Alpine summer grazing has positive impacts on the environment

Traditional artisan cheese making in Gruyère

In most alpine regions, it is not possible to grow crops for human consumption. Grass, however, can be grown to big heights. Grass, unsuitable for human consumption, can only be turned into food for humans via animals – mainly cows,  sheep and goats (milk>cheese; meat). During millenias, humans have cultivated alpine landscape exactly for that: to turn uneadible grass into food for humans. This cultivation has shaped the look of the Alps and prevent them now from foresting. In places, where alpine farming has been abandoned (large parts of Italian alps for instance), the landscape has deteriorated. Less people find employment, also  tourism is losing, because visitors are missing the accustomed environment which makes for them for great holidays. 

Worse even, the biological diversity gets lost, species are dying out because they are under threat from strong growing species, which have been cut back by humans before. 

Alpine summer grazing/farming creates employment and helps keeping an important stock of our biological genes alive. 

Alpine milk/cheese is also environmental friendly, because the transports are extremely short. There is no transport between milking and cheesemaking. There is up to 12 litres in 1 kg of cheese. Transporting the milk in form of cheese takes therefore up to 12 times less energy for transport. Compared to industrial cheese production in Switzerland , where milk is transported over up to 100 km from stables to the cheese dairy: A cheese wheel containing the same amount of milk could be transported 1200 kms with the same amount of energy. European industrial cheese  production is even worse: Milk can be transported from Denmark for being processed in 2000 miles away Greece...


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