| ||Compound Could Reduce Methane Emissions from Cattle |
John Maday, Bovine Veterinarian | May 04, 2016
An international team of researchers have demonstrated that feeding a compound known as 3–nitrooxypropanol (3–NOP) could reduce ruminant methane emissions without any apparent negative effects. Their report, titled "Mode of action uncovered for the specific reduction of methane emissions from ruminants by the small molecule 3–nitrooxypropanol," is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), also notes that the additive could reduce the volume of feed energy currently lost to methane emissions, instead channeling that energy to growth.
Denmark Explores Meat Tax to Help the Planet
Amanda Radke, BEEF Magazine | May 03, 2016
The idea that beef is a driving force behind climate change(if you believe Al Gore and think climate change is real anyway) is ridiculous and has been further perpetuated by a false study released in 2006 by the United Nations called "Livestock's Long Shadow," which said that livestock production contributes to 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions. According to University of California, Davis, Professor Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., "In the U.S., the entire livestock and feed sector contributes 4.2% to the U.S. total carbon footprint.
Despite the efforts the industry has made to debunk these myths, it seems the misconception is here to say. Heck, even our U.S. government in 2015 wanted to make changes to our dietary guidelines based on biased information about meat production and the environment. While the industry was able to curtail that from completely happening, it looks like other governments didn't get the memo.
According to an Independent article written by Adam Withal, "Denmark is considering proposals to introduce a tax on red meat, after a government think tank came to the conclusion that 'climate change is an ethical problem.'
"The Danish Council of Ethics recommended an initial tax on beef, with a view to extending the regulation to all red meats in future. It said that in the long term, the tax should apply to all foods at varying levels depending on climate impact."
Livestock's Contributions to Climate Change: Facts and Fiction
Frank Mitloehner, AFIA
A white paper, defining the role animal agriculture and other sectors of society play in their respective contribution of greenhouse gases, as the societal concerns grow to seek a sustainable global future.
"One argument often made is U.S. livestock GHG emissions from cows, pigs, sheep and chickens are comparable to all transportation sectors from sources such as cars, trucks, planes, trains, etc. The argument suggests the solution of limiting meat consumption, starting with "Meatless Mondays," which will show a significant impact on total emissions. When divorcing political fiction from scientific facts around the quantification of GHG from all sectors of society, one finds a different picture. Leading scientists throughout the U.S., as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA1 ) have quantified the impacts of livestock production in the U.S., which accounts for 4.2%2 of all GHG emissions, very far from the 18% to 51% range that advocates often cite. Comparing the 4.2% GHG contribution from livestock to the 27% from the transportation sector, or 31% from the energy sector in the U.S. brings all contributions to GHG into perspective.
Rightfully so, the attention at COP21 was focused on the combined sectors consuming fossil fuels, as they contribute more than half of all GHG in the U.S.
USDA Awards $16 Million for Research into Sustainable Crop and Livestock Production Methods
USDA Press Release | May 03, 2016
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded $16.5 million in grants to support research into methods for boosting agriculture productivity and ensuring food security in the face of pests, diseases and a changing climate. In addition, USDA announced that it is seeking applications for the next round of projects, which will focus on pollinator health and plant and animal phenomics. The grants are made available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Study Finds Eating Less Beef Crucial To More Sustainable Future
Ruby Shao, The Daily Princetonian | May 05, 2016
Eating less beef is essential to ensuring a sustainable food supply in the coming decades, according to an April 20 working paper whose co–authors include University affiliates Timothy Searchinger and Xin Zhang.
"When you count the land use implications of meat diets, and above all beef, the greenhouse gas emissions are much, much, much higher than vegetarian or more vegetable–oriented diets," said Searchinger, a research scholar in the Wilson School. Searchinger serves as a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, the global research organization that released the report.
Sustainable Win/Win for Beef
Laura Conaway, High Plains Journal | May 05, 2016
Change often comes with a price, so when it's intentional, outcome benefits should always outweigh costs.
That part of being "sustainable" certainly applies to ongoing efforts to reduce the beef system's environmental impact. Research at Washington State University led by animal scientist Robin White explored management practices to help in that quest while increasing profits for cattlemen. She continues that work today at Virginia Tech. The effort began with the premise that reducing the carbon footprint is an incomplete goal.
"If we're going to ask people to take steps to lessen the environmental impact of their operations, we certainly hope we can show that those steps will improve their efficiency and profitability," White said.