The production of organic meats – without fertilizers in the diet of cattle – generates similar amounts of gases from greenhouse effect than the conventional meat production process.
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#As the planet continues to warm, science is trying to better understand the sources of greenhouse emissions. #In this new effort, the researchers looked at greenhouse emissions related to the food production.
The researchers classified the food products into three main categories: conventional meat production, organic meat production, and plant-based food production. They also took into account the emissions produced during the different stages of the production process: emissions produced during the cultivation and processing of food and fertilizers, for example, and the methane released by animals and their manure.
The data, presented in #Nature #Communications, They revealed little difference in greenhouse gas emissions from conventional and organically grown meat production.
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They found that emission reductions from organically farmed animals (in which no fertilizer is used to produce food) were often offset by increases in methane release due to slower growth rates and the need to raise more animals, longer that organically fed animals tend to produce less meat.
#More specifically, they found very little difference in emissions between conventionally produced beef and organically grown beef. They also found that organically farmed chickens produced slightly more emissions than conventionally farmed chickens and that organic pork produced fewer emissions than conventional pork.
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The researchers suggest the need for meat taxes that reflect the environmental cost of its production. They calculated that such a tax on conventional meat would increase its price by about 40%, while organic meat would see a price increase of only 25% (because it is already more expensive than regular meat). The prices of animal-related products, such as cheese or milk, would also rise. The prices of food plants, on the other hand, would stay about the same.
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