Meat Consumption Battered by Corona Crisis

April 28, 2020

New York Times:

The farmers and ranchers who supply the nation with hamburgers, pork chops, T-bone steaks and chicken fingers now confront several crises at once: Large processing plants are shutting downas workers fall ill, many producers were already strained by the trade war with China, and the sudden rise of plant-based “fake” meat alternatives had been starting to capture Americans’ imaginations.

On top of that, the meat business had been attracting growing scrutiny for its climate change consequences in recent years, with scientists and environmentalists urging Americans to eat less meat, particularly beef.

Cattle have an outsized environmental impact largely because they belch up methane, a potent planet-warming gas. Studies have found that beef production creates roughly four to eight times the emissions from pork, chicken or egg production, per gram of protein, and all have a larger climate-change footprint than plant-based proteins like soy or beans.

The biggest short-term disruption is the fact that a growing number of meat processing plants — where workers slaughter livestock and package food products — are shutting down as employees get sick from the coronavirus.

On April 12, Smithfield Foods said it was closing its Sioux Falls, S.D., plant indefinitely after 230 workers became infected. The facility processes roughly 5 percent of the nation’s pork. In Greeley, Colo., where at least four meatpacking workers have died, one of the nation’s largest beef-processing plants has shut down. Other plants in Iowa and Pennsylvania have also closed temporarily.

Plants like these are at the heart of a $140 billion meat industry that processes some 9 billion chickens, 32 million cattle and 121 million hogs each year. On the whole, agriculture accounts for 9 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with livestock responsible for roughly two-fifths of that, much of it because of methane from burping cows and decomposing animal manure.

After the financial crisis in 2008, Americans cut back on meat in favor of eggs, nuts and legumes. The average person went from eating more than 200 pounds of meat per year down to around 185 pounds by 2012. Beef and pork declined significantly in favor of lower-cost chicken. Meat consumption eventually bounced back to pre-recession levels by 2018, though beef never fully recovered.

One climate consequence of that: The emissions associated with producing food for American diets fell roughly 10 percent between 2005 and 2014, according to estimates by the Natural Resources Defense Council, mainly because people were eating less beef. (Ranchers have been steadily exporting more beef, however, to countries like Mexico and China, where meat eating is on the rise as incomes grow.)

Any drop in meat eating wouldn’t necessarily affect everyone equally: One recent study found that about 20 percent of Americans account for 41 percent of emissions related to food production, because they consume a disproportionately large amount of beef and dairy.

Reuters:

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Millions of pounds of beef, pork and chicken will vanish from U.S. grocery stores as livestock and poultry processing plants have been shuttered by coronavirus outbreaks among workers, the chairman of Tyson Foods Inc said.

John Tyson warned that the U.S. “food supply chain is breaking” as a growing number of plant closures have left farmers with fewer options to market and process livestock. 

Tyson Foods announced last week that it would shutter two pork processing plants, including its largest in the United States, and a beef facility to contain the spread of the virus. 

Other major meat processors like JBS USA [JBS.UL] and Smithfield Foods have closed facilities in recent weeks as cases of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have soared among plant workers. 

More than 5,000 U.S. meat and food-processing workers have been infected with or exposed to the virus, and 13 have died, the country’s largest meatpacking union said Thursday. 

Companies say they are checking workers’ temperatures, working with local health officials and taking other steps to prevent the spread of the virus. 

It is unclear how soon meat processing plants may reopen. 

“There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed,” John Tyson said in a release published on Sunday.

USAToday:

A rash of coronavirus outbreaks at dozens of meatpacking plants across the nation is far more extensive than previously thought, according to an exclusive review of cases by USA TODAY and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. 

And it could get worse. More than 150 of America’s largest meat processing plants operate in counties where the rate of coronavirus infection is already among the nation’s highest, based on the media outlets’ analysis of slaughterhouse locations and county-level COVID-19 infection rates.

These facilities represent more than 1 in 3 of the nation’s biggest beef, pork and poultry processing plants. Rates of infection around these plants are higher than those of 75% of other U.S. counties, the analysis found. 

And while experts say the industry has thus far maintained sufficient production despite infections in at least 2,200 workers at 48 plants, there are fears that the number of cases could continue to rise and that meatpacking plants will become the next disaster zones.

