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Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World : How Regenerative Grazing Can Restore Soils and Stabilize the Climate - Ridge Shinn

Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World

How Regenerative Grazing Can Restore Soils and Stabilize the Climate

By: Ridge Shinn, Lynne Pledger, Gabe Brown (Foreword by)

Paperback | 24 October 2022

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How can we learn from previous food production mistakes and pave a way for producing sustainable, nutritious, local meat?

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of our globalised food system and highlighted the desperate need for local and regional supplies of healthy meat. We must replace industrial feed models, which are responsible for significant climate emissions, nitrogen pollution and animal suffering. Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World outlines a hopeful path out of our broken food system via regional networks of regeneratively produced meat.

In 2017, Ridge Shinn and Lynne Pledger went to market with Big Picture Beef, a company that partners with farmers across the northeastern United States to provide high-quality, 100% grass-fed beef. Their model has increased participating farmers' access to wholesale markets, and their holistic grazing management techniques offer multiple benefits for the health and wellbeing of consumers, the environment and livestock.

In Grass Fed-Beef for a Post-Pandemic World, you'll find information assembled from the fields of ecology, climate science, nutrition and animal welfare, along with stories from Ridge's travels as a consultant on farms all over the world. You'll discover how regenerative grazing can:

  • restore degraded farmland
  • protect against droughts and floods
  • increase biodiversity
  • combat climate change by reducing emissions and sequestering carbon
  • contribute to regional economic development
  • produce nutrient-dense, healthy meat for consumers

Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World is not just for beef producers, but for anyone wondering how our farmers can raise cattle while caring for the local and global environment.

Industry Reviews

"Grazing animals are a natural part of the land. When grazing is done right, it will improve soil health and regenerate the land. Cattle have been criticized for occupying too much land, but people forget that 20 percent of the habitable land on Earth cannot be used for crops. The only way to raise food on this land is grazing animals. The land is either too hilly or arid for crops. In this book, you will learn how grazing and regenerative agriculture is a win-win for both producing food and the environment."

-Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human; professor, animal science, Colorado State University


"The next time someone argues that cows are disastrous for the planet, hand them a copy of Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World. Equal parts manifesto and how-to guide, Shinn and Pledger will show you that the solution to our human and planetary health crisis begins with a cow eating grass and ends with the most delicious steak you've ever had."

-Dan Barber, author of The Third Plate


"This comprehensive and engaging account offers a path forward from industrial to regenerative agricultural practices, one that is urgently needed in the face of diminishing availability and increasing costs of the fossil fuels largely responsible for a precipitously warming global climate. This book is a must-read for people worldwide interested in how managed grazing can enhance the health of soil, plants, domesticated and wild animals, and humans and can help cool a warming planet as increasing temperatures make large swathes of the globe, including many parts of the United States, uninhabitable during the next fifty years."

-Fred Provenza, professor emeritus, Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University; author of Nourishment


"Lynne Pledger and Ridge Shinn have created a readable, usable guide to grass-fed beef-full of both the hows and whys. An essential addition to the libraries of everyone involved in the raising and selling of beef."

-Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Defending Beef


"Whether you eat beef or not, this book reveals what what everyone needs to know-why grass-fed beef is better not just for the health of cows but for people and the planet as well."

-Anne Bikle, coauthor of What Your Food Ate


"Challenging the entrenched wisdom that cows are bad for us and the environment, Grass-fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World offers a well-seasoned perspective that the real problem is how we raise them."

-David R. Montgomery, author of Dirt and Growing a Revolution


"Anchored in the science, history, and first-hand practice of regenerative grazing, Ridge Shinn and Lynne Pledger make a deeply informed and unromanticized case for incorporating the 'work with nature' principles of nineteenth century agriculture to, among other things, restore soils, promote rural economies, mitigate climate disruption, and support overall well-being-system-wide and at scale."

-Jock Herron, design critic focused on food systems and health, Harvard Graduate School of Design


"Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World is a well-researched and timely contribution to a much-needed conversation about what we eat and where it comes from. Fascinating for anyone interested in finding ways they can personally help mitigate climate change and 'eat better' for the planet, for animal welfare, and for their own health. Essential reading for farmers wanting to restore their land, feel good about what they do, and turn a profit."

-Libby Henson, codirector and cofounder, Grassroots Systems


"As we increasingly recognize the vital role of regenerative grazing in human, ecological, and planetary health, the question invariably asked is, how quickly can it be scaled up? Informed by decades of industry experience and market success, the authors of Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World lay out a brilliant strategy for transforming beef production from a conventional, extractive, fossil fuel-intensive model to an approach that heals degraded soil, improves wildlife habitat, rejuvenates rural economies, and sequesters carbon. Best of all, their vision is adaptable to all regions."

-Karl Thidemann, cofounder, Soil4Climate


"This book gives me hope. In it, soil and climate heroes Ridge Shinn and Lynne Pledger bring us a giant step closer to the regenerative future. Buy it. Absorb it. Cherish it. Share it."

-Seth J. Itzkan, cofounder, Soil4Climate


"This timely book by Ridge Shinn and Lynne Pledger masterfully covers how a transition to regenerative grazing can restore ecosystem function to deliver vital ecosystem services to provide ecological and economic resilience required for a secure and healthy food system base. They outline the steps necessary to transition from the current food system organization to systems that facilitate decision making on the land and educate the population on the benefits of managing to restore ecosystems."

-Richard Teague, professor, Texas A&M AgriLife Research

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