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/ Food and impacts on the environment

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jungle - on 05 Jun 2018

This latest publication out of Oxford University goes into detail about different food types and the impact it has on the environment.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987/tab-pdf

So basically, if one believes in scientific methodology and cares about the environment, one must become a vegan. 

...giving up cheese is going to be hard.

Arms Cliff - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

I can't see the full text as I don't have an appropriate log in, the Grauniad article https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth only has a table of greenhouse gases per 100g of product, does the full text have a table of gases per 100g of protein?

 

Cheers

 

 

jungle - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Arms Cliff:

does the full text have a table of gases per 100g of protein?

Yes it does

 

paul__in_sheffield - on 05 Jun 2018

In reply to 

> ...giving up cheese is going to be hard.

Lots of brilliant cheese substitutes available now, plus the stuff you make youself. BLT with vegan mayo and bacon is really good. I thought it would be like eating ashes and dust, but becoming vegan has been a really positive experience. 

1
Clint86 - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

Just start heading towards becoming a vegan. A little less dairy and meat each week with the occasional treat, and spread the word.

6
balmybaldwin - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

While I have canines in my mouth I will continue to eat meat.

 

The problem isn't what we eat - it's that there are too many people.

21
GrahamD - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

That's the Eskimos stuffed, then.

1
Oceanrower - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Then what? Roasted or fried?

WaterMonkey - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

We didn’t fight our way to the top of the food chain to become vegan or vegetarian 

Post edited at 18:32
13
dsh - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> While I have canines in my mouth I will continue to eat meat.

Ok we evolved to eat meat but it's not necessary now. We have an appendix but we don't eat grass or bark (I'm aware there's multiple theories on the purpose of the appendix)

> The problem isn't what we eat - it's that there are too many people.

True, but what are you going to do though, kill everyone? Or maybe not pass the buck?

I'm a meat eater, but I have been cutting down a lot, starting with beef, and also dairy from cows. We have to start taking accountability as a species, not just making excuses about population or our evolutionary past.

Post edited at 18:33
1
Dr.S at work - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to dsh:

Saying that we are overpopulated is hardly passing the book - we just need to reduce the population. Have less kids, support programs likely to limit population growth in the developing world. Think how our economic model will need to change to accommodate declining populations

1
dsh - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Saying that we are overpopulated is hardly passing the book - we just need to reduce the population. Have less kids, support programs likely to limit population growth in the developing world. Think how our economic model will need to change to accommodate declining populations

I agree that population is a problem but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be reducing our individual carbon footprints as much as possible, especially in the west where it is much higher than the global average, and we have a higher proportion of animal protein in our diets. To say that meat farming isn't a problem but the high population is, is disingenuous, they're both major problems that need solving. Eating less meat is probably the easier one to solve in the short term.

Dr.S at work - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to dsh:

Soylent green ;-)

hokkyokusei - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

The best thing to do is increase living standards in the third world, which will lead to population growth becoming negative.

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

pasbury on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

Another option is to not have so many babies for the next 50 years*.

 

*I don’t mean you specifically.

edit : didn’t read rest of the thread

 

Post edited at 19:43
summo on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to hokkyokusei:

> The best thing to do is increase living standards in the third world

And improve education for women, in the semi developed and 3rd world, move on from religion too. Many cultures for various reasons dictate a womens role is to stay at home and reproduce, then child rear, nothing else. 

Better for them and I can still eat bacon butties.  

 

1
icnoble on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Bacon is a meat product so not vegan

dsh - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to summo:

> And improve education for women, in the semi developed and 3rd world, move on from religion too. Many cultures for various reasons dictate a womens role is to stay at home and reproduce, then child rear, nothing else. 

I agree.

> Better for them and I can still eat bacon butties.  

Well, developed countries consume more meat so no, we should still radically decrease consumption. 

It's like saying I'm not having kids so I can justify driving a V8 Monster. Well why not both?

Post edited at 20:20
1
LeeWood - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

Its not essential to become vegan to make significant change. Rather, to choose meat and dairy which is raised on terrain unsuitable for other crops (ex; goats in steep woodland) and without external cultivated grain/fat supplements.

