A string of high-profile scientific studies has called for less meat-intensive diets to help forestall a climate catastrophe, putting the industry on the defensive. In California, a state legislator introduced a bill called the California Climate-Friendly Food Program, with the goal of promoting plant-based foods in schools and reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to livestock. Within a few months, references to climate change were stripped out of the text and title. On the other coast, in Maryland, the state's Green Purchasing Committee launched the Carbon-Intensive Foods Subcommittee to study which foods have the largest carbon footprints and to steer the state away from buying those foods. The administration of Gov. Larry Hogan disbanded the committee months later.
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- The meat and dairy industry wastes water
- Meat & Dairy Industries Overproduce Despite Plummeting Demand
- Industrial Food Animal Production
- Food and Agriculture
- Meat-Free Monday Campaign
- Environmental impact of meat production
- Industrial Food Animal Production
- Beef and Dairy Industries in “Death Spiral,” Will Collapse by 2030, Report Says
- Wastewater treatment challenges in food processing and agriculture
The meat and dairy industry wastes waterVIDEO ON THE TOPIC: 15 Things You Didn't Know About The Dairy Industry
A string of high-profile scientific studies has called for less meat-intensive diets to help forestall a climate catastrophe, putting the industry on the defensive. In California, a state legislator introduced a bill called the California Climate-Friendly Food Program, with the goal of promoting plant-based foods in schools and reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to livestock. Within a few months, references to climate change were stripped out of the text and title. On the other coast, in Maryland, the state's Green Purchasing Committee launched the Carbon-Intensive Foods Subcommittee to study which foods have the largest carbon footprints and to steer the state away from buying those foods.
The administration of Gov. Larry Hogan disbanded the committee months later. Over the past year, as landmark reports advised consumers to eat less meat and dairy because of their climate impacts — and as plant-based alternatives gained traction — the American beef and dairy industries have been pushed further into defensive mode.
Early this year, the EAT-Lancet Commission, in a major scientific report , urged a "comprehensive shift" in the world's diet.
In July, the World Resources Institute, the United Nations and other groups released a massive report finding that the world needs to produce 50 percent more food without expanding the food system's carbon footprint.
And in August, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report calling for a major overhaul in the global food system. All of them recommend lowering consumption of meat, dairy and carbon-intensive foods, especially in developed countries. The original bill contained language that said beef and dairy production released more greenhouse gases and had the word "climate" in the title. But the state's powerful beef and dairy industries opposed the bill, largely because of the explicit connections it made between livestock production and climate change.
Lawmakers removed the language, the lobby withdrew its opposition — and the bill moved forward. It now awaits further movement in a state committee. In Maryland, the state's Green Purchasing Committee , an interagency government group charged with "promoting environmentally preferable purchasing" by state agencies, launched the Carbon-Intensive Foods Subcommittee to study which foods released higher amounts of greenhouse gases.
After the group produced a list of carbon-intensive foods, which included beef and dairy, the executive vice president of the Maryland Cattlemen's Beef Association called it a "hit list of foods," according to a trade media publication. Hogan, a Republican, asking him to disband the committee because, they said, it was operating with a political agenda. The following month, in August, state officials said they were disbanding the committee , writing that "it has become very clear that these are complicated issues that require solutions beyond the scope of the subcommittee.
Emissions from livestock account for about In October of last year, the journal Nature published a study, saying that, in order to feed the expected 9. At the Five Rivers cattle feeding operation in Kersey Colo. The U. That was followed by the sweeping report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, saying that a shift toward less carbon-intensive food presented "major opportunities for reducing GHG emissions. In it produced 16 billion pounds of beef and in , 27 billion pounds.
This year, the U. The average American consumes nearly three times the global average, at 57 pounds per capita. The American beef industry says that the headlines over the past year that blare recommendations to cut beef consumption oversimplify the issue.
In a recent study published in Agricultural Systems, researchers did a full life-cycle analysis — the gold standard for determining a product's greenhouse gas emissions — and found that beef cattle produce about 3.
