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SHAREBEAR1963's Photo SHAREBEAR1963 Posts: 1,778
8/29/11 10:10 A

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I think the media always has an agenda of some sort. I wish the world would accept that eating meat is not necessary (and actually harmful to the planet).

I am not a complete vegetarian, but I am trying to be. I am about 95% meat free, but I do eat dairy.

I believe it takes 10 lbs of grain to produce just 1 lb. of meat and then you look at the grain that good be produced on the land being used for raising the cattle, hogs, etc, and it is really disturbing. World hunger could be ended.



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JODROX's Photo JODROX Posts: 1,329
8/17/11 5:26 P

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I'm thrilled to read this discussion and so glad that you know a lot about it so you can balance out the skewed perspective in the article. I liked what it had to say so I wasn't reading it with a skeptical eye. We should take in all info carefully and ask how they're trying to sway us. Do they have an agenda, etc.

Keep it coming! I *love* to learn more about this stuff!!

~JODROX~


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ERIKA05's Photo ERIKA05 Posts: 245
8/17/11 3:21 P

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Good point, ELLENPRINCE49, about the shipping costs of beans and lentils, but you can breathe a bit easier knowing that the C-footprint of transporting these, even over very long distances, is small relative to the transport of meat, dairy, eggs and even fresh fruit and vegetables. Although beans and lentils do need to be maintained in certain conditions, these are less strict and less extreme (i.e. no need for freezing) than for many other foods, and they also keep longer so they can be shipped less frequently and in bulk quantities. Buying unprocessed dry beans further reduces the footprint because these are lighter to transport and don't require further imputs for cooking, preserving and canning.

The key point to remember about any statement about the C-footprint for any agricultural product, though, is that the final number depends heavily on the parameters of the Life Cycle Analysis for the product. Are they considering input costs such as fertilizer? Are they including the cost to deliver to third party sellers (like grocery stores) or just to major hubs? All of this will affect the percieved "green-ness" of a product.

I read an article last year (which I now can't find, of course) which showed that when the comprehensive life cycles of most foods are looked at, from a seed going in the ground or a livestock animal being born, to the food product arriving on your table, transport accounted for less than 20% of the total energy inputs. When you consider the energy inputs that would be required to, say, grow pulse crops like beans and lentils domestically within the UK vs. in countries whose climates are more suited, I would imagine it would still be "greener" to import these!

Clearly this article has got me thinking - great find Jo!

"I will run, until there's no one left to run. I will love, until there's no one else to love." - The Dears


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FUTUREHOPE49's Photo FUTUREHOPE49 SparkPoints: (85,139)
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8/17/11 11:21 A

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Thank you! Very interesting article. I am still having problems meeting my protein needs on meatless days. Even though I have cups of beans and lentils! I usually end up having dairy like quark or cottage cheese and milk! I eat nuts, but too many and you have too many calories and I am trying hard to maintain at the moment. We try not to eat too much meat, but have fresh salmon about once a fortnight. Its high in the right fatty acids. We also eat oily fish like tuna and sardines tinned, what is the carbon footprint of that I wonder? Surely beans cause quite a lot of carbon to be used as they are often shipped a long way? We are in UK and most beans except green come from abroad I believe!

UK South of England GMT
Eastern Zone 5 hrs difference


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ERIKA05's Photo ERIKA05 Posts: 245
8/16/11 4:38 P

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Interesting article, and one that echoes a lot of the key points that Michael Pollan and others have been raising for some time regarding the "true cost" or ecological costs of commercial meat production. However, I'm scratching my head a bit at the tip to "buy the best cuts and qualities of meats and cheeses you can afford." How does this fit within the principles of sustainability? If everyone makes the supposedly ecologically and morally superior choice of a grass-fed AAA sirloin steak when they're selecting a meat option, where does the rest of that premium cow go? Surely finding ways to make creative use of lower-quality non-premium cuts would be a better shot in the arm for sustainability and discouraging waste?

Also, I think that the assumption that a more expensive cut of meat or a pricier cheese will be produced in a more sustainable way is deeply flawed. Say what you will about large scale agricultural operations (and people will say a lot), but some are on the cutting edge of technologies for green energy and recycling of farm wastes and inputs. No matter how you cut it, lentils are cheaper and greener than beef, but some of these other tennets are a bit shaky, IMHO.

Edited by: ERIKA05 at: 8/16/2011 (16:39)
"I will run, until there's no one left to run. I will love, until there's no one else to love." - The Dears


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JODROX's Photo JODROX Posts: 1,329
8/15/11 9:46 P

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shine.yahoo.com/event/green/how-much
-p
rotein-do-you-really-need-2523319/


Discuss...

~JODROX~


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