Initially our concern was long-term care facilities,” said Gary Anthone, Nebraska’s chief medical officer, in a Facebook Live video Sunday. “If there’s one thing that might keep me up at night, it’s the meat processing plants and the manufacturing plants.”

But experts say there’s little risk of a dwindling protein supply because, given the choice between worker safety and keeping meat on grocery shelves, the nation’s slaughterhouses will choose to produce food.

“If this goes on for a long time, there is a reality of a shortage,” said Joshua Specht, an assistant professor of history at the University of Notre Dame who studies the meat industry. “The politics of this could play out that they reopen at enormous risks to workers, rather than face an actual shortage … I wouldn’t bet against that.”

The meatpacking industry already has been notorious for poor working conditions even before the coronavirus pandemic. Meat and poultry employees have among the highest illness rates of all manufacturing employees and are less likely to report injuries and illness than any other type of worker, federal watchdog reports have found. 

And the plants have been called out numerous times for refusing to let their employees use the bathroom, even to wash their hands – one of the biggest ways to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

21 Responses to “Meat Consumption Battered by Corona Crisis”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    Animals treated worse than goods.

  2. Keith McClary Says:

    Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis is a migrant-worker crisis, too
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-albertas-covid-19-crisis-is-a-migrant-worker-crisis-too/
    “The 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death tied to an Albertan meat-packing plant are unquestionably tragic. The Cargill plant in High River, Alta., temporarily ceased operations last week following the most serious COVID-19 outbreak in Canada, with cases linked to that plant constituting about a quarter of all cases in the province.

    But it must also be understood in its broader context, beyond this pandemic. While this tragedy seems unique to this crisis, this outbreak has only exposed Canada and Alberta’s dependence on temporary labour migration and immigrant workers, the particular vulnerabilities they face, and the deep inequities in Canada’s occupational health and safety system.

    Media reports and accounts from community advocates have indicated that most of the workers at the meat-packing plant came here from abroad, including many as temporary foreign workers. This is in line with what the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recently found, which is that workers who have been deemed “essential” are also disproportionately racialized. Immigrant workers earn less than the Canadian average and lack access to basic protections, including paid sick leave. These workers are systematically disadvantaged with respect to workplace safety, despite the rights due to them under the Employment Standards and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.”

    Another packing plant has Covid-19 (combined they supply most of Canada’s beef and export to US). Also, the Tar Sands which Kenney has decreed to be an essential service.

  3. Gingerbaker Says:

    “Cattle have an outsized environmental impact largely because they belch up methane, a potent planet-warming gas. Studies have found that beef production creates roughly four to eight times the emissions from pork, chicken or egg production, per gram of protein, and all have a larger climate-change footprint than plant-based proteins like soy or beans.”

    What a crock.

    The emissions from pork, chicken, egg are minuscule. And so are the emissions from beef – less than 2% of total US emissions. Which shouldn’t be counted at all, because all that grass they eat would produce emissions all on its own.

    Let me write some hyperbolic copy about that semi-godlike soy or bean protein to give some perspective:

    “Unlike beef, which is supplied naturally by contented animals eating nothing but organic grass and natural rainfall, soy and bean proteins, which are associated with allergies and autoimmune disease, have to be produced synthetically with enormous environmental consequences.

    Huge tracts of the planet, which could be supporting grazing animals, is instead torn asunder by gigantic machines which burn megatons of fossil fuels belching millions of tons of greenhouse gases in order to grow these so-called “health crops”. Enormous quantities of synthetic fertilizers a need to be produced and spread copiously on these crops, causing even more GHG emissions. And, just when you thought you were safe, more pollution is emitted because these unnecessary food stuffs require pesticides for their growth. Pesticides are poisons which collect in the bodies of every animal on the planet.

    These soy and bean products then require enormous amounts of irrigation water and we are running out of that. Then, another round of diesel-belching farm equipment to harvest the “crops” and then the most devastating statistic of all:

    90% of that harvest biomass is waste! And not inert waste, no siree. It is an environmental time bomb waiting to explode with greenhouse gas emissions not just of CO2, but with deadly methane – a gas that is 82 TIMES MORE POTENT THAN CO2!

    Thankfully, our angelic grazing animals can protect the planet from that nasty biowaste, cleverly eating it as food, and then taking the rap for the GHG emissions they would have produced all on their own.

