Is a Cow Still Eating My Lunch? CAST Presents New Video Regarding Animal Agriculture

February 6, 2014

Is a Cow Still Eating My Lunch?

New CAST Video (click here) Examines Debatable Information Regarding Sustainability of Animal Agriculture

 Consumers have questions about the effects of animal agriculture. Many are concerned that it takes away human food supplies and wastes resources. CAST wants to help consumers learn about the role animals can have in a healthy diet and a sustainable environment.

Earlier Press Release: 

An important CAST Issue Paper was presented at three rollouts in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 23. Authors and reviewers led by Dr. Jude Capper have examined the facts and provided science-based research to support credible information about animal agriculture and the "feed versus food" issue. Dr. Capper spoke at the three sessions, and she fielded questions from the audience. Issue Paper #53, Animal Feed vs. Human Food: Challenges and Opportunities in Sustaining Animal Agriculture Toward 2050, is now available on this CAST website (video of Dr. Capper's presentation is also available).

Livestock production has been dealing with an image problem. Some mistakenly believe that animal agriculture takes away human food supplies and wastes resources--this general message can be misconstrued or misused. In this CAST Issue Paper, scientific experts address the knowledge gap that exists as to the quantity of human food and fiber by-products used within animal agriculture. Task Force authors examine the facts and provide science-based research to support credible information about the "feed versus food" issue.

  • The global livestock industry faces considerable challenges as the population grows, and demands for more food must be aligned with concerns about the environment, economy, and sustainability.  
  • Many people do not realize the productivity gains made by modern practices, by-product feeds, and technology.
  • Global animal agriculture provides safe, affordable, nutrient-dense foodstuffs that support human health and well-being as part of a balanced diet as well as many by-products that benefit humans.
  • Livestock production is important in the economic and social sustainability of developed and developing countries alike.

This paper emphasizes that improved communication is needed between livestock production stakeholders and the consumer to further a better understanding of the economic, environmental, nutritional, and social benefits conferred by animal agriculture on a global and regional basis.

Task Force Authors:

Jude L. Capper (Chair), Montana State University

Larry Berger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mindy M. Brashears, Texas Tech University

Helen H. Jensen, Iowa State University

CAST Issue Paper 53 and its companion Ag quickCAST are available as free downloads from the CAST website, along with many other CAST publications. All CAST Issue Papers, Commentaries, and Ag quickCASTs are FREE.