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12 Simple Steps for Going Green in 2012: What do you think of #12?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 04, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Possible Duplicate:
How environmentally responsible/green and sustainable is the paleo diet?

So, I was reading the above mentioned article on motherearthnews.com. I really enjoy this website and think they have a lot of good information. However, I was slightly horrified when i got to #12, which is: Reduce your meat consumption. I'm all for going green, but reducing my meat consumption? I can't do it. It suggests following a meatless Monday (which in my opinion, Monday's are bad enough without taking away my meat!). Does anyone else on this forum do something like this? If so, how do you do it? Or do you think that those of us that eat grass fed or raise our own are exempt from this suggestion, as we obviously use less resources getting/growing our meat? I have planet guilt, what can I say...

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:34 AM

1) I am sorry that you feel the need to insult me. 2) You assume that I do not know that we also have a distribution problem. I do know that. 3) You don't seem to understand how population growth in the last few decades has been possible. Look up "green revolution". Then look up "synthetic nitrogen fertilizer". Then look up "Fossile fuel". 4) You assume that my assumptions are based on two or three graphs. That is not the case. 5) Since you felt the need to insult me you are obviously not interested in further discussion. I will therefore refrain from commenting on this any further.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 05, 2012
at 01:48 PM

and you will still be at error until you understand that the problem of poverty (and hunger) is deeply related with a bad distribution of scare resources (in this case, food), and not necessarily with lack of resources themselves. but using your brain for a bit can be a daunting task to anyone that refuses to think "economically".

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 05, 2012
at 01:43 PM

"As it seems now it is currently impossible to feed everyone sustainably". You're still mixing oranges and apples... facts: a) earth's population has been strictly increasing in the last 40 years. b) earth's area is the same as it always was. c) world hunger has actually been decreasing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger#World_statistics) in those 40 years. using your own (unsound) logic, one can only assume that as long as earth's population keeps on rising, hunger in the world will eventually vanish! qed

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 05, 2012
at 09:50 AM

@devoured_elysium: Just. Read. What. I. Wrote: "As it seems now it is currently impossible to feed everyone sustainably" See that word? "NOW". Of course you are free to believe that one day we will be able to generate food out of thin (or polluted?) air. If you have an Idea of how we can break biogeochemical cycles then go ahead and let me know.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 09:15 PM

Nope never read that, thanks! Wish it was on Kindle though.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Finally, Giving "Given that, to truly believe that continuing growth of populations and thus increased food demands are indeed no problem at all, one needs to be an economist." as answer in this discussion is like calling someone a mathematician just because he pointed out your 3+5=4 calculation was wrong.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 09:03 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_use#Land_use_and_regulation -> As of the early 1990s, about 13% of the Earth was considered arable land, with 26% in pasture, 32% forests and woodland, and 1.5% urban areas.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 09:02 PM

"Things have changed since the 1900's. I assume that the planet's surface and sil reserves are not going to increase. Given that, to truly believe that continuing growth of populations and thus increased food demands are indeed no problem at all, one needs to be an economist." in which you continue to ignore the fact that humanity has for almost all of its existence improved its food production productivity, and in which you ignore the fact that although there are a lot of people alive, the percentage of land actually used by humans is negligible, as you can see at wikipedia. continues

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 08:54 PM

"The planet has a fixed size. That means a fixed production capacity for food." which of course, is not true. Even if it were, you are in some way implying that in the future there won't be technological advances that will make possible to produce more with less (that is, being more efficient). That goes against everything we have been seeing since 1750.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 08:51 PM

To see how flawed your logic is, see how it still seems to be true in a world with only 10 people alive, 5 of which by various reasons don't have any access to decent food (because they are in the middle of the mountains, or in the desert).

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 08:49 PM

"The planet has a fixed size. That means a fixed production capacity for food. We are currently struggling to "feed the world" while we still have synthetic fertilizers based on fossile fuels." That was also true 50 years ago, when earth's population was half than what is today. Well, it was still true almost over 100 years ago.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:42 PM

Shorten your food chain! Plus one.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:41 PM

Move closer to the source of your food! Sound advice. Plus one.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:39 PM

Mash - I like your idea of purchasing a whole carcass! Notwithstanding the cost of refrigerated storage (and the challenge of butchering), this would probably work out as very cost effective and could be done amongst a group. You'd save on all that packaging as well. I am guessing you've read Simon Fairlie's 'Meat: A Benign Extravagence'? If not I heartily recommend you do so.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Mash - I like your idea of purchasing a whole carcass! Notwithstanding the cost of refridgerated storage (and the challenge of butchering), this would probably work out as very cost effective and could be done amongst a group. You'd save on all that packaging as well. I am guessing you've read Simon Fairlie's 'Meat: A Benign Extravagence'? If not I heartily recommend you do so.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 04, 2012
at 02:32 PM

