Author Archives: e.whitefield

If you have not already heard… beef production has a larger environmental impact compared to poultry and swine…

By Liz Whitefield

Reprinted from the Animal Agriculture and Climate Change July 29, 2014 eNewsletter

If you’ve avoided all screens and print since the end of last week, you might have missed the media attention that an article received, titled: “Land, irrigation, water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States” which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Eshel et. al., 2014). The research quantifies the environmental impact of food animal production through use of water, land, nitrogen and emissions of greenhouse gases. Overwhelmingly, the calculations in the article demonstrate that beef production has by far, the largest environmental cost when compared to other livestock sectors. The authors of the article then direct this information and their scientific argument over to the direct role that the consumer plays in sustainability when visiting and making decisions at the grocery store. Implying that by choosing plant based protein sources or even any animal based protein other than beef, the consumer has much less of an environmental impact and does their part in promoting a sustainable environment. Continue reading