"Natural" food sounds so pure. Tampering with nature feels wrong. So it’s easy to believe that things like chemical pesticides and genetically modified food are unhealthy. It’s intuitive to believe that they harm the planet. But as so often happens, what we know just isn't so. My Fox Business program this week (Thursday at 9pm ET) takes on some of those cherished environmental beliefs.
In my syndicated column this week, I examine one: “Natural” food promoters claim grass-fed beef is better for the environment that corn-fed cattle:
Michael Pollan, the prolific food author and activist, wrote in The New York Times that "what was once a solar-powered ruminant (grass-fed steer) (has been turned) into the very last thing we need: another fossil-fuel machine". How so? Farmers burn fossil fuels to ship corn to feed cows instead of letting them eat what's naturally under their feet.
The American Grassfed Association -- surprise, surprise -- says its cattle are better for the environment because harmony is created between the land and the animals.
People believe. Nobody likes the idea of cattle jammed into feed lots.
...But so often, what sounds logical is just wrong.
...Once again, modern technology saves money and is better for the earth. By stuffing the feed-lot animals with corn, farmers get them to grow faster. Therefore they can slaughter them sooner, which is better for the earth than letting them live longer and do all the environmentally damaging things natural cows do while they are alive.
Full column here.