Reduce, Reuse, Ruminate a Canadian Story

French fries and beer. Could there be a better pairing? When we order fries, we don’t ask where they’re from or how they’re made. We just want a good crunch. With beer, we just want it to taste good and be refreshing. For me, one short documentary changed all of that. Reduce, Reuse, Ruminate explores the up-cycling potential of cattle.

Canada is major food producer in the world. And yet, 58 percent of the food produced in Canada is wasted, ending up in landfills. 58 percent! There are several organizations whose sole purpose is to reduce this waste, but it’s not as simple as it seems. When grocery shopping, we don’t want damaged produce. And so, if it doesn’t “look” perfect, it’s thrown away. Rescuing this perfectly good produce is hard to accomplish.


This goes beyond grocery stores and homes. During the production process and the packaging process, a lot of food gets discarded. Whether because the packaging is broken, the product is crooked or not looking its most attractive, that food product will never make its way to the grocery stores.

Here is the happy solution.

Bring on the cattle! Ranchers have started feeding their cattle with mash from breweries. Crushed grains are mixed with water, and voila! Ranchers are feeding their cows beer, French fries, produce that we might consider damaged because it’s not “perfect,” as well as crops that may appear damaged, and crop by-products not suitable for human consumption.

Amie Peck, the film’s producer, who is also part of the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA), explains that across the association, beef farmers and ranchers aim to build public awareness about the way beef cattle are raised. “We have been able to meet amazing people transforming food waste as a sustainability solution in nearly every province,” she says.


Through her research Peck has been able to find that many people across Canada are actively working to reduce food waste in their homes, and that up to 90 percent of Canadians aspire to reduce their food waste or are working towards doing so.

Peck and the CCA hope to clarify that while conventional farming does result in methane emissions, the result is not as drastic as we have been made to believe. Peck explains that methane makes about 13 percent of Canada’s GHG emissions, and of that 13 percent, agriculture is responsible for 30 percent, representing 3.9 percent of Canada’s overall emissions. From that 3.9 percent emission from beef cattle, 71 percent, is due to ruminant digestion from which they belch methane.

So, why have cattle emissions been [overstated] to the public? Peck believes that the energy and transportation sectors are trying to shift focus away from their own practices, which account for 70 percent of Canada’s overall emissions.


“I want to emphasize that beef farmers and ranchers across Canada want to reduce our emissions and are actively working to do so,” she says, “we recognize that methane is a potent greenhouse gas and we want to do our part in mitigating the effects of climate change.”

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Peck also points out that they [Canadian Cattle Association] have been able to reduce their overall emissions by 15 percent since 2016, which puts them on track to achieving their 2030 goal of 33 percent emissions-intensity-reduction.

As part of the focus on reducing emissions and food waste, cattle farmers and ranchers care about their cattle’s nutrition. French fries and beer would not be the healthiest diet for humans, but for these cattle, its different because the French fries are raw—never fried. They are sliced potatoes that provide an excellent source of carbohydrates. “Our beef farmers and ranchers take the nutrition, health and welfare of their cattle to heart,” says Peck. Working with professional nutritionists and nutrition software, they can accurately ensure that ingredients and diets maintain proper balance of nutrients and minerals for essential growth.


Peck’s mission along with cattle farmers and ranchers is to raise awareness of the role of cattle in reducing food loss and waste. The release date of the film is April 24, 2024. The CCA plans for the film to be available to the public across YouTube, TikTok and Facebook.

For more information follow @RaisingCdnBeef on Facebook and Instagram or go to reducereuseruminate.ca.

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