    Unfortunately, our tale does not end here. Those soy and bean crops then have to be transported to manufacturing mega-plants created more GHG emissions and requiring more water usage, as they are processed and reprocessed into synthetic food supplements that are hidden in the very foods you think are healthy for you.

    All in all, our vegetable agriculture, which includes a lot of these soy and beans produces 50% more GHG emissions (!!) than the ENTIRE livestock sector, which produces hundreds of products other than meat, milk and eggs.

    This is why scientists and consumer groups are urging us to restrict our intake of these soy and bean proteins, and instead to consume more healthy environmentally-friendly meats”

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      Jeezum, apologies about the bold formatting. 😦

    • Keith McClary Says:

      Where are you quoting that from?

    • J4Zonian Says:

      Sorry, Ginger but just like the same arguments comparing rice emissions to livestock, the thing about soy is, to hit it on the hoof, bullshit. 75-85% of the world soy crop FEEDS LIVESTOCK! About 6% goes into tofu, tempeh, miso, edamame, soy sauce, etc.—mostly in Asia. You know, the way it’s been done for centuries, not calling it “so-called health crops” (which nobody ever calls it) but, you know, “food”…which is nevertheless very healthy. The result is their dramatically smaller food carbon footprint and lower rates of cancer, heart disease and dying young. However, all those are rising as they eat more meat because it’s advertised at them by Western media. Most of the rest is used for oil. And the residue of that is…wait for it…yes, fed to livestock.

      If left on its own, grassland kept from becoming forest, etc. by climate and/or wild grazing mostly grows perennial grasses. Over thousands of years they sequester carbon in huge amounts, and create deep, organically rich soils subsequently squandered and flushed into streams and the sea by the last 75 years of increasingly meat-centered industrial agriculture.

      Belching machines don’t need to be used, nor do fertilizers or pesticides. Nor do intentionally bad arguments. As long as we’re on an agricultural theme, we might as well remember they’re called strawpeople. Best practice—what we need to be comparing worst practices like too much meat to—demand small-scale low-meat organic perennials-based permaculture. And honesty in discussing things.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        Interesting, isn’t it, how your numbers on soy nearly exactly match the biomass figures for soy. Although I am sure you are right that lots of soya beans also make it into livestock feed around the world – our soya bean crop is one of our valuable exports.

        But I would not be so fast to call soy protein food extremely healthy. It IS associated with various maladies, and it IS a highly processed food, insinuating itself everywhere.

        I do not have figures for the food carbon footprint around the world, but the stat I used for veggie ag in the US is true – 50% higher GHG emissions. Our farming techniques, both veggie and livestock are the most efficient in the world, so I have my doubts whether other socvieties food carbon footprint is lower than ours. Rice farming, for example, is very high.

        I also would not be so quick to ascribe health benefits to these things.Turns out that the data re meat and cancer and heart disease, etc is extremely bad. Our bad western health is much more likely to be properly ascribed to our gigantic carbohydrate consumption, which those early meat health studies exaggerated on purpose when new food pyramids were being promulgated to push carbs. We now have a nation of obese Type 2 diabetics. This is, in fact, happening again with multinationals pushing meat substitutes, which they happen to sell, while preaching the evils of meat.

        I will need a source for your claim that grasslands have suffered from livestock grazing. It seems absurd on its face. Plenty of data on the soil benefits of grazing herbivores. What we are seeing is climate change and aridification.

        Belching machines don’t need to be used, nor do fertilizers and pesticides?!? Did you just smoke some weed? If we want to feed the world – and I assure you it is a good idea – we are going to continue to raise livestock and use fertilizers and pesticides.

        Meat and other foodstuffs from livestock are most assuredly NOT worst practice, they are best practice, they are popular, and they are not going away. That’s fantasy.

        Re my honesty – be careful with that, sir. I clearly labeled what I wrote as hyperbole. Nevertheless, there were substantial nuggets of truth in that statement. And I assure you, I can defend everything I say about livestock with proof sources.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        And, btw, the main use for soy is not animal feed, but oil production. Soya oil is used for everything, from cooking oil, to plastics, to bio-diesel. Then you have all sorts of soy protein products, besides tofu. A huge one is lecithin – used everywhere. Soy protein goes into breads. Soy bran also.

        Finally there is soy meal, almost all of which is fed to livestock and pets. Cows consume 15% of this, most of it goes to pigs and fowl.

