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  • The chart I'm building shows the greenhouse gas emissions

  • from producing 1 kilogram of some common foods.

  • In other words, it shows how much they contribute to global climate change.

  • Most fruits and vegetables are down here,

  • with relatively low emissions.

  • Poultry and eggs are a little further up.

  • Pig products are here.

  • Coffee and chocolate are a little higher.

  • But all of these pale in comparison to this food.

  • It's the worst thing we eat when it comes to global warming.

  • This is beef.

  • When you only account for the emissions that go into the processing, transportation, packaging,

  • and selling of a food product, the difference between these foods isn't so great.

  • When you add the emissions from growing and processing food for livestock, you can see

  • that animal products have higher emissions than vegetables .

  • But the real gap comes from these two factors:

  • the emissions associated with the farming process,

  • and the impact of land use change.

  • Coffee has such a big footprint because of

  • the fertilizers farmers use to grow it, which emit a lot of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.

  • The farming process also accounts for most of the disparity between cow and sheep products,

  • and everything else.

  • Cows and sheep have to digest food that most animals can't do as well,

  • like grass, and tough plant material.

  • Their stomachs are microbe-rich to help them do that through a process called

  • enteric fermentation.

  • The byproduct of this digestion is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

  • Some of those emissions come out this way,

  • but 95% come out the front.

  • If you've never heard one of these animals burp,

  • there's an endless supply of Youtube videos for your viewing pleasure.

  • "Really?"

  • "That was rude, sir!"

  • Jokes aside, though, methane is a huge contributor to climate change.

  • It's the second-most emitted greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide.

  • But it traps more heat than carbon dioxide.

  • Its global warming potential over 100 years is 21 times higher.

  • Among human-related activities, enteric fermentation

  • is the biggest contributor to methane emissions globally.

  • More so even than the methane emissions from burning fossil fuels.

  • And it's a big reason why the farming process related emissions for beef and sheep are so high.

  • The second reason is land use change.

  • Starting in the 1700's, the amount of land

  • developed for humanity's purposes started to skyrocket.

  • Only a tiny amount of this is due to our built environment, like cities, towns and other infrastructure.

  • A vast majority is for agriculture. And when you divide that up, you see that

  • land for grazing animals far surpasses land for growing crops.

  • Converting all that land to farms to make way for grazing or growing crops releases

  • the carbon that was once stored in trees, other plants, and the soil.

  • By contrast, nuts, and citrus fruit, and olive oil have negative land use emissions because

  • planting nut, and citrus fruit, and olive trees is reforesting cropland.

  • But chocolate has a lot of land use emissions because cacao farming results in tropical

  • deforestation in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America.

  • And grazing animals take up a lot of space compared to crops. 80% of deforestation in

  • the Amazon rainforest, for example, is to make way for cattle ranching.

  • This is how many tonnes of greenhouse gases per-capita, we emit through all of our activities.

  • Changing our diet to exclude high-emission foods has the potential to reduce that by 28X00:04:02,420 --> 00:04:06,440 by both reducing emissions and reforesting land.

  • That's more than any other life change we could make.

  • A lot of food emissions are unavoidable. We have to eat.

  • But we do have a choice of what not to eat.

The chart I'm building shows the greenhouse gas emissions


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B2 中上級

気候変動を気にするなら避けるべき食べ物 (The food to avoid if you care about climate change)

  • 29 4
    Annie Huang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日