The process of food production has an environmental impact. It needs resources such as land and water, which are of significance to the environment. Eating foods that take fewer resources to produce has a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Plant-based foods are considered eco-friendlier than meat products. Vegan food usually contains a label indicating eco-friendly.
There are several ways to classify meat as sustainable food. You can eat less of it without eliminating it from the diet. Read this article to examine meat and environmental sustainability, including tips for eating meat in an eco-friendly way.
If you are concerned about environmental conservation, this article and My Paper Writer experts will help you to understand if eating meat is eco-friendly.
Meat and environment
Raising animals for meat consumption needs a large tract of land. They contribute to the release of greenhouse gases such as methane which impacts the environment.
Animal production generally affects soil and water in several ways. Livestock farming leads to deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, and water pollution.
Among the farmed animals, beef has a more significant environmental impact than fish, dairy, poultry, and fish farming. However, this food’s footprints vary with the method of production.
Foods with minimal processing, such as vegetables, fruit, and other plant-based products, have a relatively lower environmental impact.
You can compare the plants and animals in terms of environmental impact. Some plants have a more significant effect than an animal.
For instance, plant-based foods such as nuts and highly processed foods have much environmental impact than some animal foods.
Before arguing the impact of the animal production system on environmental degradation, you must first analyze the production scale. Small-scale farms have a more negligible effect compared to large feedlots.
Beef and environmental impact
Many people argue that beef production has a more significant environmental impact than plant-based foods. However, some meat production methods have less environmental impact than others.
Innovative technics such as better breading and feed additives enable farmers to feed many people with fewer animals and lower the environmental impact.
The introduction of seaweed as a diet supplement for both dairy and beef animals impacts significantly in conserving the environment—the seaweed diet supplements lower emission of methane gas, reducing the green gases.
Similar to other types of farming, beef farming has a contribution to the emission of green gas. However, their emission rate is lower than other sectors such as the transport industry, which has a higher impact.
Proper animal rearing practices may not cause a more significant impact on the environment
Beef farming may emit more greenhouse gases than other livestock and crop production. In most counties, beef farming is common in areas that are not suitable for crop farming.
Beef farming has several benefits to the country. It provides meat, which is some nutritious food rich in protein and minerals essential in an individual’s diet who cannot tolerate plant-based foods.
Some communities across the globe practice beef farming as an economic activity. People who eat beef as their tradition can find meat available with this type of animal farming.
Though inadequate animal production systems may negatively impact soil and the environment, proper management practices have their advantages. Proper grazing keeps soil healthy and nutritious for crop production.
With good animal grazing technics, you increase the resilience of soil and prevent it from erosion. It also ensures retaining of carbon in soil and prevents its emission as a greenhouse gas.
Good grazing techniques involve avoiding overgrazing and excessive degradation of soils with hooves. With the practice, the soil remains covered with healthy grass and no disturbance to roots that hold roots and carbon in the soil.
Tips on eating meat sustainably
Though some guidelines exclude meat in sustainable eating, some suggest sustainable consumption.
Consider pasture-raised animal or grass-fed meat
Before the purchase of meat products, read through the label. Go for the grass feed or pasture-raised beef and avoid those produced from a feedlot.
If possible, talk directly to the farmer and find out the sustainability method they use to raise their beef animals.
Make use of meat share
Some farmers may have an offer for meat share where they encourage consumers to buy their grass feed beef either daily or monthly as a sustainability program. Invest in such types of initiatives.
Reduce your meat portions
Reduce the intake of meat by incorporating it as either a side dish or garnish in your meals. Take them in small portions and invest more in plant-based diets.
Spare a serving of meat in your recipes
While planning your meals, ensure you don’t exceed a serving of meat in your recipes. For instance, you can spread a pound of beef is across soups, tacos, burgers.
Similar to other foods, you need natural resources to produce beef. Though the meat production system emits greenhouse gases, sometimes people exaggerate its scale.
With a proper production system, you can reduce the green gas emission and conserve the environment.