In Episode 104 I sit down with Environmental Researcher Nicholas Carter to chat about how our current food system is effecting the environment and what changes need to be made in order to meet climate goals and create a system that results in better food security, less water pollution, less land use, less freshwater use and greater production efficiency.
SPECIFICALLY WE COVER:
- What is climate change?
- What are the implications of a warming planet?
- What are planetary boundaries?
- Is climate change more than an energy issue?
- What are greenhouse gases?
- The major greenhouse gases – Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide
- Human activity and greenhouse gases
- Agriculture and GHG’s
- Importance of understanding land use, deforestation and carbon sequestration when land is left alone
- Animal versus plant based foods and their environmental impact
- Impact of transport on the footprint of our food compared to the type of food
- Holistic grazing (form of regenerative agriculture proposed by Alan Savoury and Game Brown etc) – is it a climate change solution?
- What a more efficient food system looks like
- Animal manure vs green manure
- Monocultures vs Polycultures and soil health
- Access to food that has a lower environmental footprint to make it the easier decision for people (Default-Veg)
- Top tips that we can implement on an individual basis to lower our environmental footprint
- much more (wow – one of my favourite episodes yet)
- Poore & Nemecek 2018 study looking at the environmental impact of food from almost 40,000 farms across 119 countries.
- 2020 Drawdown Review by Paul Hawken and his team (shift to plant centric diets)
- EAT Lancet report – the planetary health diet (88% or more calories from plants)
- Meat the Future documentary (cellular agriculture – a potentially more sustainable way to produce meat in the future)
- Why buying local is not as important as food source when it comes to the environmental footprint of your food
- FCRN report that covers holistic grazing
- White Oak Pastures
- Why methane matters – https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2019/0213/1029274-why-methane-matters-so-much-in-climate-change-planning/
- Blog on Climate change and our food system
- GHGs in US are significantly underestimated: https://faunalytics.org/animal-agriculture-is-responsible-for-more-ghg-emissions-than-previously-thought/#
- The need to measure carbon opportunity loss of land use change, and shows at least 42% of pastureland globally was forest: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30542169/
- Limited & reversible sequestration from even the best grazing systems: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-020-02673-x
- Value of forests: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/10/eaax2546
- Humans have cut down about 46% of the trees on land since the dawn of civilization. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14967
- Comparison of Big Livestock companies vs. Big Oil: https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5976-emissions-impossible-how-big-meat-and-dairy-are-heating-up-the-planet
- If the livestock sector were to continue with business as usual, they would account for 49% of the emissions budget for 1.5°C by 2030: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14693062.2018.1528965?journalCode=tcpo20
- Lead IPCC authors: Methane from Livestock should not be creatively discounted: https://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/186/2/71.long
- IPCC: “There is no scientific argument for selecting 100 years compared with other choices . . . The choice of time horizon is a value judgement because it depends on the relative weight assigned to effects at different times.” https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/anthropogenic-and-natural-radiative-forcing/
- Plant Based Farming can feed 10B+ people (study from Harvard): https://animal.law.harvard.edu/publications/eating-away-at-climate-change-with-negative-emissions-harwatt-hayek/
- National Geographic’s article on feeding 9+ billion people: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/
- Default Veg & making more options available shows major increases in it being selected https://www.pnas.org/content/116/42/20923
- Climate Crisis Secret – comparing GHG estimates attributed to animal agriculture: https://sentientmedia.org/the-climate-crisis-secret/
- Farming for the Climate – looks at veganic farms, myths, and plant-based regenerative farms: https://awellfedworld.org/issues/climate-issues/farming-for-climate/
- Farming for the Planet – plants to farm, their benefits, truth about the need for manure, and general comparisons: https://sentientmedia.org/farming-for-the-planet/
- Local Beef vs. Imported Beans: Which is Better for the Planet (featured in this article): https://www.planetfriendlynews.com/blog/local-beef-vs-imported-beans-which-is-better-for-the-planet
- Why Agriculture’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions are almost always Underestimated (Featured in this Forbes piece): tiny.cc/hjreqz
- Curated peer reviewed papers on the topic: https://www.plantbaseddata.org/
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Hope you enjoy the episode,