May 21st, 2024

Changing diets to reduce climate change possible


By Letter to the Editor on November 25, 2021.

Editor:
Ranchers and cowboys represent the Alberta brand. This letter probably makes hard core Albertans upset, I’m afraid.
I now know cows are the big producers of methane gas which is a worse greenhouse gas than C02. I heard that when President Ronald Reagan was making fun of environmentalists referring to the gas from the rear end of cows as bad as oil and gas. I didn’t take it seriously then. I thought it was a joke. I wonder if it’s why the menace of methane gas is not mentioned prominently. The Oct. 28 Lethbridge Herald printed an article about “beef” in relation to “climate change.” It was written by Amanda Stephenson of the Canadian Press (Page A5). She says that the beef industry is 30 per cent responsible for emissions of greenhouse gas, because methane gas is better than CO2 at trapping heat. The British weekly Economist (Oct. 2) echoed the same fact.
Ranching goes back a century in Alberta. We have celebrated the “Cow Town” brand during the Calgary Stampede since long before “Oil Patch.” Cow defines Alberta’s identity. It also means that we are facing a big pressure to change our beef-featured diet if we are concerned about climate change. The idea of diet change is upsetting. I have to make a radical change because of diabetes. I had never thought that giving up some food caused so much misery.
But it is possible. The trick is to discover new food which will make it easier to give up old favourites. I’m sipping Earl Grey not Single Malt. I am beginning to enjoy it: I can do this. Coffee for example was introduced in our lives relatively recently. Who can imagine the life without coffee?! It came from Ethiopia. Arab people have been enjoying it long before Europeans.
 Nowadays sushi is on the shelf at every super market. But until recently Japanese people had faced insulting comments about eating raw fish. It was the same contempt the Indigenous northern people suffered.
They were called “Eskimo – uncooked meat eater” as though they were savages. The Franklin Expedition tragedy did not have to happen, if those English sailors were open-minded and enlightened enough to learn from the wisdom of the North: eating raw seal meat.
Imagine our dinner without potato! But there was a time when we didn’t know such a thing. There is no potato mentioned in the Bible. Jesus did not eat it. He ate pita bread. Europeans found potato in America only 500 years ago. Imagine Italian food without corn (to make polenta), pasta, or tomato? Italians did not know corn or tomato before Europeans got lost trying to find a way to India, and landed in America by accident almost a half millennium ago. Spaghetti was brought back to Italy by Marco Polo from China in the 17th century.
Diets are changing all the time. We will have to give up some favourites but we will learn to love the new. We have done it with coffee, corn, pasta, potato, sushi, and tomato. We will find happiness in exotic food and may save our environment.
Tadashi (Tad) Mitsui
Lethbridge

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johnny57

Eat our way to a better climate? You know the radical-enviros have went to far when they start preaching this! What’s next? Slow down our breathing as humans to help restrict the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere?

How can anybody in their right state of mind take these pathological misfits seriously!

SophieR

You are very fortunate, johnny57, to be able to live independently from a healthy environment.

Don’t worry, nobody is going to ask somebody as special as you to change your behaviour. We’ll find someone else to burden your share of the responsibility.

John P Nightingale

“Pathological misfits”, yet another derogatory shout – out from J57.
But then again, one must assume he was looking in a mirror when he wrote those immortal words.
And to suggest the writer is a “radical enviro” illustrates exactly how much he does not know about this man and his life’s philosophy.

Last edited 2 years ago by John P Nightingale
johnny57

Ahh if it isn’t Mr. “Processive” himself! Knew you would surface!
You are correct (for once) that I don’t know this man or his life’s philosophy but anybody including him that thinks that we can somehow affect the climate on diet has got to be delusional or in need of some help.
As far as derogatory shout-outs I keep forgetting those words are for the looney-toon lefties only! Against anybody that does not line-up with their twisted ideology! “Pathological misfits” might be a bit “Out there.” Think about it Johnny-boy! Do we really hold that much power for change in our climate based on what we eat? Please have your coffee first before replying!

Last edited 2 years ago by johnny57
Elohssa Gib

You posed this question” “Do we really hold that much power for change in our climate based on what we eat?” Well, the answer is yes. And it isn’t just about what humans eat, although that’s a big part of it, it’s also about how our food is produced.

johnny57

Ok I will bite! What would your solutions be? Give me some credible examples of how we are going change or save the climate based on what we eat?

Elohssa Gib

First, and this is really important, climate change is a really complex problem, and responding to it will require a mix of mitigative and adaptive measures. Adjusting dietary patterns alone will not solve the problem, but doing so will make a contribution.

Second, it is a hard-core empirical fact that on a global basis industrialized agriculture in general and livestock agriculture in particular are non-trivial contributors to increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon and methane.

That said, one strategy, among many, is to consume food more frequently that comes from lower down on the trophic pyramid. Something else that could be done — but it wouldn’t be easy — is for the US to reduce or eliminate subsidy programmes that have caused the supply of cheap feed corn to explode over the past several decades.

Last edited 2 years ago by Elohssa Gib
biff

excellent! it is especially vexing that corn – gmo, no less – is being used as feedlot feed. corn is not a natural food choice for cattle. then again, neither was other cattle.

h2ofield

Anyone that can stuff a sock in Idiot57 is alright by me! Welcome Elohssa!

Dennis Bremner

Its okay Tad, the cattle industry is doing it for us. I have not been able to find a AAA steak in Lethbridge for over a year that is truly AAA. The crap that’s on the shelves with an asking price that is 150% higher then 3 years ago can stay there as far as I am concerned.

DougCameron

I have to agree with you Older School. The quality of meat, at least locally, is in freefall, whilst the price is skyrocketing!

biff

true enough – much of this has to do with stressed creatures that consequently provide us poor meat. what amounts now to a virtual monopoly over meat is a further issue. i would suggest a myriad of smaller producers close to the numerous markets – without the fetid feedlot middleman adding to the distress and jacked prices. from range, to nearby slaughter, to aging, to nearby markets. reduces animal stress, the fallout of long distance transit, and the nastiness of high volume slaughter. that said, there are indeed options that are more enviro friendly than consuming meat, especially in the portions that we have come to equate as normal.

SAGE Chair

To augment Mr. Mitsui’s important letter on a complex topic, please refer to an article previously published in The Lethbridge Herald:
https://lethbridgeherald.com/news/lethbridge-news/2020/07/22/meat-and-environmental-impact/

zulu1

The writer is free to consume whichever foods he wishes, and, of course, so is everyone else. Have a nice day, Tad.

JeromeDHayden

Catching fish to eat is a very hard and tiring job we are very lazy people so ordering fish online is very easy. Simply go to this website and order whatever food you want: in no time you will have it and you can enjoy it.