Which is why labeling will become important so we can make the choice.

 

3
hokkyokusei - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to summo:

I won't disagree with that, though I might argue that it's part of raising living standards

Pan Ron - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to hokkyokusei:

> The best thing to do is increase living standards in the third world, which will lead to population growth becoming negative.

Indeed....though unfortunately third world per capita carbon footprints are typically about a tenth of the first world. 

Waiting for everyone to get wealthier and start having less children is rather kicking the problem a good 50-100 years in to the future.  By which point the required reductions are greater, the deforestation greater, etc.

 

Minneconjou Sioux on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

> Another option is to not have so many babies for the next 50 years*.

>

I think you'll find that we already aren't:

https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/birthrates-are-declining-worldwide-inconsistently-across-regions

paul__in_sheffield - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to icnoble:

> Bacon is a meat product so not vegan

Vegan bacon

doh!

you can buy it at many outlets

yorkshireman - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to LeeWood:

> Its not essential to become vegan to make significant change. Rather, to choose meat and dairy which is raised on terrain unsuitable for other crops (ex; goats in steep woodland) and without external cultivated grain/fat supplements.

This is exactly what I do - all my beef comes from the farmer at one end of the village - all raised locally in this alpine valley - organically and non-intensively fed on nothing but grass and hay.

My milk, yoghurt and cheese comes from the farmer at the other end of the village from the farmer with a herd of 9 cows raised the same way. Bottles and jars are reused too to prevent plastic waste.

I've got 7 chickens and haven't had to buy eggs for years.

One big caveat though is that I'm extremely lucky to be in that position and that won't work for the other 7 billion people on the planet.

bedspring on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> The problem isn't what we eat - it's that there are too many people.

Its both actually. Population growth is tailing off, however meat and dairy consumption is going up as countries develop and their middle classes aspire to a "western" diet. Eating less meat and dairy is a good thing both in environmental terms and in health terms.

mrphilipoldham - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to dsh:

I've started by not reproducing. Having a child must be the most environmentally unfriendly thing you could possibly do. Having the odd bit of chicken or steak will pale into insignificance (and for myself, it is the odd bit. Reducing in favour of eventual vegetarianism)

Post edited at 21:27
2
fotoVUE - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

 

> ...giving up cheese is going to be hard.

 

Vegan cheese is called Gary and it is rubbish.

 

Go part vegan, meat as a treat. That'll help.

 

summo on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to dsh:

> Well, developed countries consume more meat so no, we should still radically decrease consumption. 

> It's like saying I'm not having kids so I can justify driving a V8 Monster. Well why not both?

Philosophically speaking; does it matter in the big universal scheme of things? I do quite a bit in an environmentally conscious manner, but it is only because we as animals have attached some level of importance to certain things, that seem valuable. Artificial value if you like. Regardless of anything we do on earth some life will exist, there have been many mass extinctions previously and eventually the sun will destroy this solar system. 

Ps. Yes I'm quite happy to risk the whole planet for the joy of eating a smoked bacon sandwich with hp sauce. 

6
pasbury on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Weird comment. I have two, if everybody limited themselves similarly (and many would have one or zero children) then the problem will, in the long term, be solved.

Do you give your parents a hard time for making you?

5
mrphilipoldham - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Weird in that it against human nature, perhaps. But it's still correct factually speaking. There's too many people on the planet, as has been discussed above.

No, I don't. Awareness of such environmental issues wasn't as prevalent as it is now. 

1
pasbury on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Those maps are actually pretty mind blowing. The high birth rate timebombs are writ large (look at Brazil and Mexico), China appears to have partially mitigated it’s population timebomb with the one child policy. Humanity faces senescence. Freaky thought.

However these maps (chloropleths) can be misleading. Look at Saudi Arabia; a rapid progression from 10ish to 70ish over 65s per 100 under 65s. But the population of the country is ~33 million. The visual effect is disproportionate to the numbers. A one or two percent change in China would dwarf it. However for the individual areas represented it is important data.

