Skip to comments.Green diets vs. global warming (eating better may reduce the methane released into atmosphere)
Posted on 12/26/2005 7:07:30 PM PST by presidio9
Having one's own personal effect on our growing global warming/climate change crisis is most certainly a multi step program. We often view our choice in automobile as the most efficacious and obvious first move forward, but two assistant professors at the University of Chicago say the gas we want to change may actually be the gastronomic type.
According to a news short titled It's better to green your diet than your car found at the New Scientist web site the two professors "compared the amount of fossil fuel needed to cultivate and process various foods, including running agricultural machinery, providing food for livestock and irrigating crops". They also counted methane and nitrous oxide produced by cows, sheep and manure handling. (Note: in the print edition of New Scientist, Dec 17-23 edition, the article is titled "Green your diet before your car".)
The numbers Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin present are somewhat surprising: A typical diet for the United States with about 28% animal based foods is responsible for almost one and a half tons more of carbon dioxide than to a purely vegetarian (vegan) diet ... that's per person each year! In one decade that makes for a difference of 15 tons of climate altering, global warming gasses for just one person. (If vegan isn't for you eating poultry can help reduce your gaseous contribution.)
Their second set of numbers makes the surprise more evident. According to Eshel and Martin's paper the annual emissions difference between a typical car and a modern hybrid is a little over one ton. Bearing in mind pickups and SUV's aren't considered ... it may be your first and best step in reducing your ecological footprint could be the food you and your family eat.
This hypothesis is well supported. As E Magazine points out in The Outlook On Oil (E, Jan/Feb, 2006) "the average piece of food travels 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate" and "it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of food eaten in the US." That same article informs us the average car uses up between 27 and 54 barrels of oil even before it leaves the factory floor. Astounding.
The really, really great news here is we can, if we chose, have an immediate and positive impact on our global environment by doing something that will strengthen our local Vermont community economies. I see that distance travelled by food and what it takes to build a vehicle as the key ... eating locally grown foods can drastically reduce the green house gasses even without giving up the red meats ... fewer miles driven and less trucks for transport ... know what I mean? Imagine what a locally grown diet of veggies and poultry can do!
All in all it just may be our dietary habits that need reforming first ... and then the car we drive.
They have pills for this problem
Global Warming Theory ping
In my experience in elevators, these gases float, so I'm not sure where these pantloads are coming from.
I just want to know how we control the broccoli content of the cows diets across the globe...
Save the Greenbacks...
Thanks, I feel better now.
Everything you need to know about this article is contained within this one poorly constructed sentence.
When I eat vegies, it gives me more gas. I guess I will keep eating meat.
Here's a nice little link for the "Greenies" to look over.
Kill off all the endangered species to ballance the gas problem..
The more you eat, the more you ...
A new alternative fuel that could provide energy independance. LOL
I've been wishing all day I hadn't eaten that week old ham.
If I eat beans, I do my own farting. If I eat beef, the critter farted for me. I like my 'farts by proxy' cooked medium rare, thanks.
My friends and neighbors like it better that way, too!
Good grief. Talk about desperate. The vegans will say anything to gain converts these days.
Rama is an idiot.
Besides, don't vegetarians eat most of the highly fartable materials?
Yeah, sure, like those beans that vegans eat aren't contributing to the 'gas' in the atmosphere!
The only solution for the problem afflicting the writer of this article is a frontal lobotomy.
Actually, I think that was the CAUSE of her problem.
Oh and Rama, posters on Free Republic may add an editorial or descriptive comment to article titles in parentheses or brackets. Actually, you should count your blessings as your article deserved a barf alert. LOL.
Eat cabbage turn you land into seaside property.
I love it when liberals marginalize themselves.
This guy thinks eating more beans and cabbage is going to reduce farting? I don't think so.
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