Less Beef, Less Carbon

Speaking of eating, what I eat (and I like to eat) has an impact on the planet and that impact is much larger than I thought.  With a few clicks, one can find a significant amount of research on the subject of red meat and its impact on the environment. I was surprised that the definition of “red meat” included just about anything on hooves.  I had always thought it only included beef products like the brisket and ribs shown above.  Turns out the production of red meat generates more significantly more greenhouse gas than other foods.  The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) released a study in March, 2017, documenting the significant impacts of reducing the consumption of red meat which is a leading source of pollution. The emissions are produced when we use energy to grow feed for the animals to eat and clear forests that could absorb climate pollution to make way for pastureland.  The animals themselves generate significant amounts of methane through their digestive processes. The references to these articles provide the very convincing detail — my contribution to this issue will be to eliminate red meat from my diet, particularly from beef, and by doing so, I’ll be reducing the demand for those products.   Although I love beef, I plan to substitute more fish and poultry as well as beans and other vegetables. More healthy for me, and better for the planet.   I can start immediately by the choices I make at restaurants and the grocery store. You can’t cook what you don’t buy. And with a little effort, I’m sure I find recipes that avoid red meat.

Now I know there will be some exceptions. If I’m a guest and they serve red meat, I’ll eat it. And there may be other exceptions… and I’ll just deal with those. Should be an interesting adventure.



4 thoughts on “Less Beef, Less Carbon

  1. This is a really tough choice. Instead of giving up beef I feel we should invest in methane recapture technology. I blame the science community for not already having done this. It’s easier to avoid difficult choices when you have a scapegoat.

    BTW, we’ll be serving mutton!

    Like

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