Beef is probably the most delicious of meats. I really like beef. I cook a mean steak. I’ve made beef wellington, red wine braised short ribs, korean BBQ beef, dry-aged steaks, 1/2lb pub burgers, (perfectly medium rare in the middle), surf & turf, 24-hour slow-smoked brisket (sweet jesus it was good)… you name it. Beef was always my go-to. Beef is the best meat. But I recently had to face up to the fact that it’s the worst meat for the environment. Cows create the most climate-change-causing emissions of any common farm animal.
According to this study, if you ate rice instead of beef once a week for a year, you would save 326 kilos of carbon. Chicken / Pork save 266 and 270 respectively – a large fraction of that 320. This is also taking into account methane for its effect on climate change and counting it as an equivalent amount of carbon. Cows release a lot of methane (lol yes farts) and it’s enough to severely impact the climate.
You don’t need to radically change your life to start steering in the right direction. Make chicken or pork your default option when picking out your protein, or get the veggie option once in a while. Yes, there are bigger and better changes we could (and will probably need to) make to save the planet. But all you need to do to get started is ask for chicken instead of steak at Chipotle. I for one can live with that. From now on beef is only for special occasions, and I’ll try and get beef that was raised by grazing.