White Oak Pastures has been a leader in illuminating the role meat production plays in climate change for years. But recently, we've been hearing that industrialized agriculture products made in a lab are the going to be future of meat. Fake meat companies like to say that they are a better choice for the environment, but at White Oak Pastures, we've been busy fact-checking their impossible claims. Most recently, on an episode of CNN Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Will Harris destroyed the myth that they are benefiting future generations, pointing out that the trendy plant-based proteins are contributing to climate change while our grassfed cattle help reverse it.
The power of animal impact: a side by side comparison of grazed versus ungrazed pasture
Once upon a time, there was an industrial commodity farmer who had two sons.
The father and his two sons worked together to produce corn and soybeans in a monoculture. They rotated the two crops year after year on their land, with the fields either dedicated to corn, or to soybeans. This sort of farming practice is called a Monoculture, and it flies in the face of the Natural Systems under which Our Earth evolved. Nature Abhors a Monoculture.
There's a little strip of land down here in Bluffton that we call "The Bluffton Ridge". It's about 15 miles long, and just a few hundred yards wide. It's where the Appalachian Mountains have gone underground, and combined with the coastal plains weather, where about 52 inches of rainfall pretty evenly throughout the year, this uneroded, incredibly rich mountain soil can provide aplenty. This little strip of land has an extraordinary history.
We are fiercely proud of our zero-waste production system at White Oak Pastures, using every part of the animals that we raise and butcher on our farm. We are even more proud when this zero-waste production system can produce something beautiful - like our leather products.
Our leather products are handmade in our workshop in Bluffton, Georgia, transforming the hides of our grassfed cattle. With our new partnership with Pergamena Tannery, our fully-traceable leather now has a different look and feel. And with our new craftswoman in the leather department, Chandler Rogers, creating new designs by hand, we have some exciting leather items headed to our store.
Many new products and services nowadays are marketed as convenient, catering to new consumer preferences about ease and accessibility - think meal kits, easy microwave dishes, fast food delivery. Most of our customers also appreciate convenience, but they are probably more interested in other aspects of food like eating responsibly, bearing in mind the impact of their choices on land, animals, and society. While there are limitless schools of thought when it comes to eating "responsibly," at White Oak Pastures we work hard to have a positive impact on our land, treat our livestock well, and support our employees. We hope you agree that our pasture-raised meats, grassfed tallow, handmade leather accessories, rawhide pet chews, and all the products of our zero-waste ethos qualify as...
If most consumers knew what I know, they would buy their food directly from a farm.
There are a lot of good reasons to know where your food comes from. The most obvious is that its not a good idea to put anything in your mouth unless you know where it has been.
There are also health, safety, and nutritional concerns. Consumers understand these, and they are certainly important, but there is another whole dimension that I don't think most consumers have contemplated: Consumers literally shape the world with their food dollars.
Mallory Middleton, Staff Lead at the White Oak Pastures General Store, keeps our downtown Bluffton store humming along. Mallory is responsible for regular store duties - selling local Georgia products, grassfed beef tallow products, pastured meats, organic vegetables from the farm, and much more - as well as training new employees.
Mallory Middleton grew up in the southwest Georgia area, first hearing about White Oak Pastures when she was graduating high school and a friend mentioned the farm. During her time at the farm, Mallory has seen and worked with many different departments, including the Organic Garden, Tallow Department, and the Internet Fulfillment Center.
If White Oak Pastures is known for cattle, it's because cattle are our star grazers. Ruminants can cover a lot of ground, and they are the powerhouses behind our managed grazing practices. So how do we use the animal impact of cattle in our holistic land management strategy?
This is part three of a three-part series on how White Oak Pastures uses animal impact to regenerate land that was previously industrially row-cropped into productive, pastured savannah.
Hogs are known for their big animal impact. Pigs are omnivores - and nobody eats like an omnivore. Just think about how wide-ranging our own diet is! At White Oak Pastures, we use the animal impact of pigs to regenerate land and keep our soil and pastures healthy. So how do hogs fit into our planned grazing strategy?
This is part two of a three-part video series on how White Oak Pastures uses animal impact to holistically regenerate land that was previously industrially row-cropped into productive, pastured savannah.