There are predictions in a new report that the greenhouse gases produced by meat and dairy consumption will rise by around 80% if we continue along our current path. The report states that the global consumption of meat must be reduced if we are to avoid serious environmental repercussions. These include food scarcity as well as the overall environmental atmospheric impact that our current consumption points too. There are of course lots of concerns about the modern diet and how it impacts our health and environment. For example read about the use of a new drug called Selincro which is being tested to treat alcohol abuse.
The report was produced from a collaboration of research between Aberdeen and Cambridge Universities which suggests globally the American diet seems to be the blueprint for the world. This for many countries will mean a huge increase in the consumption of meat and dairy produce.
The problem is that there are many was to produce the food we need to live. However the efficiency of rearing livestock for meat is easily the most inefficient. The report suggests that the standard measure of energy of producing food is less than 3% in the case of producing meat, which is extremely low and inefficient. As our demand for meat increases so does the pressure to convert scarce resources like land away from traditional arable consumption simply to produce feeds for the animals.
The problem is not with the methods employed by farmers, but simply our choice of food stuffs. There is no method by which meat production can ever be as efficient as producing vegetable or other traditional crops.The danger is that the environmental damage caused by increased meat production makes all food production more costly and difficult too.
Of course there are many scare stories about human behavior affecting the environments. At the moment in Europe there is a huge rush to buy high powered vacuum cleaners as the overall power will be restricted later this year, the implication is that this is a ‘green initiative’ designed to reduce energy consumption although it’s easy to be sceptical about this initiative. There is a lot more evidence around food production though and although most developed countries for the most part are able to finance and support this ‘meat and dairy’ demand, it wouldn’t take much in the way of climate changes to make it completely unsustainable in many parts of the world.
There are a series of environmental discussions taking place at the moment on the UK TV network primarily the BBC and Channel 4, if you wish to watch these then this link might be useful which enables full access to most UK and US stations which broadcast online irrespective of your physical location.
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