100 carrot beef

Published on: 10:22AM Dec 04, 2008
“Producing a pound of beef creates 11 times as much greenhouse gas emission as a pound of chicken and 100 times more than a pound of carrots…”
            We pulled that quote from this morning’s New York Times piece at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/science/earth/04meat.html?hp You should read it
           The cows vs. environment thing is snowballing, and the United Nations is doing its best to get it rolling faster.
            If we were building a nuclear bomb or murdering people in Darfur or Iraq, we wouldn’t have to worry about the U.N. But they’re serious about getting people to eat less meat, and less beef in particular.
            I’ve no idea where it’s going, this issue. But it causes me to fret. I’m not sure what these guys think would happen to all that grass if cows didn’t eat it, but I’m guessing whatever happens to it—whether it burns, rots or gets eaten by non-bovines—it would contribute some greenhouse gas.
            And, not to be indelicate, but don’t we billions of humans have to get our protein somewhere? I wonder if the studies have considered the difference in methane emissions related to vegetarian diets. It’s easy to say that producing 1 pound of beef produces as much  methane as producing 100 pounds of carrots, but I wonder if any of those scientists have ever eaten 100 pounds of carrots to find out how the equation actually ends?.
            I’m not a scientist and I’m not going there. I’m just wondering.
            Just to give cowboys something to worry over, we should consider this in the context of our President 2B’s seeming concurrence with Michael Pollan’s ruminations about food in the U.S. being too plentiful and too cheap. In Mr. Pollan’s view, agriculture burns too much energy and creates too much methane and turns out too many cheap, tempting calories that force American children to get fat and lazy and add to health costs.
            You’ll remember that Mr. Obama told reporters that he found that line of reasoning thoughtful.
            Where we go from here, I don’t predict. But this issue is an issue and beef’s issue management team should be paying it serious attention.
            Oh, no, wait. First they’ve got to do something about imports. That is sooooo much more important.