Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Greenhouse gases and hamburgers
3 years ago  ::  Feb 25, 2012 - 5:20PM #1
solfeggio
Posts: 9,557

In a fascinating article in the Science Daily website, 'Relative greenhouse gas impacts of realistic dietary choices,' we learn that researchers at Lancaster University have calculated that if more people in the UK were to opt for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, there would be considerable greenhouse gas emissions savings.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/12...
  
Of course, we know that everything we eat has come connection to greenhouse gas emissions.  And we also already know that meat and cheese have an especially high impact on the environment.  But some vegetables and mushrooms have a high cost in gases as well, because of the energy needed to cultivate them in greenhouses and the energy costs of transporting them.

So, it would naturally follow that locally grown fruits and vegetables have lower emissions.    

Professor Nick Hewitt of Lancaster University carried out the research and has noted that dietary choices can make a significant difference to greenhouse gas emissions.

www.independent.co.uk/environment/climat...
      
The other author of the report, Mike Berners-Lee, has written a book about how our food choices impact the carbon footprint: How Bad Are Bananas?

howbadarebananas.posterous.com/

The report deals with dietary choices of Brits, of course, but its findings could easily be applied to populations in any of the industrialised nations, and it does give us 'food' for thought.  Could such studies as done at Lancaster have an effect in helping people make dietary changes that would significantly lower our carbon footprint?   
       
  

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Feb 25, 2012 - 11:30PM #2
Svetlana
Posts: 11,318

Feb 25, 2012 -- 5:20PM, solfeggio wrote:



The report deals with dietary choices of Brits, of course, but its findings could easily be applied to populations in any of the industrialised nations, and it does give us 'food' for thought.  Could such studies as done at Lancaster have an effect in helping people make dietary changes that would significantly lower our carbon footprint?   
   
  



Not unless you can get people to care enough to read and apply them, they won't.  Most people just don't care what it took to get that apple or banana to them, they'll choose the fruit they want to eat at that moment without any thought as to its origin.  They can always justify the more "polluting" one by saying, "Well, it's here now, so I might as well eat it."


Nope, until people care enough to make sacrifices, eating habits won't change.  (I don't mean to break your heart, but people ARE people, and you can't change them.)  I like to buy locally for purely selfish reasons - the food is fresher and tastes much better - so I'm really no improvement.  Sorry about that.



(I remember living in southern California and passing an orange plantation with a stand in front.  The oranges looked good, so I stopped to get some.  There was one particularly beautiful one RIGHT at my head, which I would have liked to pick and eat right there.  The girl behind the counter told me that ALL the oranges grown on that plantation and sold at that stand were shipped well south of the plantation, bagged, and sent back, and that these transported oranges in plastic bags were the only ones I could buy.  I pointed to the beautiful one RIGHT THERE, and asked if I could add it to a bag.  I was told, no, that it was to be picked and shipped south to be bagged before it could be bought.  I TRIED to buy locally and avoid adding to anyone's carbon footprint, but that girl wouldn't LET me!  Sheesh!)

"No matter how big and bad you are, when a two-year-old hands you a toy phone, you answer it."  ~ (common sense)

"Never place a period where God has placed a comma."  ~ Gracie Allen

"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." ~ Abraham Lincoln

"I wonder sometimes if we ever give God a headache." ~ Dontay Hall, age 8
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Feb 26, 2012 - 10:03AM #3
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,699

Feb 25, 2012 -- 11:30PM, Svetlana wrote:


Feb 25, 2012 -- 5:20PM, solfeggio wrote:



The report deals with dietary choices of Brits, of course, but its findings could easily be applied to populations in any of the industrialised nations, and it does give us 'food' for thought.  Could such studies as done at Lancaster have an effect in helping people make dietary changes that would significantly lower our carbon footprint?   
   
  



Not unless you can get people to care enough to read and apply them, they won't.  Most people just don't care what it took to get that apple or banana to them, they'll choose the fruit they want to eat at that moment without any thought as to its origin.  They can always justify the more "polluting" one by saying, "Well, it's here now, so I might as well eat it."


Nope, until people care enough to make sacrifices, eating habits won't change.  (I don't mean to break your heart, but people ARE people, and you can't change them.)  I like to buy locally for purely selfish reasons - the food is fresher and tastes much better - so I'm really no improvement.  Sorry about that.


Well and the other thing is that buying locally means you can't always get the fruits or veggies that you want. For those people that really only like a few fruits (my husband is one of them...), buying locally could negatively impact how many fruits or veggies they're getting or cause them to switch to canned fruits and veggies.



(I remember living in southern California and passing an orange plantation with a stand in front.  The oranges looked good, so I stopped to get some.  There was one particularly beautiful one RIGHT at my head, which I would have liked to pick and eat right there.  The girl behind the counter told me that ALL the oranges grown on that plantation and sold at that stand were shipped well south of the plantation, bagged, and sent back, and that these transported oranges in plastic bags were the only ones I could buy.  I pointed to the beautiful one RIGHT THERE, and asked if I could add it to a bag.  I was told, no, that it was to be picked and shipped south to be bagged before it could be bought.  I TRIED to buy locally and avoid adding to anyone's carbon footprint, but that girl wouldn't LET me!  Sheesh!)





"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Feb 26, 2012 - 11:51AM #4
farragut
Posts: 4,196

I like to buy local fruits and vegetables in season, but the prices are twice what I pay at Krogers for similar products.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Feb 26, 2012 - 2:59PM #5
mindis1
Posts: 8,142

The abstract of the article, “Relative greenhouse gas impacts of realistic dietary choices,” can be found here: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pi... Unfortunately the article itself is behind a paywall.


The abstract raises many questions with the first sentence:


The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions embodied in 61 different categories of food are used, with information on the diet of different groups of the population (omnivorous, vegetarian and vegan), to calculate the embodied GHG emissions in different dietary scenarios.


Does everyone know what a greenhouse gas is? Water vapor is the most abundant GHG by far, and produces a greenhouse gas effect greater than any other GHG by many orders of magnitude. Did the quantity that the authors calculated--”the embodied GHG content of the current UK food supply”--include water vapor? Of course not. So, the question then is: Does the quantity--”the embodied GHG content of the current UK food supply”--have any relationship to the greenhouse gas effect on the atmosphere? Of course not.  


Personally, I would have suggested to the authors to work on some issue that has some relationship to reality.


The thing is, there are quite legitimate environmental reasons for humans to adhere to a vegetarian diet. Unfortunately, “studies” such as the one here distract from those legitimate reasons.


BTW: I wonder what are the “six vegetarian or vegan dietary scenarios” whose average “embodied GHG content” was compared to that of “the current UK-average diet”? Presumably the “scenarios” entail something like UK vegetarians or vegans who don’t eat bananas that have been shipped from Caribbean plantations vs. UK vegetarians or vegans who do eat such bananas. Surely a UK vegetarian or vegan who grows most of what she eats or eats mostly locally vs. one who eats lots of canned or frozen foods and fresh produce shipped far and wide would show a marked difference in the quantity the authors calculated.  I wonder, then, whether there is any UK vegetarian or vegan who actually eats a diet that even vaguely resembles one of the six scenarios?

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 8:19PM #6
rangerken
Posts: 16,408

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook