Livestock getting a bad rap in the news
July 20, 2018
You have to read the Consumer Reports survey story on page 42 and 43. It's about lab-based meat and the results of a survey that showed consumers want clear labels identifying meat produced in the lab from cultured animal cells.
What was hilarious to me was the description of the so-called meat: "This new technology involves taking cells from a food animal and getting those cells to grow and differentiate in a suitable growth medium that contains vitamins, lipids, amino acids and growth hormones, including fetal calf serum."
Who is going to eat this stuff? Not me.
And I'm pretty sure they are not going to be able to call it meat or beef because the Food and Drug Administration has finally said it is not going to let plant- or nut-based products be called milk.
The question is, what are they going to call their products. I suppose almond milk could be called almond drink.
While I'm on the topic of fake meat, I'm getting really tired of reading about how raising animals is worse for the environment, it produces more greenhouse gas and it is a greater contributor to climate change than the transportation sector and energy production. They never site their sources, nor do they give any numbers so we can compare the emissions.
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That's just wrong. And I see that same sentence in some form or another in every story about fake meat and fake milk. Makes me angry at my fellow journalists who don't do their due diligence.
So, I looked up a story called "Livestock and Climate Change: Fact and fiction" so I could make an informed argument if I had to about livestock and its contribution to greenhouse gases (GHG).
The article was written in 2016 but it still pertains to today.
These are the sentences that we all need to memorize: "Leading scientists throughout the U.S., as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have quantified the impacts of livestock production in the U.S., which accounts for 4.2 percent of all GHG emissions, very far from the 18-51 percent range that advocates often cite.
Comparing the 4.2 percent GHG contribution from livestock to the 27 percent from the transportation sector, or 31 percent from the energy sector in the U.S. brings all contributions to GHG into perspective."
There you have it folks.
I hope that when you hear someone talking about the dangerous levels of greenhouse gases released by livestock you can use these numbers to make an informed argument. ❖