Study finds that producing beef causes more environmental damage than driving
19 December 2007

A study carried out by New Scientist has found that producing 2.2lbs of beef is more hazardous to the environment than a three-hour drive. The research team investigated the levels greenhouse gases emitted throughout the process of feeding, raising, and transporting cattle to produce beef. It was revealed that producing 2.2lbs of beef used up 169 megajoules of energy and produced over 80lbs of greenhouse gas; enough, the study says, to run a car for three hours or power a 100-watt bulb for three days.It's claimed that the true effects of producing beef are greater still, as the study didn't include emissions produced by transporting the meat after slaughter, or managing the farm equipment needed to keep cattle.Over a third of the energy went into making the animals feed, but most of the emissions came from the cows themselves in the form of methane - a far more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

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20 December 2007

I can quite believe that the environmental costs required to produce beef are higher than driving for three hours. What the article doesn't note however is wind! i.e. that emanating from the cows. Methane produced when cows breakwind is 22 times more damaging a green house gas than CO2!

20 December 2007

Thats all well and good, but you try and throw your Morris Oxford on a barbecue, then put it between a bread bun or two.

The comparison doesn't count.

21 December 2007

Unfortunately it does. Everyone has painted the internal cumbustion engine, cars in particular as the main cause of greenhouse gases and global warming. The truth is that a number of major changes are needed in how we do things to try and mitigate the coming crisis. The truth is that modern automobiles are already very green, to the extent that a BMW in Bejing has cleaner air coming out of the exhaust than the air it takes in. Methane from cows is a larger than realised contributor to greenhouse gases, but is anyone willing to cut back on beef ( kangaroos don't produce methane, reasearch is ongoing to transfer their microbes to cows ) ? After you factor in how the electricity is produced and losses due to ineffciency in transmission etc. an electric car actually produces more green house gases than a modern internal cumbustion engined car. My fear is that because few people are doing a proper analysis of the problem, the car will almost be legislated out of existence but we will still get toasted.

21 December 2007

Having worked in supplying the food industry for several years, the findings of this report do not surprise me. Unless you have experience of this huge industry you would be staggered at the amount of haulage required to get food to the table.

It's the same for the industrial lubricants I work in now. We manufacture additives for industrial lubricants, the sector we work in means we are the only refinery doing what we do in the UK, and one of 5 in Europe. We take in the waste oils and fats from food approved sources. i.e. we recycle the waste nobody else wants, turning it into lubricity additives. nearly all our sources of raw material have moved to mainland Europe, therefore we bring it all the way back to then ship the finished product back to Europe as 70% of our business is export. We talk ourselves up and advertise our product as being environmentally friendly and 100% biodegradable. Hate to think what the real environmental cost is!

21 December 2007

[quote ericheadley]My fear is that because few people are doing a proper analysis of the problem, the car will almost be legislated out of existence but we will still get toasted.

Toasted? Really? Mmmmmmmmmm!

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