At Mindful Meats, we are more than just a meat company. We are using our organic food to make changes in the agricultural sector, climate change, and food security for all.
Public School Lunch Program
Increasing access to clean, organic beef for public school lunches is at the heart of Mindful Meats' mission. In the fall of 2015, we supplied all of Oakland Unified School District's 30 schools with their first meal of Mindful Meats. Oakland Unified School District has been a pioneer in sourcing organic, local, healthy meals for their students, and we are very proud to be a part of their hard work. In 2016, we expanded our work with schools to include all schools in the Pittsburg Unified School District. Because public school lunch purchasing budgets are incredibly slim, we offer our beef to the school districts at cost to answer our mission of increasing access to clean beef for growing children. Please know that with each purchase of Mindful Meats you make, you directly help support our Public School Lunch Program, helping to serve our communities by transitioning the beef in school lunches to be organic, anti-biotic free, hormone free, and GMO free. Thank you!
The farms we work with are very considerate of the water they use. Being in California with a Mediterranean climate, our farms get rain only 6 months out of the year. This means the conservation and proper rain catchment is crucial to the farmers.
What is our water hoofprint?
We have done some preliminary calculations on how much water our cows take to produce food. This includes how much they drink, as well the water used to grow their supplemental alfalfa and grain.
Our rough calculations estimate one cow's drinking water hoofprint to be 20 gallons per day, alfalfa water hoofprint at 427.5 gallons per day, and grain water hoofprint at 511.92 gallons per day. The average water usage of our five year old cows (remember their nutritional needs vary throughout their life from calf to cow) is approximately 1,825,000 gallons for their entire lifetime. These five year old cows, on average, produce an estimated 81,446 pounds of milk and 600 pounds of meat, ultimately producing 82,046 pounds of food per each cow for her lifetime. This would equal 22.24 gallons of water per pound of food (milk and meat combined) produced by this cow. For comparison, a pound of almonds is roughly 276 almonds which takes approximately 303 gallons to produce.
This is preliminary research and we are continuing to look for ways to make it more concrete. We want to encourage everyone to recognize that it is difficult to quantify the accurate water usage of a single application because water usage is a cycle that has both upstream and downstream effects.
This is an ongoing project and we are to working to increase our data pool, and continue to investigate innovative methods for smart water usage, recycling and conservation.
Mindful Meats takes transparency very seriously. We are proud of our full traceability program, tracing each package of meat back to the farms and cows from which it came. We keep extremely detailed records of each cow, including her birthday, breed, weight and a full photograph. We have yet to find another beef company that has records that include this level of detail. We do this for both our meat quality control program, as well as to push the bar higher for traceability standards in the meat industry.
Our entire supply chain has Lot numbers that track the cow through to the meat and where it is distributed. A Mindful Meats team member is on site regularly to oversee the full production of our beef: from the pick up of the cow from the farm, to delivery to harvest, through to the final destination of the beef. We feel very confident in our systems and have the records to show it.
One of the most urgent stresses on our environment today is the release of greenhouse gases. Carbon is one of those important gases. The cycle of carbon is similar to that of the water and nitrogen cycle in that carbon moves and changes forms throughout the cycle. Carbon moves through the atmosphere, the oceans, life on earth, and deep into the soil. Atmospheric carbon takes two forms: Carbon Dioxide and Methane. Recent human activity in the past 200 years has dramatically shifted the way carbon moves through its cycle and has created a large net of carbon in the atmosphere and oceans, killing life and creating some irrevocable damages. The goal of people who manage for a healthy carbon cycle is to create a net sink of carbon into the soil instead of atmosphere and oceans.
The soil holds as much as three times the amount of carbon than what is stored in living plants and animals above ground. Our farmers do their part the best way they know how: tending the land and soil. By grazing their animals and rotating them through pastures, they build soil and plant matter on their farms. One of our farms uses a methane digester to process the waste on the farm and turn the waste into energy that powers the farm and it's electric vehicles. Two of our farms are part of the Marin Carbon Project. Mindful Meats encourages our farmer to learn about methane digestion and carbon soil sequestration. We are always interested in learning innovative management techniques that help build soil and capture waste in ways that create a net sink of carbon that we can help communicate to our farmers.
organic beef and health care
Getting organic, clean beef to those who are healing is another key pillar of Mindful Meats' mission. Health care centers across the United States are the first line of defense for our country's sick and have the first line of sight for trends in both illness and wellness. Doctors and health care center executives across the country have been discouraged by the rise of antibiotic resistant illnesses, and see this trend as a huge risk to public health. They are banding together to use their purchasing power to source meat from livestock that has been raised without the use of antibiotics, as the subtherapeutic use of antibiotics in conventional animal agriculture is seen as a major contributor to antibiotic resistance.
These superbugs are a direct result of the over use of antibiotics (including sub-therapudic antibiotics). Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are created when a bacteria is repeatedly exposed to an antibiotic and becomes resistant to it, making it challenging, if not impossible, for doctors to treat the infections caused by these stronger bacteria with today's current antibiotics. Offering patients protein options that have been produced without the use of antibiotics works to re-build our country's supply chain of clean meat, thereby reducing the opportunity for bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.
By working with Mindful Meats, Stanford Health Care Center was the first in the country to replace their conventional beef with organic, non-gmo, antibiotic and hormone free beef. The initiative was pushed for and supported by their physicians, culinary department, and executives. We are thrilled to have launched with Stanford Health Care in 2015 and look forward to continuing to change the status quo in food procurement in health care. After all, food is some of the best medicine out there. Here is a write up by Mother Jones about this project.
If you have questions about our projects, or a project you think Mindful Meats should be involved in, please contact us!