        So, yeah, we grow a lot of soy. About half gets exported. Some soy beans do go directly into animal feed, oil and all, but the main products is oil. Soy oil is by far the most produced vegetable oil.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          “[Soy] IS associated with various maladies, and it IS a highly processed food, insinuating itself everywhere.”

          It’s associated with all kinds of things by obsessional foodies; I don’t know of any scientific evidence for those extreme beliefs. Some people can’t eat soy without problems, yes. Some people can die from eating peanuts; milk is a problem for many.

          Soy is processed, yes. Highly? No. Not for traditional foods, which are the onliest ones I’m endorsing herein. Dried apricots, bread, cheese, jam, and covfefe er, coffee are processed. Anything cooked or cut is processed. Raw mushrooms are associated with higher cancer rates; cooked mushrooms with lowering cancer risk. Kidney beans, cashews, nutmeg, elderberries, & other foods are poisonous raw. So sometimes processing is necessary to make food more edible, nutritious, or safe. Conflating and rejecting all food processes is silly, by which I mean worse than useless.
          www[DOT]fromthegrapevine[DOT]com/israeli-kitchen/foods-are-more-nutritious-when-cooked

          Soy “insinuat[es] itself everywhere”? Wow, soy sounds like a really evil bean. A bein’ with bad intent. We should lock it up.

          “50% higher GHG emissions. Our farming techniques, both veggie and livestock are the most efficient in the world”

          is that higher emissions per pound? No. Per Calorie? No. If it’s total, I’m sure you see how misleading that is, since we eat many times more plant food than animal food. Plants are by far the biggest part of the world’s diet. Is the grain and soy grown for livestock included in the plant food figures when calculating total carbon, etc.?

          The efficiency thing is a lie promulgated by industrial ag institutions. There’s only one way it’s efficient and that turns out to be bad—it employs fewer people than any other way to grow food. Industrial ag is actually the most wasteful food system ever devised. It takes many times more energy to create one Calorie of food energy than any other system, including the Tsembaga’s, described in the fascinating lay anthropological study Pigs for the Ancestors by Roy Rappaport. The superb little teaching guide Energy and Order, by Mark Terry and Paul Witt (now unfortunately out of print) had classroom activities from basic science to some about the inefficiencies of our industrial waste…er food system.

          “Interesting, isn’t it, how your numbers on soy nearly exactly match the biomass figures for soy.”
          No, not really, even if they do, which is far from clear to me. Is there a point you want to make with facts rather than, like base, villainous, reprobate soy, by insinuating?

          “Although I am sure you are right that lots of soya beans also make it into livestock feed around the world – our soya bean crop is one of our valuable exports.”
          Huh?
          Is there a point to that, and if so, is it yours, or mine? You’re the one who hates the ungodly crop.

          Your assertions about research and conspiracy theories are in doubt, to say the least. Several of your repeated claims were answered already; apparently you missed it where I wrote “etc.” etc.

          It makes sense to raise livestock or hunt where it’s too cold, too rocky, too high or too dry to grow sufficient plant foods for the human population to coexist with nature. Those places have traditionally produced meat-centered diets; they’ve also traditionally supported human densities on the order of a thousand or ten thousand times less than the populations we have now. It also makes sense to raise small numbers of livestock on waste, for dairy, egg, wool production, and tiny amounts of meat, in small-scale permaculture systems geared to supporting plant production. I’ve done that with quail, ducks, geese, chickens, dairy goats, and Angora rabbits, with detailed plans for dairy and wool sheep, and silkworms. All small parts of a plant-centered permaculture farm.

          To deny that overgrazing has been destructive is just silly. Let’s dispense with that. And the strawpeople.

          “Meat and other foodstuffs from livestock are most assuredly NOT worst practice, they are best practice, they are popular, and they are not going away. That’s fantasy.”

          Very small amounts of meat on average, locally produced and eaten, make sense. The amounts of industrial meat eaten by the rich depend on imperial conquest of bioregions and cultures, and inequality enforced by violence and the threat of it, because reproduced for all it would wreck the world by using many times the land and water (fisheries) that exist on Earth.

