Cornell currently has a Climate Action Plan in place and they want to is become 100% carbon neutral by 2050 - and this local-beef initiative is just part of the program. Along with it are other plans such as energy conservation, green development and a renewable resource program. "This new program drastically reduces the food miles and carbon footprint Cornell Dining was experiencing under its former beef program," said Gail Finan, director of Cornell Dining.
According to a Cornell release:
The local prime cuts of beef (sirloin, short loin, rib) will be served in Cornell Dining's all--you-care-to-eat dining rooms and Cornell Catering. Thus, the entire animal will be used, something that is often talked about but rarely demonstrated, Finan said.
All the beef is raised without hormone growth implants or daily antibiotics. Only beef breeds are being used in this program because of their efficiency, high yields and high-quality eating experience. The beef patties will be an industry standard -- 80 percent lean meat and 20 percent fat.
With school lunches all over the country being in such bad shape, going local is one smart way to deal with the greener food issue. Of course schools will also need to focus on healthy foods, not simply one sort of meat product. Still though, small steps add up; I think it's a smart move.