Originally Posted by WereBear
I keep thinking this has to be a pre-agriculture period. Because you need some large, somewhat amenable, animal to plow, do you not?
For grass-fed beef, all you need is prairie land. Here in Florida at one time we were the #2 beef producing state in the USA. The ranchers do nothing to their land, the rain waters the grass, the cows munch on the grass, the cowpies fertilize the grass.
I've seen this since 1957. The ranchers move the cows from one pasture to another but that's it.
To farm this land you would need to plow, but not for pasture.
To farm you would also need a lot of our most precious commodity, fresh water plus tons of fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and CO2 spewing farm machinery. It's much more efficient AND better for the planet to just let the steer graze on the land.
I've seen this too. Sprinklers running on gasoline mowers that shoot a spray a couple of hundred feet and rotate like a small rain-bird sprinkler. Since fields have straight edges, the get the road too, and when caught in it, it shakes the car and puts so much water down the wipers do no good.
The problem with beef is when you send them to the feed lot where the gorge themselves on corn. The corn requires all those things that pasture does not, it's not good for the steer, and it lowers the nutritional value to humans.
The answer is to eat 100% grass-fed beef that has not been 'finished' on a feed lot.