beef cattle

Mapping Factory Farms

Since regulatory agencies are often unable and/or unwilling to provide this information, Food & Water Watch used the USDA's Census of Agriculture to calculate the number of mega-livestock facilities in each county, providing an outstanding visual representation of national and state distribution trends.

We Asked, You Answered: Favorite Sustainable Burger Joints

Smart restaurant owners see that consumers are making smarter choices when it comes to personal health as well as the environment and as a result, they are offering more local, seasonal produce, vegetarian options as well as grass-fed beef, pastured pork and free range organic chicken.

Heroic Endeavor: Cindy and Mike Ridenour’s Meadow Maid Foods

Learn how Cindy and Mike Ridenour, along with their daughter, Mary, have successfully operated Meadow Maid Foods - a sustainable producer and purveyor of grassfed beef and numerous vegetables - by integrating water and energy inputs to make their ranch nearly self-sufficient.

Animal Welfare

Industrial livestock facilities compromise the health and welfare of the animals they confine. Find out what they do wrong - and what you can do about it.

Animal Feed

Unlike sustainable farmers who raise animals on pasture, industrial livestock producers rely on grain-based feed, which often includes many unsavory additives. Learn how this affects animals and humans.

Heritage Animal Breeds and Heirloom Crop Varieties

Traditionally, farmers throughout the world raised thousands of different animal breeds and plant varieties. Though industrial farms now rely on only a few types of livestock and crops, traditional heritage breeds and heirloom varieties are still used by sustainable farmers.

A Nation Of Meat Eaters: See How It All Adds Up

Meat has more of an impact on the environment than any other food we eat because livestock require so much more food, water, land, and energy than plants to raise and transport. Take a look at what goes into just one quarter-pound of hamburger meat.

Sustainable Livestock Husbandry

Learn how sustainable farms raise healthy animals using practices that benefit the environment and bolster local economies.

Food Processing & Slaughterhouses

Factory farming has been accompanied by rapid consolidation of the meat processing industry, which is now controlled by a handful of huge corporations that operate without adequate regulatory oversight.

Questions to Ask a Beef Farmer

Asking questions is the best way to ensure that you're purchasing sustainably raised, healthy foods, and supporting sustainable farmers. Here are some questions to get you started.

The Meat to Eat

Sustainably raised meat is fantastic; it tastes great, it's produced without destroying the environment or threatening public health, and its sale supports responsible farmers who choose to use sound agricultural practices. Unfortunately, it's more expensive to raise animals sustainably than to mass-produce them on a factory farm (these industrial operations benefit from hefty government subsidies -- and don't have to pay for the damage they cause). As a result, sustainably raised meat usually costs more than the cheap meat churned out by factory farms.

Drought and the Food, Water and Energy Nexus

We're experiencing the food, water and energy nexus first-hand. The worst drought since 1956 might produce significant impacts on food and fuel prices and could cause urban water supplies in some US regions to dry up.

TRANSCRIPT: Heroic Endeavors: Cindy Ridenour of Meadow Maid Foods

TRANSCRIPT: "Heroic Endeavors" interview with Cindy Ridenour who, along with her husband Mike and their daughter, Mary, have successfully operated Meadow Maid Foods - a sustainable producer and purveyor of grassfed beef and numerous vegetables. By integrating water and energy inputs they have made their ranch nearly self-sufficient. By Kai Olson-Sawyer.

Industrial Livestock Production

Also known as factory farms, industrial livestock operations produce the majority of US meat, eggs, and dairy products. Find out why they're awful.

What We Can Learn from the European Horse Meat Scandal

The scandal has led to a discussion about flaws in the European meat industry, which is largely self-regulated. While the horse meat didn't reach our shores, there are similar battles raging on US soil over labeling and inspection regulations - and when it comes to our food, we have to stand up for our right to know what we're consuming.

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