For eons bison were harvested and consumed on the same land where they grazed. When native people finished using everything they could from an animal, anything that left was returned to the soil. Grasses, forbs, and sedges would utilized the nutrients and native wildlife would graze the grass in turn. This simple grass-fed system produced the freshest and most sustainable red meat available from the Prairies of North America. The only things necessary for the system going were sunlight and rain.
Modern industrialization of meat production has allowed products to be distributed over a larger geographic area and produced more quickly. The resources required for this are significantly higher. This system relies on a wide range of industries from agro-chemical production to farmers growing feed to transportation of raw materials and large processing facilities. The one thing all these industries have in common is fossil fuels. In this system the actual energy we consume from a steak or hamburger is a fraction of the energy input from fossil fuels. It is not hard to take a step back and image all the working pieces of these industries and realize that a system that converts non-renewable energy to meat is finite. This system has many other environmental impacts which affect the water we drink and the air we breathe.
One of the best wat to reduce the “carbon hoof print” of consuming red-meat is to buy local, but that is only part of the story. When you purchase a steak from a local market, that does not ensure that the steak was produced locally or that the same quality steak could be produced this way in the future. In a globalized world a large portion of the red meat we consume in the U.S. comes from distant countries.
Native rangeland with healthy grasses, forbs and sedges support a diverse ecosystem that pull carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and deposits it within the soil. Raising 100% grass-fed bison and locally processing reduces atmospheric carbon in three ways. First, the fossil fuels that would be used in conventional grain feeding operations are not necessary for fertilizer, planting, harvesting, and transport. The carbon which has been deposited in the soil stays there by not plowing and disturbing the land. Additionally, the transportation of livestock from fields to confined feeding operations and on to processing facilities is unnecessary.
At Prairie Monarch Bison we believe that clean water and air is right and we are doing our part to protect it for future generations.