Friday, March 26, 2010

There is meat and there is meat

The debate about meat consumption and its effects on environment and climate is so simplistic. So is also the discussions about meat and food production, where meat consumption often is claimed to be a threat to food security, as if there was any such correlation.

At least some people try to nuance the debate a bit. The last issue of Farming Matters have a number of articles about pastoralism and small-scale livestock production. Below you see a part of the editorial:
"Livestock plays an important role in the livelihoods of many farmers and herders in the South, as it contributes to the basics of food, income, and security, as well as other social and cultural functions. Actually, the world’s poorest people – nearly one billion – depend on pigs, yaks, cattle, sheep, lamas, goats, chickens, camels, buffalos and other domestic animals. For undernourished people, selling one egg may imply being able to buy some rice, and thus, instead of having one meal per day, a second one becomes reality. This is a typical survival strategy: selling high-quality foods to buy lowcost starchy food. In other parts of the world, we see an over-consumption of red meat and other animal-based food, which damages the health of many people: it is a shocking dichotomy"...... read more

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