          The fantasy is to think civilization can survive without drastic change, but that’s what many rich people ask, just regarding their own addiction of course: You poor dark people have to become fewer so I can pretend for a while longer that it’s possible for me to keep [fill in the blank]—eating lotsa meat, industrial agging, my outsized armies, my car, my bigmanlymachine bias and my untrammeled right to oppress others… for example. At the worst, it’s everything for me, you dead.

          Coronavirus and other diseases, pollution, war, poverty, and other imposed conditions are calculations both conscious and un: I’m going to keep eating meat, driving, indulging in whatever I want, knowing it’s unsustainable [that means it can’t last; it will destroy its own foundation] because I know that the people who will suffer and die first and most will be Others that I project onto, scapegoat, externalize upon… and wish harm to.

          “proof sources” Well, whatever those are, there’s no such thing in science. It’s tough in such a limited space, but if you have evidence that’s not just anecdotal, have at it.

          “I was just joking” is not a legitimate defense; using hyperbole to give plausible deniability for claims you actually are making is dishonest (maybe with yourself) and doesn’t change the fact that you made them. And then restated them in the next post. If you disagree with what you said, please clarify or retract it so we can move on to talking honestly about reality.

          We have to reduce GHGs by at least 90% in the next 10 years or risk exponentially rising chances of being unable to. The rest of the reductions have to happen right after, and we have to immediately reverse deforestation and switch to regenerative ag to sequester carbon. If any sector falls short, others have to make up for it, but that will only work for a few years if that. In short order we have to get all sectors essentially to zero. Even then, survival is in doubt, so any error must be on the side of over-reducing rather than under.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Again with the rice thing, Every time I go for brevity I regret it; it so often prolongs the argument. Rice is like the vegetable argument. Yes, it creates more emissions. It provides more food. See how that works? (That’s not even counting the common permaculture method that also provides fish, duck meat, eggs, etc. See below.)

          Can we do better? Absolutely, which is what I advocate for. Some ways in which we definitely need to do better are for the rich to eat less meat; to get rid of industrial ag; to switch to small-scale networked low-meat perennials-based organic permaculture. The climate, ecological, and other benefits of all those are clear scientifically, except “permaculture” which is a collection of principles, and traditionally, certain methods that are mostly shown to be better.


          www[DOT]visualcapitalist[DOT]com/visualising-the-greenhouse-gas-impact-of-each-food/

          magarticles[DOT]magzter[DOT]com/articles/5382/265859/5a8f23d5c0531/Indian-Runner-Ducks[DOT]jpg

          In South and Southeast Asia, Indian Runner ducks, bred especially to be herded, are often used, traditionally walking from village to paddy every day with farmers, eating pests and weeds, oxygenating water, adding nutrients. In Japan, Aigamo ducks are used and the system is named after them by Takao Furuno, the Japanese organic pioneer of the method there. (It’s been used for 3000 years in China.) No fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides are needed, and the crop is not just rice but duck eggs and meat, feathers and fertilizer, so even with watery rice paddies the emissions are shared with the other crops, and nutrition and profits are improved tremendously. The lack of fertilizer reduces emissions even more, and the lack of pesticides obviously makes the farm and all the land and water around it more benign and able to sustain a vital natural ecosystem.

          Edible forest gardens or food forests are multi-species, multi-story* savannah-like food, medicine, and material production systems that can produce more per acre than single-crop chemical industrial agriculture, and produce much more varied, often year-round crops. They’re the height, so to speak, of a guild, a multi-species community whose simplest expression is Three Sisters horticulture—corn, beans, and squash grown together so corn provides stalks for the beans which provide needed nitrogen for the corn and squash, squash covers the ground by summer, keeping it cool and moist, attracting beneficial insects and mining and sequestering several minerals for the other sisters. Jane Mt. Pleasant at Cornell has shown higher yields per acre than industrial monoculture of the 3 foods.

          * up to 7 layers in the tropics, 4-5 in temperate and Mediterranean areas. See:
          Gaia’s Garden, Toby Hemenway; temperate permaculture
          Edible Forest Gardens, Jacke & Toensmeier; inspiring, exhaustive 2 vol. set
          Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier
          various books by Bill Mollison, originator of permaculture

          • Gingerbaker Says:

            ” I don’t know of any scientific evidence for those extreme beliefs.”

            Then you should read more – soy IS associated with certain health concerns:
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480510/

            And what I said was introduced as => deliberate “hyperbole”. That’s not “dishonesty” as you put it, it’s a rhetorical device. FFS.