That analysis includes emissions from birth to slaughter. Most of that comes from methane from cow belches. Place says there should be more emphasis on the industry's potential to cut emissions, rather than just recommending people cut back on their beef consumption for climate-related reasons.
The American beef industry points to Place's research, which was done with scientists from the U. Department of Agriculture, as evidence of how the U. In other countries, emissions from cattle are higher, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Some researchers also note that the number of cattle in the U. Still, critics say, 3. And, they note, that total methane emissions from U.
But if you divide it by total greenhouse gases in the U. It's a high number if you put it in a global context. Beef's carbon footprint is well established. For every gram of beef produced , grams of carbon dioxide is emitted, compared to 36 for pork.
And for every calorie from beef, 22 grams of carbon dioxide is emitted, compared to 3. Global meat production has skyrocketed — by more than percent — since , straining resources and consuming land. With demand for beef and dairy expected to soar, feeding the world — and staying within a safe carbon budget — will be impossible without major shifts in consumption patterns. Tim Searchinger, author of another report this year advocating for lower animal protein consumption, agrees that the emissions intensity of U.
But, he says, the demand for livestock-based foods from consumers in the U. Among developed countries, the U. Searchinger has pointed out that most life cycle assessments LCA of beef production don't account for land-use change and deforestation — to make way for grazing and growing grains — in other places.
He says that any land devoted to food could store more carbon if left as forest or restored to its native vegetation. So every acre of land is critical for carbon storage, given growing global food demands. We need to avoid clearing land. Every time we consume less beef, that provides — at the very least — the opportunity to use less land," he said. So if I don't eat beef, the next guy can eat more without clearing land. These latest attempts by the industry to beat back initiatives linking livestock to climate impacts are only the most recent.
During the development of the influential U. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are reviewed and revamped every five years, the meat industry, along with its allies in Congress and the U. Department of Agriculture, successfully tamped down nutritionists' recommendations to eat less red meat for environmental reasons. Much of the pressure on the industry is also coming from consumers as dietary choices are starting to shift.
The number of vegans and vegetarians, especially among millenials, is small but rising, and many American consumers say they're choosing to eat less meat. Lobbyists are working to stop meat alternatives, such as the Impossible Burger, from being labeled "steak" or "burger. Plant-based alternatives — from companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat — are jockeying for shelf space in the meat sections of grocery stores and landing on the menu at fast food chains.
The industry has started fighting off attempts to market plant-based alternatives as "steak" and "burger. This year, at least two dozen states considered bills to limit those terms to products that come from animals. Colegrove said he was unaware that any particular lobby was behind these bills, or that any "model" legislation was developed by an interest group. Clearly something's going on," Colegrove said, noting that the lobbying push was being driven by the significant interest in plant-based alternatives.
Louis Post-Dispatch, where she launched the "food beat," covering agriculture, biotech giant Monsanto and the growing "good food" movement. At CQ Roll Call, she covered food, farm and drug policy and the intersections between federal regulatory agencies and Congress. Skip to main content.
Home A string of high-profile scientific studies has called for less meat-intensive diets to help forestall a climate catastrophe, putting the industry on the defensive. In both cases, the states' farm and beef lobbies got their way.
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Meat & Dairy Industries Overproduce Despite Plummeting Demand
Jensen, J. Graham and Donald L. Graham, which were revised by Donald L. The term food industries covers a series of industrial activities directed at the processing, conversion, preparation, preservation and packaging of foodstuffs see table The raw materials used are generally of vegetable or animal origin and produced by agriculture, farming, breeding and fishing. This article provides an overview of the complex of food industries. Other articles in this chapter and Encyclopaedia deal with particular food industry sectors and particular hazards.
