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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is meat still for dinner?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 11:14 AM

click to enlarge This sculpture, by Nicholas Kashian, is called "We are what we eat." (Thanks to Darren Kumasawa for the photo.)
  • This sculpture, by Nicholas Kashian, is called "We are what we eat." (Thanks to Darren Kumasawa for the photo.)

Maybe not. As a recent Charlotte Observer article points out, there are a whole lotta ways to eat in this world. As people become more conscious about where their food comes from, how it's produced and the impact it has, meat isn't always missed.

Here's a snip:

If you’re not vegetarian or carnivore, what are you? The term "flexitarian" is catching on, although author Mark Bittman likes "smartly thought-out omnivore."

His most recent books, "Food Matters" and "The Food Matters Cookbook," came about because of his own vegan-by-day/carnivore-by-night lifestyle.

"If it’s an anything movement, it’s a common-sense movement," says Bittman. "I do think the worm has turned and people are understanding that the diet that is the most prevalent and easiest is not the diet that’s best."

Whether you’re cutting out meat during the day to save calories or cutting back on it during the week to save money or wear and tear on the planet, eating styles aren’t one-size-fits-all any longer.

Read the rest of this article, by Kathleen Purvis, here.

As Purvis mentions, eating less meat is good for the environment. Here's a snippet from the New Scientist on the subject:

Cutting back on beefburgers and bacon could wipe $20 trillion off the cost of fighting climate change. That's the dramatic conclusion of a study that totted up the economic costs of modern meat-heavy diets.

The researchers involved say that reducing our intake of beef and pork would lead to the creation of a huge new carbon sink, as vegetation would thrive on unused farmland.

The model takes into account farmland that is used to grow extra food to make up for the lost meat, but that requires less area, so some will be abandoned. Millions of tonnes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, would also be saved every year due to reduced emissions from farms.

These impacts would lessen the need for expensive carbon-saving technologies, such as "clean coal" power plants, and so save huge sums, say Elke Stehfest of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and colleagues.

Read the entire article, by Jim Giles, here.

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