“Cutting down your meat and dairy consumption will be so so beneficial for this planet, it’s not like I’m saying it because I’m a vegan. I’m saying this because the science says so, the stats say so.”– Agrita Dandriyal (from pt 3.1)
NOTE: before you listen to this episode, if you haven’t already, listen to pt 1, 2.1 and 2.2 as all of these are parts of the climate change series. I have split pt 3 into 3.1 and 3.2 to make shorter episodes, as requested!
We find it really easy to discuss the effects of anthropogenic climate change on our crops aka our food security. However, we rarely talk about the impact of agriculture on climate change…is there even a link?
Absolutely, and the link is very direct. So direct that agricultural emissions are much larger than transport, manufacturing and energy emissions – that makes agriculture the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions out of all of the human activities. To make matters worse, meat and dairy companies are one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, now even BIGGER than fossil fuel industries.
So yes we should focus on our energy consumption and transport, but when agricultural industries are producing much more than fossil fuel companies are, we need to realise that our food is indeed feeding climate change, much more than our transport usage and manufacturing ever could.
Listen to pt 3.1 and 3.2 of this “climate change should be our priority” series to get to know the truth behind the largest contributor to climate change and how you can help reduce your food emissions to help stop feeding climate change.
What I will cover in this episode:
- Stats showing the massive impact of agriculture on climate change
- Emissions related to fresh produce (fruit/veg) by looking at the most greenhouse gas intensive fruit and veg
- Emissions related to processed foods, with a specific look at emissions from meat/dairy emissions
- Ways in which governments can help reduce food emissions
- Ways in which farmers can independently reduce emissions related to farming
- Ways that individuals can reduce their food emissions
- Agricultural emissions Ted Talk by Jonathan Foley: https://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_foley_the_other_inconvenient_truth/transcript?language=en
- BBC food footprint calculator: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46459714
- Emissions of fruit and veg:
- Issues of palm oil: https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/challenges/palm-oil/
- Impact of sugar on the environment: https://www.thoughtco.com/effect-of-sugar-on-the-environment-1204100
- Bonsucro (sustainable sugar company) website: https://www.bonsucro.com
- Soy emissions (we only eat 6% of soy grown): https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/food-drink/soya-sustainable
- Foodsource: https://foodsource.org.uk/sites/default/files/chapters/pdfs/foodsource_chapter_3.pdf
- Meat and dairy industries emitting more than fossil fuel industries: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/meat-dairy-industry-greenhouse-gas-emissions-fossil-fuels-oil-pollution-iatp-grain-a8451871.html
- FAO (food and agricultural organisation of the UN) website: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode/
- University of Oxford article on effects of food on environment: http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2018-06-01-new-estimates-environmental-cost-food
- Impact of aquaculture on climate change: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/seafood-greenhouse-gas-emissions-lobsters-demand-climate-change-shrimp-crustaceans-a8286821.html
- Ways farmers can irrigate properly: https://www.unitedsoybean.org/article/7-irrigation-advancements-that-can-improve-efficiency-and-sustainability
- Natural fertilisers: https://theecologist.org/2011/may/20/five-bestnatural-and-organic-fertilisers
- Conserving soils to combat climate change Ted Talk by Asmeret Asefaw: http:// https://www.ted.com/talks/asmeret_asefaw_berhe_a_climate_change_solution_that_s_right_under_our_feet#t-811139
- Food waste: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/food-waste
- Difference between use-by and best-before dates: https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/best-before-and-use-by-dates
- 40 ways to use stale bread: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/food/40-handy-bread-tips-and-what-do-stale-bread
- How to feed birds (yep you can feed them bread!): https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/feeding-birds/safe-food-for-birds/household-scraps-for-birds/
- Apps to help you reduce food waste: https://resource.co/article/six-apps-taking-fight-food-waste-11587
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