Post edited at 22:58
Chris Harris - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to summo:

> And improve education for women, in the semi developed and 3rd world, move on from religion too. Many cultures for various reasons dictate a womens role is to stay at home and reproduce, then child rear, nothing else. 

 

How about educating the people who tell the women that this is their role?

 

pasbury on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

> How about educating the people who tell the women that this is their role?

Best to just educate everyone. Arguably part of the meaning of the word is that it is an enlightenment of each new generation as it grows up.

Too late for the old farts

LeeWood - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to summo:

> Ps. Yes I'm quite happy to risk the whole planet for the joy of eating a smoked bacon sandwich with hp sauce. 

but are you a parent ? ignoring future probs is inconsistent with launching the next generation

Bob Kemp - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

 

> So basically, if one believes in scientific methodology and cares about the environment, one must become a vegan. 

On the face of it, yes, but how exactly would food production for a world-wide vegan diet scale up? What would the food supply chain look like, and what impacts would the required changes have? What kind of farming would be involved? How would organic farming survive or change? I'm not saying it's impossible, but, as so often, I suspect there are more complexities here than have been considered so far.

 

MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

Many good points above and I'll add that reducing food waste/improving food efficiency would be massive step as well. Estimates range from a third to half of food produced is wasted.

If we vastly improved food efficiency, reduced our meat and dairy intake and yet still used land unsuitable for crop production for sustainable meat and dairy then no one has to move to a restrictive diet, the promotion of which is nearly always ideologically driven because eating animals is somehow now "wrong". Veg as the norm, meat as a treat.

Another recent study showed that mostly vegetarian with small amounts of meat and dairy was the most efficient use of land for food production. Can't be bothered to find a link so you'll just have to take my word for it.

GrahamD - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Another recent study showed that mostly vegetarian with small amounts of meat and dairy ...

What like a meat 'n' two veg diet ?

thomasadixon - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

But only if one thinks that a meta-analysis of all different areas around the world fits with what you should do in your area.  As someone else has pointed out, there's plenty of land, including in the UK, that's just not suitable for growing crops.  It is suitable for growing grass though, and from that we get meat and milk...or we get nothing at all, and have to find more land on which to grow crops.

There should also be some way of taking into account that crop farming causes damage to the land, whereas growing grass is endlessly sustainable - depending on the area, of course.

Can't get the actual study though, I imagine it'd be interesting if I could.

Dr.S at work - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

on the grass growing point - I'm attracted to the idea of grass as a source of domestic gas:

https://evobsession.com/gas-from-grass-an-eco-friendly-biofuel/

 

slightly tangential I know, but another use for non-arable land

RX-78 on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

Is that really true? Look at rice cultivation in Asia on steep mountain sides or potatoes in the Andes. I would guess grass in these areas of the UK is not natural either but a product of animal husbandry so also damaging the 'natural' environment. 

MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

> What like a meat 'n' two veg diet ?

It was more like a 3 veg, 3 veg, 3 veg, 3 veg, meat and 2 veg, 3 veg, meat and 2 veg diet.

thomasadixon - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to RX-78:

Is what true?

How is rice and potato cultivation in totally different environments from the UK relevant?  That's kind of the point really, when I see a study that looks at the UK rather than looking at cows grown on cleared rainforest I'll be more interested.  What the best use is for a particular piece of land is what matters.

Depending on the environment grass doesn't need ploughing, it doesn't need fertiliser, etc, so no nitrogen run off, no soil degradation.  It maintains itself, all you've got to do is put some grazing animals on it.

Dr S - quite interesting though, will have a proper read through later.

Frogger - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

"So basically, if one believes in scientific methodology and cares about the environment, one must..." 

There are many ways of completing this sentence. Our very existence is filled with many avoidable impacts on the environment. Must 'one' give up all climbing trips abroad? How about having pets? Or children? What about not drinking anything other than what comes out of your tap? 

Back on the subject of food, going vegan is pointless as an environmental token if your food is produced abroad in a way that damages ecosystems (e.g. check out the palm oil content in vegan margarine) before being transported around the globe in whatever fashion.

