Forty years ago, newsman Bill Kurtis began his broadcasting career on the radio in Kansas, and then went on to hold top news positions in Chicago and New York. Today he's back in the sunflower state, but instead of reporting the news, he is raising cattle in an environmentally conscious fashion. Dr. Oz talks with Bill about the circumstances that led him in this new direction.
Early in his career, Bill covered many momentous events—from the Vietnam War to the tumultuous 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Eventually he transitioned from network news to documentary series, including the PBS science/adventure series The New Explorers. "We were doing global warming 15 years ago, before anyone cared," Bill says. "It was probably the best stuff I've done."
As he learned more about the environment, Bill says he couldn't stand by anymore without taking action. "I stepped out of the role of the neutral observer, which I've been my whole life, and said, 'I'm going to do something,'" he says. Bill started a business called Tallgrass Beef and began raising grass-fed cattle, which he says provides a healthier alternative to beef raised with growth hormones and antibiotics. "Tallgrass beef is good for the environment because the cattle never leave the pasture, so they fertilize next year's crop," he says. "[In addition,] just eliminating the grain and growth hormones is a great start, because you're creating the right kind of fat in the beef."
While Bill has taken on a large, environmentally friendly endeavor, he says everyone has the opportunity to do little things that can help save the environment. "Everything seems to be changing to green—it's the new black," he says. "The more we buy of those items, the more there will be, and the cheaper they will be. You act locally, but more than that, you act individually."