Industrial Food Animal Production
Here are 10 reasons why the meat and dairy industry is unsustainable: 1. Deforestation Farm animals require considerably more land than crops to produce a given amount of food energy. In Central America alone, 40 percent of all rainforests have been cleared in the last 40 years for cattle pasture to feed the export market — often for U. The World Hunger Program calculated that recent world harvests — if distributed equitably and fed directly to humans, as opposed to livestock — could provide a vegan diet to 6 billion people.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers
A heavy backlog of gaseous, liquid, and solid pollution has resulted from a lack of development in pollution control. Because of this, a need for a collection of original research in water and wastewater treatment, industrial waste management, and soil and ground water pollution exists. Advanced Treatment Techniques for Industrial Wastewater is an innovative collection of research that covers the different aspects of environmental engineering in water and wastewater treatment processes as well as the different techniques and systems for pollution management. Highlighting a range of topics such as agriculture pollution, hazardous waste management, and sewage farming, this book is an important reference for environmental engineers, waste authorities, solid waste management companies, landfill operators, legislators, environmentalists, and academicians seeking research on waste management. Advanced Treatment Techniques for Industrial Wastewater. Hussain, Athar , Ahmed, Sirajuddin. Soil Bioremediation Techniques. Potential Applications of Nanomaterials in Wastewater Treatment. Wastewater Pollution From the Industries. Water Pollutants and Their Removal Techniques.
Food and Agriculture
The environmental impact of meat production varies because of the wide variety of agricultural practices employed around the world. All agricultural practices have been found to have a variety of effects on the environment. Some of the environmental effects that have been associated with meat production are pollution through fossil fuel usage, animal methane, effluent waste, and water and land consumption.
As meat industry sales go down, the United States is experiencing a huge surplus of animal products sold as food. Currently supplies of chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and milk far outweigh demand. And yet, even with an excess of chicken in cold storage, the USDA is granting waivers for chicken slaughterhouses to increase line speeds and kill even more birds per minute. A gut-wrenching Compassion Over Killing investigation at Amick Farms in Maryland recently revealed the horrors happening behind the closed doors of one of these high-speed slaughter plants. The question is: with too much chicken in storage already, why increase kill line speeds? This is an issue of animal cruelty and worker safety—and also brings to light corporate greed and massive amounts of food waste. The poultry industry is reporting a loss of demand for chicken products, leading to huge stocks of meat in cold storage facilities. This, it would seem, is becoming a trend: leading up to Thanksgiving, sales of turkey were doing poorly. Companies are experiencing huge oversupplies and dips in profit, including some companies losing millions of dollars and others shutting down entirely. Yet, instead of reducing production as demand plummets, it would seem that the industry is putting the blame on consumers.
Meat-Free Monday Campaign
The industry is responsible for a large share of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. Agriculture is responsible for 9. A large share of GHG emissions stem from the production of meat and dairy products. The complexity of the food chain makes it difficult to produce exact integrated estimates of GHG emissions. Estimates for the emissions from the meat and dairy related sectors are as high as Mt CO2-eq. Aspects such as high levels of food waste are also considered highly carbon-intensive.
Environmental impact of meat production
Given that our global food system is wreaking havoc on our planet , fuelling biodiversity loss, the climate crisis and widespread health epidemics, the demise of the beef and dairy industry may not be a bad thing at all. This will mark the fastest and most comprehensive disruption to our current global food system ever since the first domestication of plants and animals took place around 10, years ago, according to the report. The report also made projections beyond 10 years from now.
Industrial Food Animal Production
This contribution would have been much greater had the animal by-products been also efficiently utilized. Efficient utilization of by-products has direct impact on the economy and environmental pollution of the country. Non-utilization or under utilization of by-products not only lead to loss of potential revenues but also lead to the added and increasing cost of disposal of these products. Non-utilization of animal by-products in a proper way may create major aesthetic and catastrophic health problems.
Beef and Dairy Industries in “Death Spiral,” Will Collapse by 2030, Report Says
Consolidation in agriculture is the shift toward fewer and larger farms. The number of U.
Wastewater treatment challenges in food processing and agriculture
The range of food products presents different wastewater challenges. Examples include: fruits and vegetables for canning and preserving, fish, meat and poultry, dairy products, and fats and oils. Wastewater generated from food production and agricultural activities is a major source of environmental pollution. It is also among the most difficult and costly waste to manage because food processing wastewater can contain large quantities of nutrients, organic carbon, nitrogenous organics, inorganics, suspended and dissolved solids, and it has high biochemical and chemical oxygen demands.