The biggest way we can reduce our impact on the environment in terms of food is:

- Waste nothing (something like 8 million tonnes of food waste go to landfill each year)
- Grow your own food
- When you buy (vegetables, fruit or meat), buy only local. Absolutely do not buy anything from abroad.
- Buy no food that comes in plastic wrapping

Doing these (notably inconvenient) things would be much better for the environment than simply giving up meat and dairy

 

 

1
LeeWood - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Frogger:

> There are many ways of completing this sentence.

Indeed, motivation works differently for us all and the results will add up. However the point of the emerging current research is that from a global perspective meat production is very significant - more so than air travel … if you believe the stats

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/next_flight_to_kalymnos-686867

nathan79 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Frogger:

Very wise words there. Bravo sir. 

Local, sustainable, minimal plastic. 

Seasonal is a vital one imho. Winter can be a bit miserable if I haven't stockpiled enough rasps and brambles in the freezer, but it's a small price to pay for a greater good.

Pan Ron - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to nathan79:

Taking this to the nth degree, our unwillingness to engage in long-distance food markets may undo the livelihoods of those around the world who depend on this income.  Cue reductions in their development slower advancement, potentially pushing them to urbanise and place more pressure on those areas.

It seems the international food trade is something, due to population sizes, that we are pretty much locked in to.  Or at least, a system where food is grown a substantial distance from its point of consumption...where food packaging leads to less spoil and lower carbon footprints than unpackaged food.

I was always somewhat dismissive of the "technology" will save us approach.  But increasingly, and seeing the speed with which AI and electric propulsion (combined with low cost solar and ever closer fusion) is coming online, think that environmental sustainability is far more likely to come as a result of technology than chasing inconvenient and unlikely lifestyle changes.  

I'm certainly unlikely to have a garden any time soon.

2
daftdazza - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to hokkyokusei:

Didn't read the article, but the problem is not population growth, rather third workd developing and using our level of resource consumption, more helpful for us in the west to reduce our meat and resource consumption than hope for world population to decrease.

MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Frogger:

> - When you buy (vegetables, fruit or meat), buy only local. Absolutely do not buy anything from abroad.

On this point I listened to a fellow on R4 (so therefore true) who was saying that the "food miles" on a foodstuff was massively outweighed by the manner in which it was produced. So an organic, sustainably produced onion from Tunisia would have a lower carbon footprint than an intensively farmed one from down the road. Me being me, that sounds vaguely plausible so I've not researched it any further.

jimtitt - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> on the grass growing point - I'm attracted to the idea of grass as a source of domestic gas:

> slightly tangential I know, but another use for non-arable land

Well yes but.....

I look at a bio-gas plant all day (it´s twenty feet from my workbench) and the guys put ten hectares of grass on the heap today. The picture at the top of the article tells one part of the story, a Claas Jaguar and a tractor/trailor collecting the grass which has already been worked twice before and will be worked twice more before it turns into gas (not shown are the other four tractors which will be working at the same time to keep up with the forager). The gas isn´t simply scrubbed to make it usable, there´s more than CO2 in there (our sulphur scrubber cost well over €100,000 alone).

Using intensive farmed high-value feedstock (maize etc) the projected long-term efficiency of our plant is 40%, using grass off poor pasture land it would probably plummet to zero or worse.

Post edited at 19:11
summo on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to LeeWood:

> but are you a parent ? ignoring future probs is inconsistent with launching the next generation

As I said I do quite a lot that would be considered beneficial or lessens the environmental impact, so I doubt my less than weekly bacon sarnie is going to change much. 

It was more of philosophical point of how humans attach values to things, that no other animal does. Yet, we are still the only animal having a large scale negative impact on the planet. Strange world, or least we are a strange species. 

Post edited at 20:12
summo on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> On this point I listened to a fellow on R4 (so therefore true) who was saying that the "food miles" on a foodstuff was massively outweighed by the manner in which it was produced. So an organic, sustainably produced onion from Tunisia would have a lower carbon footprint than an intensively farmed one from down the road. Me being me, that sounds vaguely plausible so I've not researched it any further.

