Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is a Hamburger as Bad as a Hummer?

It's refreshing to finally see the attention that mainstream media is paying to the huge effect that meat-based diets are having on the environment, and that these truths are not confined to sites like This article by mentions removing beef from our diet as one of the most important things that we can do for the environment:

Beef. It's What's Not for Dinner.

Meat production causes more environmental harm than any other food -- from the fertilizer (usually derived from fossil fuels) to the feed (enough to feed dozens of people) to the greenhouse gases (yes, cow burp is potent).

Suzanne Shaw from the Union of Concerned Scientists explains that most of our cattle come from Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that don't work with nature: They confine animals away from grazing, they feed them food that isn't natural to their diets, they create huge amounts of waste that doesn't become fertilizer for farms but often runs off into waterways, contaminating drinking water and killing fish and other aquatic life.

If Americans just cut back on the amount of meat we eat, it would have a huge impact on global warming emissions nationwide. Follow Michael Pollan's mantra: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He means real foods -- that is, unprocessed foods like those your grandmother would recognize.

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