Carbon Capture Food Labels
Here are some labels that can help you find carbon capture food, especially meat in Alberta:
1. Grass Fed label claim can be seen on hamburger and other beef packages in supermarkets etc., as well as on other meat products such as bison, pork etc. Grass fed could also mean continuous grazing. It could also mean grain finished in feedlots. Grass fed beef from rotational pastures and also grass finished on pasture, capture more carbon and are more nutrient dense then industrial meat: (a) Grass fed cows, bison, pork etc. could be grain fed, in feed lots. (b)There is no grass-finished label. Grass finished meat is more nutrient dense for humans, and rotational grazing is better for the environment. Pasturing on grass puts fewer farm tractors in fields, which reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, while isolating carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and nurturing healthy soil. (c) This label claim is not 3rd party verified.
2. Regenerative Agriculture : A food claim indicating that farming and ranch grazing practices help reverse climate change by capturing carbon from the air. This also builds soil health and attracts natural pollinators like bumble bees, honeybees, and butterflies. Regenerative Practices include: (a) reduced tillage (no-til), (b) provide soil cover (keep roots in the ground), (c) encourage and enhance biodiversity (multi-species in pastures and cover crops), (d) agroforestry and perennials (planting along fence lines, field edges and waterways), (e) integrating livestock into farm operations (using composted livestock manure), (f) rotating crops with legumes, for example peas, beans and clover; (4 year rotations or longer); (g) using fewer chemicals and fertilizers that kill soil life. (h) For beef products these claims identify meat products from ranchers that use intensive short duration rotational grazing that aid carbon capture in the soil
Note: Cattle mostly belch methane as a part of their digestive process. Methane traps very large quantities of heat in the first decade after it is released into the atmosphere, but quickly breaks down. After a decade, most emitted methane has reacted with ozone to form carbon dioxide and water. This carbon dioxide continues to heat the climate for hundreds or even thousands of years. Piles of manure also emit nitrous oxide which is a powerful greenhouse gas.
3.Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC ) This label includes many regenerative practices such as (a) carbon capture sustainable practices to aid the environment, and could sequester 100% of carbon currently emitted to reverse climate change. (b) This also includes the use of cover crops, compost, crop rotation and reduced or no tillage, as well as biodiversity. (c) ROC cattle requires use of rotational grazing for grass management. (d) The focus is on healthy soil including no synthetic chemical interventions, such as insecticides (to kill insects) or herbicides (to kill weeds), nor chemical soil fertilizers (similar to certified organic standards). This label means 3rd party verified. See Patagonia website for online sales of ROC products.
Note: Look for grass-fed / grass-finished meat in health food stores. Ask them if they will bring in this kind of Alberta beef. Use online food services delivering local meat and vegetables to you. Google: Calgary Local Food Online. Also ask about the ranch or farm practices used (as detailed above).