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    I Like My Steak!

    By Claus Schafhalter | February 12, 2010

    According to EPA statistics cattle and other live stock contribute a significant amount of methane to greenhouse gas emissions. It’s the way how these animals digest their food that leads to methane production. And as methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide dairy and beef production entered the discussion about its environmental impact. Let’s be clear, the whole agricultural sector in the U.S. contributes less than 6% of all greenhouse gases, so my beloved steak is not the major culprit.

    Now, there are groups out there that promote that we just need stop eating meat and that would resolve our climate problems. I don’t subscribe to that, but producing meat and milk in a more conscious and lean way makes a lot of sense to me. And there are approaches to do just that:

    Both approaches are lean approaches. The change in diet reduces unwanted waste (methane). And capturing methane to use as an energy source turns what used to be waste into valuable output.

    Regrettably there is currently a major problem with any of the approaches: They are not cost effective. Cost of better feed is not met with a higher product price for milk or meat. There is no cost incentive in emitting less methane for the agricultural producer.
    And capturing methane from dairy farms needs investments with current pay back periods of more than 10 years. That’s not a good financial investment by current business standards.

    But please, farmers, do something. I don’t wanna go vegetarian. I really like my steak!

    Claus Schafhalter, Sunogos

    Topics: News, Sustainable Technology | Comments Off on I Like My Steak!

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