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Even More About Eco-Systems + Climate

ON THIS PAGE:

Big Agriculture + Climate Change / Plants + Climate 101 / An Omnivore's Predicament / Healthy Soil = Carbon = Life / Climate Impact of Dietary Protein / Food Revolution Network 2023 Summit - Episode 8: Earth on the Line

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Big Agriculture + Climate Change

According to experts, driving less may not be the most important thing we can do to help mitigate climate change. In fact, eating less animal protein would actually have a bigger and more far-reaching environmental impact. Biogenic methane from dairy cows and cattle has a shorter life span than other carbon emission entities like transportation, but it's about 25 times* more potent.

According to experts, driving less may not be the most important thing we can do to help mitigate climate change. In fact, eating less animal protein would actually have a bigger and more far-reaching environmental impact. Biogenic methane from dairy cows and cattle has a shorter life span than other carbon emission entities like transportation, but it's about 25 times* more potent.

* Research note: Finding sound data can be challenging. An example: there are different potency statistics regarding biogenic methane in articles, studies, and YouTube videos. The sources I found reported a range from 22 to 29 times more potency, so I chose an average of 25. I reckon this is one of the many reasons why we've become increasingly wary of stats and mis/dis-reporting in the wacky world of food and beverage education. Keep in mind that some info is valid without having a hidden agenda or marketing spin. It just takes time and tenacity to find it.

Plants + Climate 101

Check out Leslie Duram PhD, Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Southern Illinois University, who offers an engaging and info/data packed presentation for curious humans. Without being overly academic, she clearly outlines the direct connection of eating WPF and how this choice can positively impact our planet's dire direction. Effective teachers rock.

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"What's the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

- Henry David Thoreau, American Naturalist + Philosopher (died 1862)

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An Omnivore's Predicament

(can a climate activist eat animals?)

Is it a contradiction if a climate activist eats chicken wings for lunch? As a member of the Life-is-Complex Club, here's my take: I'm a 95% whole plant foods advocate, drive a 2014 Chevy Spark, wear vintage leather and wool, and eat pizza margherita every once in a while. 

 

The article in the link below is written by an articulate vegan, who shares his view that hypocrisy exists if an environmentalist eats meat. For me, I reckon ALL contributions for addressing and solving the climate crisis are welcome, no matter how large, small, complex, or contradictory (even contributions I might not grasp). 

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Healthy Soil = Carbon = Life

(60 years and counting)

Here's the dirt on dirt: cover crops during winter, proper crop rotation, regenerative agriculture, organic farming, and water conservation - these are some of the smart solutions which are currently having a positive impact on climate change. Films such as The Need to Grow (2020) and Kiss the Ground (2020) are solution-based food for thought about what we're capable of accomplishing.

 

With current farming methods, our depleted soil worldwide has about 60 years left, and by 2050, an estimated nine to ten billion homo-sapiens will need to be fed. Healthy soil equals carbon equals life. 

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Climate Impact of Dietary Protein

The Food Revolution Network offers annual summits on human, food animal, and planetary health. The 2023 Summit shared an info-graphic on how our protein choices impact eco-systems and climate stability or the lack thereof. Here's a breakdown of the most common animal and plant protein sources with their measured carbon footprint on Earth. These numbers show kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per 100 grams of protein (3.5 oz). They represent the average of greenhouse gas emission ranges across thousands of farms/ranches studied. Note that beef from ranching makes up half of all CO2 equivalents. The next time you eat protein, try to think about how our food choices matter. Like, every one.

49.9 - beef (cows, cattle)

19.9 - lamb + mutton (sheep)

10.8 - cheese

9.5 - animal-sourced milk

7.6 - pork (pigs)

5.9 - farmed fish

5.7 - poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, etc)

4.2 - eggs

2.7 - grains

1.9 - tofu

1.2 - groundnuts (peanuts, etc)

0.8 - beans + lentils

0.4 - peas

0.3 - tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc)

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