            “Soy is processed, yes. Highly? No. Not for traditional foods, which are the onliest ones I’m endorsing herein.”

            Your personal tastes are irrelevant to whether soy is highly processed into foods the rest of the world eats. Soy is one of the most highly processed foods in the world. It makes its way into literally hundreds of products using all sorts of chemistries and is used in virtually all fields of manufacture. Stuff like polyurethanes, paints, inks, driers, diluents, plasticizers, coatings, sealers, resins,candles,

            For foods, it goes into margarines, mayo, prepared foods etc. When you look at a food labels and see terms like lecithin, polypropylene glycol, emulsifier, methyl ester, surfactant, fatty acids, wax, shortening, hydrolysed protein,fillers, MSG. mono diglyceride – all of these things are highly processed soy. 60% of highly processed foods contain soy protein, by-products, or essential fats.

            ““50% higher GHG emissions. Our farming techniques, both veggie and livestock are the most efficient in the world”

            is that higher emissions per pound? No. Per Calorie? No. If it’s total, I’m sure you see how misleading that is, since we eat many times more plant food than animal food. Plants are by far the biggest part of the world’s diet.

            Not by far. Livestock provides a very substantial part of the worlds protein and calories. Milk, eggs, meat, cheese provide absolutely essential nutrition to the majority of the world’s poor.

            You don’t like the statistics on GHG emissions? Tough – talk to the EPA. That’s how they report it.

            “The efficiency thing is a lie promulgated by industrial ag institutions. There’s only one way it’s efficient and that turns out to be bad—it employs fewer people than any other way to grow food.”

            We have now entered La-La Land, where J4z claims modern ag efficiency is a lie and also that it IS so efficient it is bad. Weirdness.

            “You’re the one who hates the ungodly crop.”

            Sure, that’s me – soyaphobe. Look, since you have missed it twice already, let me tell you once again: I WAS DELIBERATELY WRITING HYPERBOLE. Which I introduced, announced, indicating, and warned in the very text AS HYPERBOLE. It’s a rhetorical device called “Humor”.

            After that, you give up on being cogent and just start ranting about brown people and the horrible dishonesty of me using humor to point out the hypocrisy of anti meat hyperbole.

            You are one strange dude. And quite a dick.

          • J4Zonian Says:

            Ginger,

            As I specifically stated (without the deceptive plausible deniability of hyperbole or similar prevarications) some people have trouble eating soy.

            Those not using science as mere bias confirmation note the following in YOUR linked article:
            “depending upon the specific circumstance, they can act as…”
            “They are not especially potent, however, and activity varies by…”
            “isoflavones may also interfere with…”
            “Such activities have potential benefits—if they occur in the body. Caution is necessary when predicting in vivo potency from in vitro systems.”

            And so on. You might want to reconsider arrogance and insults when you’re shown to be completely wrong by the facts you present yourself.

            “which are the onliest ones I’m endorsing herein”
            You’re attacking me for my opinions about what should happen. I said only a few things should happen and you continue to attack me for the things I specifically excluded. Almost everything yu said was true now, isn’t.

            3 plants provide 65% of humans’ Calories, 15 plants supply 90%… etc.
            FAO and other sources

            GB: “emissions from pork, chicken, egg are minuscule. And so are the emissions from beef…”
            Nope.

            “…beef – less than 2% of total US emissions”
            Like most of what you wrote that wasn’t wrong, this is completely beside the point being made.

            GB: “all that grass they eat would produce emissions all on its own.”
            Nope.

            GB: “the main use for soy is not animal feed, but oil production.”
            Nope.

            GB: ” the stat I used for veggie ag in the US is true – 50% higher GHG emissions.”
            Nope.

            GB:”Our farming techniques, both veggie and livestock are the most efficient in the world…”
            Nope.

            GB: “Enormous quantities of synthetic fertilizers…need to be produced and spread copiously on these crops”
            Nope.

            GB: “these unnecessary food stuffs require pesticides for their growth”
            Nope. And nope.

            GB: “These soy and bean products then require enormous amounts of irrigation water”
            Wait. These products which are overwhelmingly used for livestock? Making my point, thank you.
            And then GB descended into a rant so inaccurate and irrelevant I can’t even begin to deconstruct it.

            “so I have my doubts whether other socvieties[‘] food carbon footprint is lower than ours.”
            Nope. They are. Almost all of them.