@devoured_elysium: The planet has a fixed size. That means a fixed production capacity for food. We are currently struggling to "feed the world" while we still have synthetic fertilizers based on fossile fuels. The latter are a finite and thus not sustainable by definition. It's that easy. Things have changed since the 1900's. I assume that the planet's surface and sil reserves are not going to increase. Given that, to truly believe that continuing growth of populations and thus increased food demands are indeed no problem at all, one needs to be an economist.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 04, 2012
at 02:14 PM

Take all the grocery stores in the country, remove all the fake food. Make 1/3 of the store land that grows produce. 1.5/3 growing animals, And the remaining storage of goods like smoked fish,'sausages, preserved produce. Problem solved!

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 01:41 PM

Ah, you posted this while I was still writing mine. I very much agree.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 01:12 PM

The article: http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-community/simple-steps-going-green-zwfz1112zhun.aspx?page=5

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 01:01 PM

"I've been thinking about these topics a lot lately and we clearly have a problem with the continuing growth of populations everywhere. As it seems now it is currently impossible to feed everyone sustainably." In what, specifically, are basing on your thoughts? That same argument was used in the 1900's and it's easy to see how futile the argument was.

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3 Answers

2
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 01:39 PM

12. Reduce Your Meat Consumption.
Livestock production accounts for about 18 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for about 23 percent of all global water used in agriculture. Yet global meat production has experienced a 20 percent growth rate since 2000 to meet the per capita increase of meat consumption of about 42 kilograms.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-community/simple-steps-going-green-zwfz1112zhun.aspx?page=5

I understand the point, but I wonder about the quantitative effect reducing the purchase of some meat once a week actually has. Possibly it is more sustainable to purchase a whole cow for two months, rather than repeatedly buying sirloin steak daily where multiple animals are involved.

Eating select cuts the whole time needs multiple animals, and possibly wastes a lot of space and the animal. (Though we then have to take into account that even though we don't eat the whole animal, the whole animal is used in a large number of industries and the products we use.)

Maybe we should (as higher meat eaters) take the time to find a good organic butcher/farmer, and find out how he runs his farm. Then purchase as much of a single animal as we can. This way we are supporting someone (and his family) who is directly managing his local ecosystem with good stewardship and respect, and we are maximising the utilisation of a single animal for food (as food is the context here).

Just thinking about this as I write, maybe the point should actually be about eating more meat (as in the whole animal) rather then eating less meat. To me the more I think about it the more sustainable it seems to be to me. This seems to me to be the best of both worlds.

Now this is easier said then done, as I personally want to eat meat but now I realise need to eat "more" of it, without so much picking and choosing.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:42 PM

Shorten your food chain! Plus one.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:41 PM

Move closer to the source of your food! Sound advice. Plus one.

1
F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

on January 04, 2012
at 01:33 PM

Veg*anism just pushes the killing to where it cannot be seen. The problem of overpopulation is that there are too many people after Earth's limited resources - not that they are eating meat per se.

From a paleo perspective, don't waste food. Eat all the animal (seek out obscure cuts from your butcher), and remember that a carcass has wider utility - although implementing this is 'hardcore'!

Also aim for indigenous meats and wild game as (particularly the former), will support native habitat.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:39 PM

Mash - I like your idea of purchasing a whole carcass! Notwithstanding the cost of refrigerated storage (and the challenge of butchering), this would probably work out as very cost effective and could be done amongst a group. You'd save on all that packaging as well. I am guessing you've read Simon Fairlie's 'Meat: A Benign Extravagence'? If not I heartily recommend you do so.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 01:41 PM

Ah, you posted this while I was still writing mine. I very much agree.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Mash - I like your idea of purchasing a whole carcass! Notwithstanding the cost of refridgerated storage (and the challenge of butchering), this would probably work out as very cost effective and could be done amongst a group. You'd save on all that packaging as well. I am guessing you've read Simon Fairlie's 'Meat: A Benign Extravagence'? If not I heartily recommend you do so.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 09:15 PM

Nope never read that, thanks! Wish it was on Kindle though.

1
3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 04, 2012
at 12:32 PM

Both, kind of. You are right that consuming grass fed meat exlusively does not hurt the environment that much. At the same time, you still need to think of the rest of the world. If CAFOs were abandoned and everyone switched to grass-fed beef then consumption would still have to be decreased just to match supply. Prices would rise as a matter of course.