There is a long term problem, that most ignore with north African and some Middle Eastern food sources like Egypt. They are pumping water from deep aquifers to grow high value crops out of season for export. They could firstly be growing more products for their own country, but critically these aquifers don't refill annually, they could in some instances takes decades or more to replenish..  i wonder where the population might want to move to when their country runs out of water. 

jungle - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

All of the cheese substitutes I've tried are awful. Any recommendations?

jungle - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to Frogger:

All spot on. 

krikoman - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

I worked on CHP plants in shit works about 25 year ago, the gases used to eat the engines away, relatively quickly.

I suppose sulphur scrubbers have become more efficient since then. The object at the time was to "treat" the sewage (kill any pathogens) rather than produce energy at the time. I always wanted to investigate how much gas we could get out of the feed stock, rather than how quickly it could be treated and moved on, but never had the time.

Dr.S at work - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

Not that I'm in any way an expert in this area, and would defer to your neighbours Jim, but I think you underestimate grass. From what I can see it can slightly outperform maize - 

Biogas yield in Nm3/t for maize silage,198.0 and for grass silage   216.6.

    Technical assessment of mono-digestion and co-digestion systems for the production of biogas from anaerobic digestion in Brazil    Velásquez Piñas, J.A., Venturini, O.J., Silva Lora, E.E., Calle Roalcaba, O.D.    2018    Renewable Energy
117, pp. 447-458

and grass is much better for the land than maize.

And there is a lot of research in this area, one document I looked at this morning suggested 5% of Northern Ireland's grass crop could provide 36% of its energy needs. 

We are really good at growing grass in the UK and Ireland, have the infrastructure to harvest it, and have the distribution network to use the gas. The substrates can easily be stored (dry or as silage) and so we can sidestep the storage problems associated with many renewable energy sources.

 

jimtitt - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> I worked on CHP plants in shit works about 25 year ago, the gases used to eat the engines away, relatively quickly.

> I suppose sulphur scrubbers have become more efficient since then. The object at the time was to "treat" the sewage (kill any pathogens) rather than produce energy at the time. I always wanted to investigate how much gas we could get out of the feed stock, rather than how quickly it could be treated and moved on, but never had the time.


It´s a toss up with smaller plants (sub 500kW) whether to invest in a scrubber or try to keep the sulphur under control biologically and by tipping in shedloads of iron to bind it. Sure plays havoc in the engines though, mainly the valves and pistons/liners. The bottom end copes if you change the oil enough. The spark plugs last a month We get about 20,000 hrs from the top ends and 60,000hrs from the rest.

jimtitt - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Not that I'm in any way an expert in this area, and would defer to your neighbours Jim, but I think you underestimate grass. From what I can see it can slightly outperform maize - 

> Biogas yield in Nm3/t for maize silage,198.0 and for grass silage   216.6.

>     Technical assessment of mono-digestion and co-digestion systems for the production of biogas from anaerobic digestion in Brazil    Velásquez Piñas, J.A., Venturini, O.J., Silva Lora, E.E., Calle Roalcaba, O.D.    2018    Renewable Energy

> 117, pp. 447-458

> and grass is much better for the land than maize.

> And there is a lot of research in this area, one document I looked at this morning suggested 5% of Northern Ireland's grass crop could provide 36% of its energy needs. 

> We are really good at growing grass in the UK and Ireland, have the infrastructure to harvest it, and have the distribution network to use the gas. The substrates can easily be stored (dry or as silage) and so we can sidestep the storage problems associated with many renewable energy sources.


It´s all green stuff, the economic criteria isn´t the output per ton but the output per hectare and there maize and everything else are far better than grass. Per field double cropping maize and sugar cane/elephant grass hybrid or another grain the guys get four times the yield as grass and that is grass from good agricultural land, not pasturage or marginal grass land.

