Document Detail

Eating beef: cattle, methane and food production.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23353606     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
A number of prominent people have advocated eating less meat or becoming a vegetarian to reduce global warming, because cattle produce the greenhouse gas methane. This raises a number of questions including: what will happen to the grasslands that much of the world's cattle currently graze; how will alternate protein be produced, and what will the greenhouse consequences of that production be? It comes down to production systems. About 70 per cent of the world's agricultural land is grassland, and the only way to produce food from grasslands is to graze ruminants on it. If domesticated animals do not graze the grasslands, native or feral ruminants, which also produce methane, tend to move in. Feeding high quality grain to cattle is much less defensible. Replacing animal protein with plant proteins like soybeans necessitates more cropping land, water, fuel and chemicals being used. A more rational food system would raise cattle on grasslands but not feed them high quality grains. Instead more of the currently grown crop could be devoted to human consumption.
Asa K Wahlquist
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition     Volume:  22     ISSN:  0964-7058     ISO Abbreviation:  Asia Pac J Clin Nutr     Publication Date:  2013  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-28     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9440304     Medline TA:  Asia Pac J Clin Nutr     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  16-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Freelance rural writer, PO Box 427, Glebe, NSW, 2037 Australia.
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