I've been thinking about these topics a lot lately and we clearly have a problem with the continuing growth of populations everywhere. As it seems now it is currently impossible to feed everyone sustainably. That is, as soon as fossile fuels run out and synthetic fertilizers are no longer available, we will have a problem.

To keep this paleo: Apart from eating less meat there is still the option of just buying less and throwing less away. Actually, no food should be thrown away. Yet 50-60% of all food in western countries gets thrown into dumpsters. I hate the phrase but here goes: Throwing food away is NOT paleo.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 04, 2012
at 02:14 PM

Take all the grocery stores in the country, remove all the fake food. Make 1/3 of the store land that grows produce. 1.5/3 growing animals, And the remaining storage of goods like smoked fish,'sausages, preserved produce. Problem solved!

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 08:54 PM

"The planet has a fixed size. That means a fixed production capacity for food." which of course, is not true. Even if it were, you are in some way implying that in the future there won't be technological advances that will make possible to produce more with less (that is, being more efficient). That goes against everything we have been seeing since 1750.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 09:03 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_use#Land_use_and_regulation -> As of the early 1990s, about 13% of the Earth was considered arable land, with 26% in pasture, 32% forests and woodland, and 1.5% urban areas.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 04, 2012
at 02:32 PM

@devoured_elysium: The planet has a fixed size. That means a fixed production capacity for food. We are currently struggling to "feed the world" while we still have synthetic fertilizers based on fossile fuels. The latter are a finite and thus not sustainable by definition. It's that easy. Things have changed since the 1900's. I assume that the planet's surface and sil reserves are not going to increase. Given that, to truly believe that continuing growth of populations and thus increased food demands are indeed no problem at all, one needs to be an economist.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 08:51 PM

To see how flawed your logic is, see how it still seems to be true in a world with only 10 people alive, 5 of which by various reasons don't have any access to decent food (because they are in the middle of the mountains, or in the desert).

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 05, 2012
at 01:48 PM

and you will still be at error until you understand that the problem of poverty (and hunger) is deeply related with a bad distribution of scare resources (in this case, food), and not necessarily with lack of resources themselves. but using your brain for a bit can be a daunting task to anyone that refuses to think "economically".

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 08:49 PM

"The planet has a fixed size. That means a fixed production capacity for food. We are currently struggling to "feed the world" while we still have synthetic fertilizers based on fossile fuels." That was also true 50 years ago, when earth's population was half than what is today. Well, it was still true almost over 100 years ago.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 01:01 PM

"I've been thinking about these topics a lot lately and we clearly have a problem with the continuing growth of populations everywhere. As it seems now it is currently impossible to feed everyone sustainably." In what, specifically, are basing on your thoughts? That same argument was used in the 1900's and it's easy to see how futile the argument was.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Finally, Giving "Given that, to truly believe that continuing growth of populations and thus increased food demands are indeed no problem at all, one needs to be an economist." as answer in this discussion is like calling someone a mathematician just because he pointed out your 3+5=4 calculation was wrong.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 04, 2012
at 09:02 PM

"Things have changed since the 1900's. I assume that the planet's surface and sil reserves are not going to increase. Given that, to truly believe that continuing growth of populations and thus increased food demands are indeed no problem at all, one needs to be an economist." in which you continue to ignore the fact that humanity has for almost all of its existence improved its food production productivity, and in which you ignore the fact that although there are a lot of people alive, the percentage of land actually used by humans is negligible, as you can see at wikipedia. continues

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:34 AM

1) I am sorry that you feel the need to insult me. 2) You assume that I do not know that we also have a distribution problem. I do know that. 3) You don't seem to understand how population growth in the last few decades has been possible. Look up "green revolution". Then look up "synthetic nitrogen fertilizer". Then look up "Fossile fuel". 4) You assume that my assumptions are based on two or three graphs. That is not the case. 5) Since you felt the need to insult me you are obviously not interested in further discussion. I will therefore refrain from commenting on this any further.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 05, 2012
at 09:50 AM

@devoured_elysium: Just. Read. What. I. Wrote: "As it seems now it is currently impossible to feed everyone sustainably" See that word? "NOW". Of course you are free to believe that one day we will be able to generate food out of thin (or polluted?) air. If you have an Idea of how we can break biogeochemical cycles then go ahead and let me know.

65435c9df81895b80a7082c1e74d7903

on January 05, 2012
at 01:43 PM

"As it seems now it is currently impossible to feed everyone sustainably". You're still mixing oranges and apples... facts: a) earth's population has been strictly increasing in the last 40 years. b) earth's area is the same as it always was. c) world hunger has actually been decreasing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger#World_statistics) in those 40 years. using your own (unsound) logic, one can only assume that as long as earth's population keeps on rising, hunger in the world will eventually vanish! qed

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