The food choices we make today are steps to building a resilient, climate-friendly food system. Tensions exist between the calls for an increase in plant-based diets and choosing climate-friendly meat options. While livestock farming and meat consumption are central to the climate debate, there are several ways to eat a balanced meat-plant-based diet. It is important to acknowledge how livestock contributes to climate change, however, cattle and other livestock are an integral part of the Earth’s diverse ecosystems. They play a key role in the sustainability of a farm because well-managed livestock sequesters more carbon in the soil, increases biodiversity, regenerates land, and builds healthier soil for the future.
Getting to know your meat suppliers and their farming practices will allow consumers to make more informed, climate-smart choices. Support farmers who are adopting strategies to lessen their environmental impact. Visit a local farmer’s market for an opportunity to get to know your farmers and ask questions.
Tristan Banwell from Spray Creek Ranch, stresses the importance of supporting local producers. He says, “We could not do what we are doing without customers. It is the strong, unwavering support of the customers who are purchasing food from us that enables us to improve this land and to implement regenerative practices and to take risks.”