

When thinking of topics to cover next, I realized that I hadn’t done anything on grass-fed beef.  This method of rearing animals is one of the cornerstones of the sustainable food movement .  It’s also one of the most highly contentious issues.

I myself am constantly in debate about whether meat should play a part in the future of eating at all.  What I do know is that when reared properly, a cow can actually give back to the earth rather than take away from it.  This method takes more land and is more expensive, but the era of cheap meat at every meal needs to end.  I will stop with my opinions and let Tod Churchill, owner and founder of Thousand Hills Cattle Company, explain the intrecacies of raising cows on grass.

  • http://www.thegoodcooknj.blogspot.com The Good Cook

    Yah to being stewards of the land! You are right, the days of cheap meat must end. For our health and the health of the planet. Here in NJ we have several small farms dedicated to free range, grass fed beef, pork and lamb. Yes, it's more expensive meat but the flavor and health benefits far outweigh the price. The simple math means we just eat less meat and the meat that we do eat is better for us, better for the animal (in the manner it is raised and harvested) and better for the land.

    Thanks for addressing this important issue.

  • http://www.videohaiku.com Kevin Obsatz

    He's so dang articulate…

  • http://www.bronxtobarn.com Sylvia Burgos Toftness

    Wouldn't you know it would take an email from my brother, a chef and teacher in New York City, to alert me to your website – created right next door. (I work in St. Paul and recently launched a small grassfed beef operation in Amery, Wisconsin.) Great interview with Todd and a really intriguing project. Would like to interview you for my radio show out of Amery, Deep Roots Radio – about sustainable ag and its tie to sustainable communities and reviving local economies. Will link to your interview from my site. All the best.

  • http://www.kevinkossowan.com/ Kevin

    Well spoken, and I'm continually amazed that this renaissance of agriculture is going on all around us.

  • Michael

    Hey Daniel,

    First let me say how much I have enjoyed following your series this year. Thank you for choosing to cover pastoral husbandry for this weeks episode. To me the issue of eating animals is one of the most interesting, personally relevant, yet contentious concepts in the eating world. I don't know if you remember me but I got to meet you at the Real Food MN conference in July. During your zucchini demo I was the one who mentioned I follow a paleo/primal lifestyle that relies heavily on pastured animal products. I remember you asking me if I thought it was possible to feed the world on a diet that was composed mainly of animal products. A big question that my 30 second response could not even begin to address! It is good to hear the issue of eating animals is still something you are in contention with and I hope you continue to remain curious about the issue.

    All the best in your ongoing journey,

    Mike

  • Keith MIller

    Thanks for doing this post. However, grass fed beef doesn't have to be more expensive and it doesn't necessarily take more land. There are a wide variety of grazing systems that enable growers to maximize their pasture for multiples purposes, not just beef production. When introducing multiple products (say chickens for meat and eggs) integrated with beef production you actually produce much more in total output compared to that land mass dedicated to growing feed (corn). The financial costs of producing beef using feedlots haven't yet been realized. So far they have been externalized. In the future all Americans will know the real price of cheap beef. It will be heart disease, obesity, and environmental degradation. Thanks again!

  • http://twitter.com/OskeeWowWowIL Lord Darkbrew

    Support the movement, could do without the religious proselytizing.