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E-M:/ New report from UCS on pasture-raised animal production

Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org>



The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a report that shows how
pasture-raised pork, chicken, and egg production can avoid the problems
conventional production poses for water and air quality and animal and
public health. The report also explains the definitions, standards, and
label claims for pasture-raised foods that consumers encounter at
grocery stores. Greener Eggs and Ham: The Benefits of Pasture-Raised
Swine, Poultry, and Egg Production provides an overview of alternative
pork and chicken production systems and is a complementary report to
UCS's Greener Pastures, which describes the benefits of grass-fed beef
and dairy cattle. Both reports are based on reviews of the broad
literature on these topics.

Conventional production of pork, chicken, and eggs in the United States
occurs in large operations where animals are raised on grain-based
diets, given no access to pasture, and fed antibiotics to prevent
disease and accelerate growth. This model presents environmental, animal
health, and public health hazards, primarily due to the enormous
quantities of manure produced by animals in confined areas.

In contrast, well-managed pasture systems can minimize environmental
damage to soil, air, and water, and build soil fertility. Pasture-raised
production also has benefits for human health due to reduced use of
antibiotics, and for animal welfare. UCS hopes that Greener Eggs and Ham
will generate more interest in the fledgling pasture-raised industry.

Both Greener Eggs and Ham and Greener Pastures are available free
online at


Kate Clancy, Ph.D.
Union of Concerned Scientists

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