1

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Beef: Local or Pasture?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2010 at 4:58 AM

Where I live (Israel), I can get either local beef from relatively small (very small, by US standards) CAFO-style operations, with "veterinary supervision" (that's what it says on the package, as if its a selling point!), or totally natural pastured beef imported from Uruguay or Argentina, for about the same price. I'm worried about the possible negative impacts towards the environment and health about importing from across the world and not "going local". What's the best choice, or the lesser evil?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 20, 2011
at 10:02 PM

I'm in complete agreement on that...I was just being facetious. The head honchos round these parts don't take kindly to political talk.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 20, 2011
at 09:58 PM

+1 scabadaska! I'm with you here. And very nice job of expressing the issues. Big thumbs up!

Bc3fd048801a984147b8970277037cdf

(180)

on August 20, 2011
at 09:56 PM

Is that a no-no on this site? It was intended to be political :) We can important food from all over the world to better our own health while destroying the land around us... thereby destroying our own health. It's quite the pickle!

Bc3fd048801a984147b8970277037cdf

(180)

on August 20, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Is that a no-no on this site? It was intended to be political :) We can important food from all over the world to better our own health while destroying the land around us... thereby destroying our own health. It's quit a pickle.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 20, 2011
at 09:39 PM

I like where you're going with this scabdaska!! Careful though...you're sounding AWFULLY political here... <>

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 20, 2011
at 09:37 PM

Love this answer!

Medium avatar

(3029)

on December 19, 2010
at 02:39 PM

Hi Zohar, I'm in Israel too. Where can you get free range eggs? Do you buy the regular ones in the supermarket? I used to get pasteured eggs from a farmer, and the yolks were much bigger and more orange. Very different from the supermarket eggs. I'm looking for a somewhere to buy pasteured eggs in or near Tel Aviv. Any advice?

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on July 18, 2010
at 07:16 PM

I second this answer. Your health is most important. Local is only one factor to consider. By importing the meat, you're (most likely) supporting sustainable, organic, and humane farming practices. IMO, that trumps local.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on July 18, 2010
at 10:05 AM

Just a sidenote regarding "overgrazing": This one might be interesting for you: http://vimeo.com/8239427

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 18, 2010
at 08:57 AM

Thanks for the advice. There are several factors here that limit the viability of ecological beef here, environmental and social. Overgrazing is a serious problem in certain regions here in the north. Pastured Lamb from arid regions is available -- quite a bit more expensive, but doable for special occasions. Free range eggs are cheap. Chicken is expensive.

  • D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

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4 Answers

best answer

7
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 05:22 AM

First - I would prioritise your own health. Then - I would import pastured beef since the 'evil-factor' of importing vs CAFO balance out for me, whereas supporting CAFO encourages the growth of that industry whilst also being detrimental to your health. If you feel bad about the environmental impact or transport, how about you get in touch with like-minded Israelis and start a movement encouraging local farmers to break away from CAFO practices? If they know there's a market ready to support them, then there's a chance of change...

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on July 18, 2010
at 07:16 PM

I second this answer. Your health is most important. Local is only one factor to consider. By importing the meat, you're (most likely) supporting sustainable, organic, and humane farming practices. IMO, that trumps local.

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 18, 2010
at 08:57 AM

Thanks for the advice. There are several factors here that limit the viability of ecological beef here, environmental and social. Overgrazing is a serious problem in certain regions here in the north. Pastured Lamb from arid regions is available -- quite a bit more expensive, but doable for special occasions. Free range eggs are cheap. Chicken is expensive.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on July 18, 2010
at 10:05 AM

Just a sidenote regarding "overgrazing": This one might be interesting for you: http://vimeo.com/8239427

Medium avatar

(3029)

on December 19, 2010
at 02:39 PM

Hi Zohar, I'm in Israel too. Where can you get free range eggs? Do you buy the regular ones in the supermarket? I used to get pasteured eggs from a farmer, and the yolks were much bigger and more orange. Very different from the supermarket eggs. I'm looking for a somewhere to buy pasteured eggs in or near Tel Aviv. Any advice?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 20, 2011
at 09:37 PM

Love this answer!

2
49de4cd2f26705785cbef2b15a9df7aa

(840)

on July 18, 2010
at 01:40 PM

Both options are less than ideal. However, for me, the suffering of animals on CAFO farms is far worse than the ecological impact of transportation.

I'd go for the pasture-raised, imported beef.

1
Bc3fd048801a984147b8970277037cdf

on August 20, 2011
at 09:18 PM

I see it differently I suppose. Importing the meat from such far distances is only jumping on board with the very thing that you are trying to go against. Consider why CAFO even exist... Profit. Numero Uno. So, when you have suggestions saying that your health is the most important thing (sorry Susan, no offense please) you are now no better than the CAFO operator that is looking out only for him or herself (and their profit margin). CAFOs wouldn't exits without demand. It's business 101: Demand for (cheap) meat is met by supply. If everyone were to be more conscious about their buying power and walk away from factory farming, there would be no supply. The CAFO is only half to blame.

As others have suggested, perhaps try and become part of a movement. Don't buy CAFO meat. At all. That's step #1 in the fight. However, purchasing pastured meat from halfway around the world is no better. This is about cultural, environmental, and societal revolution - not your own personal benefit. Paleo shouldn't be about following some dietary grocery list with no regard to the impact of your purchase. It should be more of a focus on local buying. Purchases that enrich community and health; not just individual health but health of the whole. I fear that this is an extremely important point that so many people either completely miss or don't want to be bothered by it.

Continue your search, start a message board or a blog, get the word out there. That's your best chance for change. Continuing down the road of importing oil-shipped meat will only make you complacent, not healthy.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 20, 2011
at 09:39 PM

I like where you're going with this scabdaska!! Careful though...you're sounding AWFULLY political here... <>

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 20, 2011
at 09:58 PM

+1 scabadaska! I'm with you here. And very nice job of expressing the issues. Big thumbs up!

Bc3fd048801a984147b8970277037cdf

(180)

on August 20, 2011
at 09:56 PM

Is that a no-no on this site? It was intended to be political :) We can important food from all over the world to better our own health while destroying the land around us... thereby destroying our own health. It's quite the pickle!

Bc3fd048801a984147b8970277037cdf

(180)

on August 20, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Is that a no-no on this site? It was intended to be political :) We can important food from all over the world to better our own health while destroying the land around us... thereby destroying our own health. It's quit a pickle.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 20, 2011
at 10:02 PM

I'm in complete agreement on that...I was just being facetious. The head honchos round these parts don't take kindly to political talk.

0
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on March 29, 2012
at 05:50 AM

Wow, that's a tough one. But first, I LOVE that you are trying to think through the options. I just read a lot of CAFO posts on here and it makes me sad that people don't even consider the torture these animals go through and just discuss what they're eating (grain fed or not). I agree with what others suggested and not supporting CAFO for now and getting the beef if you really want it...but also trying to get protein through other sources such as sardines, local eggs (if that is an option) etc.

Anyway, I love seeing people on here who also care about the welfare of animals, our planet, supporting farmers, etc.

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