Grass isn´t "better" for the land compared with crop rotation with soil improvers, deep rooting plants like giant radishes, nitrogen fixers such as beans or peas and so on. Old grass fields have notably poorer yields and poorer ground than the more usual 5 year grass cycle and then other crops. If you don´t continously play about with your lawn it turns into a miserable mess of weeds and moss and farmers fields are no different.

Producing methane from grass is one option but the article linked to was somewhat naaive to say the least, the guy read some advertising from a company promoting it and never investigated further. Using their (optomistic) figures the UK would have to turn most of it´s current pasturage over to grass, at least 6 million hectares from the available 10 million with the obvious consequences to the animal industry leading to increased imports of meat and dairy products and massive unemployment in the associated industries. (The claim of creating 30 jobs for each plant built isn´t counteracted by the number of jobs lost in husbandry and food processing when you put 3000 acres under grass for silage).

The energy input/output balance is the big problem, the plants use around 35% of the energy they produce just to function for heating the tanks and the pumps and agitators and around 12% to produce the feedstock from nearby intansive farmed land, this rockets up once the distances increase and the crop/grass is harder to harvest. Then there´s the slight hassle of the actual construction of the plant, decommisioning at the end of life (there´s a hell of a lot of concrete in the reactors and the silage clamps) and the intervening energy costs of making the machinery (you get through a fair number of tractors!) and in the end you get out 40% as "profit" over the lifetime.

Gas from grass sounds nice (especially if you throw in a few flowery meadows as well) but the reality is whether the UK would be prepared to remove it´s animal and dairy industry and replace it with effectively barren, close-trimmed grass as far as you can see.

Sure, Ireland has a lot of grass. that´s because grass is the last crop down the line, if they could grow anything else they would.

 

Wingeing Old Git - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

Why did the vegan cross the road?

Dave the Rave on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Hi Paul

Is the vegan bacon highly processed.

Ive only ever tried the quorn version which was ok and easy to cook when camping.

krikoman - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

> The spark plugs last a month We get about 20,000 hrs from the top ends and 60,000hrs from the rest.

I've often wondered whether it might be worth "simply" creating stream and then using a turbine to create the electricity.

jimtitt - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

There´s plenty of microturbine systems around, there´s one down the road from me (biogas plants are everywhere around here, I pass 9 going to work). The ones I´ve seen pass the gas through a conditioner which removes all the particulates, the hydrogen sulphide, water and siloxanes and compresses it at the same time to feed the turbine. They are a bit down on efficiency compared to an engine, collecting the heat is more difficult and a bit complex for the average farmer, mending a Duetz is easy for them! The biggest manufacturer is Capstone in the USA.

krikoman - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

Cheers, I'll have a look when I get chance.

WaterMonkey - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to jungle:

> All of the cheese substitutes I've tried are awful. Any recommendations?


Eat cheese

Moondancer - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

This can be partly true (like so many things in life ;)). Emissions from transport vary significantly depending on form of transport, they can be fairly small if shipped rather than flown in. Emissions from production are generally much higher than those from transport, and eating local is not always best. Eating local & seasonal is almost guaranteed to be best, but apart from that you're better off buying tomatoes grown outside in Spain than buying ones that have grown in heated green houses down the road.

That's just emissions though. As others have pointed out the impact of food is also about land use, water use, etc, - as well as of course human health, which makes the issue so complex.

Fun (?) fact: 'not from concentrate' orange juice that you find in supermarket fridges does not need to be refrigerated at all (at least not before opening). Supermarkets primarily keep it in fridges because consumers prefer it that way - it makes it seem more natural/fresh/healthy. It's carbon content is also about 2.5x higher than the (generally) 'from concentrate' juice that you find on the non-refrigerated shelves.

 

 

MonkeyPuzzle - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Moondancer:

That's a really good fact and something I'll be mindful of on my shop this afternoon.

Wilberforce - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Frogger:

> The biggest way we can reduce our impact on the environment in terms of food is:

> - Waste nothing (something like 8 million tonnes of food waste go to landfill each year)

> - Grow your own food

> - When you buy (vegetables, fruit or meat), buy only local. Absolutely do not buy anything from abroad.

