Many jurisdictions are implementing policies to curb food waste and move citizens to a plant-based diet to combat the pace of climate change and food going to landfill.
Public perception of the plant-based diet is multifaceted.
Recently, I came across numerous articles and video casts on social media making claims that cutting down on eating beef could help save the planet. Information from a recent study from the World Resources Institute claims eating meat at the rate we do now will not be sustainable when the world’s population reaches 10 billion by 2050.
Before we start making generic and righteous claims about one product or industry over the other about the impact of climate change. We must consider the facts and impacts of our statements on those people whose livelihood depends on the industry, the impact on society vulnerable, poor and under privileged. We must protect humanity before we can influence climate change. People will always do what is necessary to survive before any other concern.
Every industry has its pros and cons, it is not limited to how much meat we eat and how much we waste, we are seeing other emerging trends on carbon foot print impacts of tourisms, veganism etc.
Similar to cattle ranching for the meat industry, the proponents of plant-based diets and agricultural vegetable farming and green house operations is not without its environmental impacts on air (emissions), water use and contamination. When we target one industry, we must look at the industries we are promoting and the environmental impacts of these industries. The pot cannot be calling the kettle black.
Additionally, regardless of what industry we try to disrupt or promote, to solve climate change, the “Hippo” in the room must be addresses. That Hippo is the environmental, social, economic impacts of population boom. A projected 10billion people on earth over the next two decades, will drive consumption, consumerism, housing, food and health cadre needs beyond capacity. The impact of population boom will have a negative impact on climate change, landfills, emissions, water overuse and availability, and water contamination.
In short population growth will be the basis of waste creation, pollution and land degradation.
Outdoor recreational activities have as much impact on land degradation as free range cattle.
Alberta cattle ranchers pointed out that at least a third of agricultural land in Canada can’t grow crops, and is ideal for cattle.
From a recent Global news article, “There is an inference in there if we take cattle off those lands, we will just convert it into cropland. These are lands that are not suitable for cropland. In fact, if we did, it would actually lead to their soil degradation,” Laycraft said.
Before we make statements and use social media to support of views, it will be more appropriate to have look at all of the evidence surrounding cattle production, agriculture production, greenhouse operations etc., not just some of it.
The question remains and will continue to be, how to mitigate the harmful effects of food production on society and the environment?
Residual waste is a problem to be prevented!
Everyone claims they want to minimise residual waste, yet many industries depend and will benefit from reuse and repurpose. Resource optimization and reuse is our new way of thinking, time to “Dump the Dump”.
Your business modernization, transition and generative growth advisors.
Zero waste is people, data and technology working in harmony without bias.
Dave Gajadhar July 2019 Blog Post