A Diet to Save The Planet
by CherryBlossom on February 2, 2016 - 7:39am
A study, led by Research Professor Gidon Eshel analysed the environmental impact of beef, chicken and pork and found that the production of red meat is the more harmful one for the planet using 28 times more land and 11 times more water than the production of other meats. In his article “Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert”, Damian Carrington reports that the study also denounces that beef production yields five times more greenhouse gases than does the production of chicken and pork and 11 times more than does the cultivation of essential foods such as potatoes, rice and wheat.
Furthermore, biologically, ruminants need to consume more to gain sufficient amounts of nutrients. According to Professor Mark Sutton, quality crop fields are being used to cultivate grain that is fed to the livestock although that grain could be used to feed humans.
There is a global concern amongst experts concerning the amount of grain, land and water that will be needed for the production of livestock in order to be able to feed the increasing population since we are expecting an increase of two billion people by 2050. The domain of agriculture itself is an important element in global warming as it contributes 15% of all emissions from which 50% is coming from livestock.
Eshel states that if governments stopped funding the meat industry, prices would increase and a lower consumption of red meat would follow.
A meat diet produces twice as much climate warming emissions than does a vegetarian one. A study on British people’s diets conducted by scientists from the University of Oxford shows that a meat diet releases 7.2kg of carbon dioxide emissions daily whereas a vegetarian or fish diet amounts in 3.8 kg and a vegan one, 2.9kg.
Simple diet choices have a heavy impact on the environment. If global warming is a concern to you, why not start by avoiding meat for a day once a week?
I chose this source because after conducting a little research on the author and scientists quoted, I judged it to be reliable. Professor Gidon Eshel has a senior fellow in Center for Environmental Science and Argonne National Laboratory and has been teaching at Bard University since 2008 in the Bard Center for Environmental Policy primary academic program.
Professor Mark Sutton is the co-Chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen (TFRN) and Chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI).
Finally, I am a little bit less certain about the author’s reliability and would have to look into greater detail on his behalf. However, I know that he is the head of the environment section of The Guardian newspaper and has been a journalist for 15 years now.