“If you want a relaxed body, you can do it by relaxing your mind. If you
want a relaxed mind, relax your body.”
– Jay Winner
_The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed
health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even_ lol on occasion.
Wednesday. Hump day. Midweek. Call it what you want, it is Wednesday andwe are rolling right along with another piece on different farming practicesand why this stuff is so important to think about when shopping for our food.So what could cow poop possibly have to do with our health? More than youthink. Let’s dive in.
Good Manure or Bad Manure?
As with many things, the answer to that question isn’t super straightforward.Whether cow manure is good or bad for the environment and our health dependson the production system that is in place. One of the most common criticismslobbied at the meat industry is the gas and poop it produces and how bad itall is for the planet. The argument goes that if you care about the earth, youshould replace all meat that comes from a pooping and farting animal withplant-based alternatives. Apparently soy doesn’t poop, which makes itsuperior. But here is the shocker–cow manure can be a great thing. Bet younever thought you’d read that sentence. Oh, and poop or no poop, soy justsucks. Admittedly, cow manure and animal waste in general has gotten a bad replately for good reason. There have been many documented cases like thisone ofanimal waste from feedlot operations leading to contaminated water supplies.Farm runoff floating down the Mississippi River is contributing to huge deadzones in the Gulf Of Mexico as I type this. It isn’t pretty. An estimated 55% ofsediment pollution and 30% of nutrient pollution in America’s drinking watercomes from livestock manure. You were wondering what all this has to do with yourhealth. Well, there it is–there is probably poop in your water. Doesn’t soundvery healthy. But wait, we said cow manure could be a great thing? Well, yes!Cow manure especially can be a great thing… in the rightsystem. Yousee, the reason all this manure runoff gets into our waterways is becauseconventional feedlots have nowhere to put it. Whether it is a pig operationthat is raising pigs on concrete slabs, or cattle operations keeping animalsin tight, confined spaces, CAFOs are not properly equipped to dispose ofmanure. However, in a regenerative system, poop is gold. When animals haveplenty of space and are rotated correctly, their waste becomes a potentfertilizer for the soil, incorporating beneficial bacteria and nutrients intothe ground. Even cow pee serves a purpose by regulating the pH level of thesoil. All this leads to healthier, live soil that produces more nutrient denseforage. This bountiful forage then becomes food for grazing animals, whichultimately leads to a more nutritious piece of beef at your dinner table foryou to enjoy. And as for the cow farts and burps–according to this recenttrial, cow methane production has been significantlyoverestimated. Even with that 30% overestimation in mind, livestock producesjust a small percentage of greenhouse gases. Even so, the amount of carbon aregenerative system can absorb from the atmosphere far outweighs the methanethose animals produce. Boom! Just like that, it turns out cow poop can be agreat thing. All we need to do as educated consumers is continue to push thefood system in the direction where animals are raised in a system that keepsus and our planet healthy.
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The Two Are Tied Together
Environmental health is something we talk about a lot on The Daily Tonic. Thisis because the health of our planet is intrinsically tied to our own health.We cannot optimize our own health if we do not also prioritize a healthyplanet. Take the wildfire season as an example. Following decades of usignoring the impact we were having on the planet, devastating wildfires arenow the norm around this time of year. The resulting smoke and air pollutionfrom these fires impact the health of many, especially as smoke from fires inthe West are able to travel such vast distances across the country. ThisWashington Post article has some practical advice on what to do if smoke impacts theair quality in your area. Let’s take this as a sign that we need to continueto not only optimize our own health, but the health of our planet as well. Wesimply cannot heal one without the other.
- Is summertime too warm for making chili because this recipe sounds too good to wait for fall.
- Chocolate without any yucky ingredients. What’s not to love?
- Meat for on-the-go. Epic meat snacks are always a good choice.
- The science of longevity. Check out this podcast with Dr. Peter Attia for a little fountain of youth to get you through the week!
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