> - Buy no food that comes in plastic wrapping

> Doing these (notably inconvenient) things would be much better for the environment than simply giving up meat and dairy

Or eat people – the only food with negative emissions. Hannibal Lecter was ahead of his time; today he'd be an eco-vigilante tweeting recipes and attacks on wealthy industrialists to highlight supply chain ethics.

But in all seriousness, intensive meat and dairy food production is inordinately wasteful. LeeWood makes a reasonable argument with regards land use efficiency, since a lot of marginal soil is unsuitable for cropping, but this argument only applies to herbivorous grazers that are actually grazing. Feeding pigs and chickens with corn that humans could eat is insanity, as is feeding soya protein to feed-lot cattle. The craziest thing of all is that alternative systems of production can be simultaneously more efficient, higher in welfare, lower in emissions and far better for biodiversity than conventional farming.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3790492/

 

Timmd on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Saying that we are overpopulated is hardly passing the book - we just need to reduce the population. Have less kids, support programs likely to limit population growth in the developing world. Think how our economic model will need to change to accommodate declining populations

On one level I think it 'is' passing the buck, in the sense that one already exists, and however many children one has already had (if any), killing any of them isn't going to happen - so it becomes about other people. It's saying other people need to do X and Y, rather than oneself go veggie or vegan (within the context of this thread).

A diet change is something definite and practical which oneself can do in the near future - should one decide to take responsibility (I currently eat meat but have been reducing the amount)...

Post edited at 01:49
LeeWood - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Wilberforce:

So … does anybody eat goat meat - how does it compare with beef ? Is it merely economics which determine cattle to be the premier meat provider ?

I was born vegetarian so I had no choice - no effort of will to boast. However it is possible I once ate goat meat. After trekking through the Zanskar valley I continued towards Kargil, arriving at a small village by nightfall ( possibly Pannikher in my Lonely Planet guide ). A young lad offered me hospitality and so it was, I sat down to eat  in the presence of 3-4 family generations, seated or lying around a large candle-lit room. Nobody spoke english and I was grateful for the shared generosity of the moment. When handed a dish of steaming potage it was neither etiquette nor faesible to question its contents … but there was an unfamiliar chewy texture within … and I had passed a more than a few goat herds in the valley ...

cander - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Flipping amazing, that’s the first time I’ve ever read a post on here that has completely turned my received wisdom on a subject on its head - well done for posting that.

mal_meech on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> ...there's plenty of land, including in the UK, that's just not suitable for growing crops.  It is suitable for growing grass though, and from that we get meat and milk...or we get nothing at all, and have to find more land on which to grow crops.

^This... local husbandry farming is more sustainable than international mono-crop deliveries. Reducing the miles on your plate is far better for the planet.

Plus, the CO2 stats are pretty misleading, as they include what the animal produces in its lifetime... going vegan reduces this by assuming the animals are all dead / taken out of the equation... I’d rather see less people

Post edited at 08:36
Bob Kemp - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to LeeWood:

I’ve eaten barbecued goat in Portugal and found it rather like mutton, more strongly flavoured than lamb. Also eaten it in a curry, where the difference was less obvious.  

I don’t know much about the economics but your question prompted me to do a quick search and I found the interesting claim here: 

https://www.treehugger.com/green-food/goat-meat-as-an-ethical-alternative-to-beef.html

that goat is the premier form of meat production worldwide. (Haven’t had a chance to check that yet.) This also makes some interesting points about environmental impacts, again not fac-checked. 

LeeWood - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> 70% of the world's red meat consumption is accounted for by goat

Thats significant ! but does this reflect negatively in the eco-aspects of meat production ? I rather imagine that goat meat is more frequently eaten in less developed countries where they are farmed less intensively.

But I note tree hugger doesn't name rugged terrain for better land-use - rather focusing on kg/metre/sq in pasture. Neither do they speak of disease resistance - I believe goats are not susceptible to TB - a significant advantage in the UK - would also solve the badger problem  

Bob Kemp - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to LeeWood:

Good questions and  points. Highlights the complexity of the whole meat production system and the difficulty of making decisions about how to change it. 


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