            “Rice farming, for example, is very high.”
            Nope.

            “Our bad western health is much more likely to be properly ascribed to our gigantic carbohydrate consumption”
            Last of a series of Nope. Probably nots.

            “those early meat health studies exaggerated on purpose when new food pyramids were being promulgated to push carbs.”
            Nope. Conspiracy theory/projection combo, since it’s completely clear it’s been exactly the opposite for several generations. The meat and dairy industries have had a long run of controlling government agencies, subsidies, and “education” (aka propaganda). Through the grossly meat- and dairy-centered pyramid.

            GB: “If we want to feed the world…[patronizing sarcasm snipped]
            we are going to continue to raise livestock
            and use fertilizers and pesticides.”
            Leaving aside the manipulative No True Scotsman element of the first part, nobody here has denied the second, in fact I did exactly the opposite and explained how that needs to be done for the best chance at survival of civilization and millions of species. And nope, we need to give up almost all ferts and p’s if we want that. If you don’t know that, you haven’t been paying attention. Insect apocalypse. Dead zones.** Disappearance of 90% of large fish, 2/3rds of large mammals and half of all wildlife in 50 years.
            **Most of which are due to the chemicals used to grow meat

            GB: “NOT worst practice” NOPE. Given the truth about relative GHGs, absolutely the worst.

            GB: “…hyperbole. Nevertheless, there were substantial nuggets of truth* in that statement. And I assure you, I can defend everything I say about livestock with proof sources.”

            The purpose of hyperbole is to express beliefs. You did. Stop denying and own it. I’ve repeatedly asked you to clarify your true beliefs w/out the hyperbole or disavow what you don’t believe, and support it with evidence, (to the extent we can here with only 2 links allowed). You can’t have it both ways. Either it was hyperbole and not what you believe or there were SNOT* in it and it is what you believe. Stop trying to simultaneously distance from all of it and insist on all of it. Pick one.
            Most of what you wrote has turned out to be the exact opposite of the truth. If you disagree with yourself, disavow it. If you disagreed with my facts, you could have shown they were wrong. We both repeatedly showed the opposite.

            I’ve agreed with many many things you’ve said in the past, Ginger. You seem to be smart and evidence-based on everything else, but egregiously emotionally biased and opaque to fact on meat. You should figure out why, admit it, apologize to the readers here and retract your many false statements. I would never expect the few trolls here or the many trolls elsewhere to do that. You, I do. Have at it. I’m stopping.

          • Gingerbaker Says:

            Besides cherry-picking the article I linked, the rest of your comment comes down to:

            Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope

            That’s some high-class refutintatin’ right there.

            And, of course, you are wrong. on all of them.

            Just one at random – you say rice is not GHG emissions intensive. Well, actually, you said “Nope”. Rice has 1/3 the CH4 emissions as all domestic ruminants (Cows, bison, buffalo, sheep, goats) rolled into one, let alone its water use:

            27zgpww

            I’m glad you’re done arguing. Really sick of hearing how evil my satire was. I will never apologize for it. You might want to figure out why anti antimeat satire exercises you so thoroughly. Food for thought.

          • Gingerbaker Says:

            Oh, and here is some real data on the contribution of of animal protein to global and US diets. Which looks nothing like what you posted:

            [from: https://www.cast-science.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/CAST_Issue_Paper_53_Feed_vs_1FAEEE311471D.pdf%5D

            Animal Protein Contribution to Diet around the world
            Global average – 40% of total dietary protein

            Animal Contribution to US Diet

            US – 23% of calories, 63% of protein,45% of saturated fats

  4. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Tangent: Today I finally cooked the last of the Beyond Burgers that I bought to try: Somewhere between yuck and meh.

    I have higher expectations for the Impossible Burger.

    • toddinnorway Says:

      You need to cook them much longer than what it says on the package, IMHO. I have tried both and the Impossible Burger mor resembles meat, but it lacks what I think is the best feature of the Beyond Burger, i.e. its smoky flavour.

  5. Sir Charles Says:

    Re livestock and methane => Oil and gas is sector top source of US methane emissions, ahead of agriculture

    If you want to find more on this issue, click “All issues” on the page and look for keywords like “methane”.

    Also see here => New Permian Methane Leakage Study Confirms What We Already Knew


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