Letters to the Editor: Is red meat a green food? In the U.S. it is

Cattle eating hay
Certified organic beef cattle in Buckeystown, Md., in 2003.
(Bill Ryan / Associated Press)

To the editor: Using global data to question U.S. beef production is misleading. (“The beef industry is freaking out over plant-based meat? Too bad,” editorial, Jan. 7)

U.S. beef producers are the global leader in sustainability, with a carbon footprint 10 to 50 times lower than other regions of the world. In fact, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle accounted for only about 2% of emissions in the U.S.

In the face of a growing global population, we need ruminant animals like beef cattle to help make more protein with fewer resources. Every food has a carbon footprint, so it’s imperative to consider diets holistically, looking at all costs and benefits of a food source.

Simply put, cattle generate more protein for the human food supply than would exist without them and are raised sustainably by U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers who are committed to continuous improvement, including producing high-quality beef even more sustainably for generations to come.

Alisa Harrison, Centennial, Colo.


The writer is senior vice president for global marketing and research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn.