Saturday, July 21, 2007

1kg of beef results in more CO2 emissions than going for a three-hour drive while leaving all the lights on at home

The Guardian via Carbonara.

Producing 1kg of beef results in more CO2 emissions than going for a three-hour drive while leaving all the lights on at home, scientists said today.

A team led by Akifumi Ogino at the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, Japan, trawled through data on aspects of beef production including calf raising, animal management and the effects of producing and transporting feed.

They are calling for an overhaul of the beef industry, after their audit revealed producing the meat caused substantial amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

It's worth noting that beef consistently scores badly in terms of it's climate change impact, other meet's often do far better. A general rule that i am starting to use is 'avoid beef, moderate the rest of your dietary meat intake'.

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At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is interesting. This kind of research can certainly give pause for thought. At the same time, results of this kind need to be read with caution as specific circumstances can cause huge variations in carbon intensity when compared to average data – and this is especially true when concerned with agricultural products because land use and farming methods vary considerably. Whether and how soil is worked, use of fertilisers, use of fossil fuel-powered farm equipment, crop rotation, seasonal variations and a host of other factors add complexity and of course the journey from farm to mouth can be significant too. There is a risk that if average or generic carbon numbers are ascribed to particular food types, significant differences are masked and the opportunity for carbon conscious suppliers to differentiate themselves in the market place could be lost. This is one of the challenges ahead as work is done to engage the consumer in taking carbon into account when making purchase decisions.


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