Mootral holds a climate-smart beef tasting at the Playa Jefferson campus
By Shanee Edwards
Who doesn’t love a juicy, tender filet mignon grilled medium-rare? Or a Double-Double animal style from In-N-Out?
Well, vegetarians to start. And environmentalists.
According to a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, animals raised for consumption are responsible for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Over half that pollution comes from cattle.
Lucky for beef (and environment) lovers, the people behind Mootral natural feed supplement are trying to make red meat green again. On Nov. 13, as part of the Farm For Ch4nge Tour, the Mootral food truck parked in front of the Facebook offices in the Playa Jefferson campus to serve up what they call “climate-smart” beef.
“Cows naturally make gas,” said Lindsey Mee of Blaze PR, who was on-hand to help promote the event. “80% of the methane they emit comes from burping and the other 20% from farting.”
It appears cow digestion is quite the vaporous affair.
“Cows have four stomachs with both good and bad bacteria,” explained Mee. “Mootral has figured out a way to neutralize the bad bacteria and lower the methane emissions by at least 30%, sometimes more. You can feel good about eating this beef knowing that the cows it comes from were given an all-natural supplement and are not as harmful to the environment.”
Partnering with Mootral is “Top Chef” Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio, who created a climate-friendly tostada. Lightly seasoned on a crispy corn tortilla, the beef was delicious.
But don’t expect to find Mootral-fed meat at Whole Foods anytime this year. It’s still being tested as part of a pilot program at UC Davis this December and January.
In addition to helping the environment, farmers may stand to benefit as well. Because Mootral helps create a carbon reduction, they can trade that off-set at the carbon market and receive financial compensation.
Mootral-fed beef will likely cost more (especially if it is also organic), but it seems to be just one of many new environment-friendly food trends.
Playa Jefferson campus worker Daniel Kim said he enjoyed the beef tostada but would need to know the price point before committing to purchasing it. “If it costs 50% more,” he said, “I’m not so sure. 10 to 20%, maybe.”
Even though it’s not yet available in Southern California and the cost hasn’t been determined, Mee thinks it’s important to get the conversation about beef and greenhouse gas started.
“The long-term goal,” says Mee, “is for consumers to start asking their butcher, their chefs: ‘Where does you meat come from? Is it climate-smart?’ We want farmers everywhere to start using Mootral feed for cows.”
Find out more at mootral.com or follow @mootral on Twitter.