Lat summer I was in Ireland (my husband is Irish and we go back to visit his family every year) and the home of one of my husband's best friends. This particular friend has a house built on land owned by his father in law and all the in-laws live on the block! (Can you imagine...I know land is expensive in Ireland, but, well, never mind....)
I was looking out a huge window into a big huge field and saw about 50-75 cows grazing. I said "Oh! You have cows?" and my husband's friend responded "No, my father in law rents out his land to a local farmer. The farmer keeps his cows here and they rotate them from field to field."
I was impressed. "Beef that is raised free range and grass fed? That's awesome!"
Our Irish friend looked at me in shock, "How else is beef raised?"
Oh America, such a lovely country with a screwed up food system.
Since it's Earth Day, and I don't want to get too preachy, I am simply going to recommend the author Michael Pollan. If you are an Oprah watcher, he has been on her show (and this is how I first heard of him).
He has written books on food. How we produce it and consume it in the United States and why we are pretty much all screwed up.
So, if you want to know what you can do and how your family can make a difference, then read these books. They are interesting and insightful and they might make you think twice about why we grow our beef (and everything else) the way we do. (If you aren't really interested in heavy reading, then at least read Food Rules. It was made for the lazy person that exists in us all.)