The steps cattle producers take to improve the environment aren't new; they have been around for many decades. In fact, as long as cattle have been raised on the land, American families have worked to protect and enhance the environment.
Farmers' and ranchers' families walk the same land, breathe the same air and drink the same water as your family. They are committed to protect and improve natural resources. So, I'm sharing with you a few of the many ways raising cattle can contribute to environmental sustainability and a few facts about the important nutrients beef provides to help people sustain health and well-being.
·About two-thirds of cattle farms and ranches have been in the same family for two generations or more.
·Today's cattlemen provide more people with nutritious beef products using fewer natural resources than in the past.
·Today's American farmer feeds about 144 people worldwide. Experts estimate global food production will need to increase 70 percent by 2050 to feed a growing world population.
·Some ranchers serve as land managers for vast amounts of public open space, while others create wildlife habitat on their private property.
·Cattlemen are also recyclers, raising their animals on the abundant source of grains available in this country and then turning the manure into natural fertilizers.
·Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. Beef provides the most readily available and easily absorbed dietary source of iron.
·Just one 3-ounce serving of beef supplies 10 nutrients essential for life.
South Dakota cattle producers live and work on the land. For them, protecting the environment isn't a choice; it's essential to their survival and the success of future generations. Be sure to thank local farmers and ranchers in your area for the superior work they do.
I encourage environmentally conscious consumers to enjoy great-tasting, nutrient-rich lean beef. Try serving these Chimichurri Steak Wraps, a fun, easy and nutrient-rich recipe that's sure to be a family favorite.
For more healthy beef recipes and information contact Holly Swee, RD, LN, Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council at 605-224-4722 or http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.
Chimichurri Steak Wraps
12 ounces grilled beef steak, cut into slices
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4 medium whole wheat tortillas (8 to 10-inch diameter)
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place parsley and garlic in food processor or blender container. Cover; process until finely chopped. Add oil, vinegar and salt; process just until blended.
Spread each tortilla evenly with Chimichurri Sauce, leaving 1/4-inch border around edge. Top with equal amounts spinach, bell pepper slices and beef slices on top two-thirds of tortilla. Fold bottom of tortilla up over filling. Fold right and left sides to center overlapping edges; secure with wooden picks; if desired. Serves 4.
Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program