It’s no secret that here at Humphrey Munson we are huge fans of Daylesford organic farm in the Gloucestershire countryside. After attending the Daylesford Cookery School earlier this summer (which you can read about here), we learned even more about why eating organically, seasonally and sustainably is so important. Since the very beginning Daylesford have been passionate about real, good quality food whether its fruit, vegetables or meat, and have been frequently asked recently why they continue to farm livestock. So, Daylesford has raised this question, ‘can we consume meat with a conscience?’
As a population, we are consuming more meat than ever before. With this, 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to livestock. This however, only accounts for 18% of our average daily calorie intake. Generally, because meat is now cheaper than ever, farmers are being forced to produce more to remain financially viable. To do so, protein-based feed is imported for livestock as the farmers simply don’t have the time or resources to let the cattle forage.
Daylesford is a 2,350-acre organic farm that has now been farming for over 40 years. They have openly recognised that the way we consume meat simply has to change. Daylesford believe a mixed farming method works best, and that it is possible to farm livestock sustainably, but in order to protect our planet for future generations, steps must be taken to reduce the amount of meat we as a society are currently consuming. By producing livestock, cereals, fruit and vegetables in one place, they are able to rotate the crops, as well as introducing the manure from the livestock 1 out of every 3 years to keep the soil as full of nutrients as possible. Daylesford believe that vegetables, fruits, pulses and seeds should be the main feature of our diet while seasonal, high welfare and high-quality meat should be used sparingly.
The welfare of livestock at Daylesford has and always will be a priority. As Daylesford are also growing other plant-based produce, there is time to allow a forage-based diet. The 30-acre hen field for example, provides not only eggs, bio fuel and eventually meat, but also apple trees and certain crops can be grown here which both use and give back the most nutrition to and from the land. The mixed farming approach of livestock, cereals, fruit and vegetables is perhaps best option for biodiversity and the future of the meat industry.
For more information on Daylesford and how they farm, visit the website here.
Image: Daylesford Farm – Instagram