NEWLY ADDED PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH

Continually updated showing key 2020 articles of interest.

 

UNDERESTIMATES OF US EMISSIONS AND GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS FOR INDUSTRIALIZING ANIMAL AGRICULTURE

January 2020

  • Models for calculating GHG from animal agriculture can underestimate emissions

  • Reviews uncertainties in current calculation models, which rely on indirect methods of calculating emissions 

    • these have various shortfalls

  • Measurements of atmospheric GHGs such as methane provide an accurate estimate of GHG production

  • In USA direct measurement of atmospheric methane above animal farms show that there may be 39-90% higher methane emissions than what traditional “bottom up” methods predict

  • The growth of animal agriculture and idea of intensification as a mitigation strategy may cause a large rise in GHG emissions that is underestimated

  • The paper makes policy and economic recommendation

 

Journal of the American Medical Association

January 2020

  • 29615 Subjects avg age of 51.6 years followed for a median of 17.5 years

  • During study there are 5400 Cardiovascular (CVD) deaths, and 6132 all-causes deaths

  • For each 300 mg increase in cholesterol resulted in

    • Increased CVD Mortality: HR of 1.17 and absolute increased risk of death by 3.24 f

    • Increased All-Cause Mortality: HR of 1.18 and absolute increased risk of death 3.24%

  • For Each additional 1/2 egg consumed per day

    • Increased CVD Mortality: HR of 1.06 and a non-statistically significant increase absolute risk of CVD death of 1.11

    • Increased All-Cause Mortality: HR of 1.08 and increased risk of death of 1.93

    • Increased risk of death was nullified after adjusting for cholesterol, suggesting the cholesterol in eggs composes a significant part of the risk, though perhaps not all

  • Results showed a dose response effect

  • There was also an increase in stroke HR1.26 and Heart Failure 1.14

  • Note that one large white egg contains 207 mg of cholesterol according to USDA

  • Also referenced in Cardiovascular Disease: Role of Saturated Fat and Cholesterol below:

    • Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis

  • The Lancet - Public Health - 2018​​

    • See full study in Low Carbohydrate High Protein section

 

WINGING IT


HOW THE UK’S CHICKEN HABIT IS FUELLING THE CLIMATE AND NATURE EMERGENCY

January 2020

  • Chicken is considered more ecological than beef, and is indeed more efficient

    • However, from other documents we know that the feed conversion ratio is 3:1 at best for protein, but much less in many cases

  • Chicken consumed in the UK, and likely other countries, causes deforestation and biodiversity loss in the Amazon and other important areas.

  • Chicken's footprint is largely due to soy production for chicken feed.

    • Other feed would cause even worse losses, since they are less efficient than soy.

  • According to this Greenpeace paper, animal protein provides only 33% of the world protein needs, yet takes 77% of the worlds agricultural land, and is the greatest driver of human caused deforestation

  • Chicken is the most efficient animal meat, yet not efficient compared to direct consumption of plant protein foods

 

Centre for Sustainable Systems - University of Michigan

January 2020

Background: This paper calculates the decrease in food related GHG per capita in USA:

  • According to 2016-2017 data if there was a reduction in meat consumption

    • And a corresponding increase in plant based proteins and fats

    • Dairy milk is replaced with soy milk but not other plant milks

  • Equivalent caloric intake is considered within 2%

  • Packaging is not considered

  • The paper promotes the idea that reduction in animal products, even without their elimination, is more palatable

    • But still causes a drastic reduction of total GHG emissions needed to reach US government targets

  • Paper uses DATAfield Database from University of Michigan

Baseline Stats: in 2016, the average person in USA:

  • Consumes 897 lbs or 406 kg of food per year (including the weight of liquid dairy milk or soy milk)

  • Consumes 2543 kcal per day

  • Creates food related GHG emissions of 5.0 CO2 equivalent person per day

    • 82% of this is from animal based foods

    • Avg person consumers 133 lbs = 60.3 kg of red meat and poultry per year

    • Red meat, especially beef, has the largest GHG impact

  • Food related GHG equivalents are calculated over 100 years, thus diluting the impact of methane and nitrous oxide

  • Total of 662 MMT (Million Metric Tonnes) per year in USA

  • 29% of these GHG are from food losses (from retail to consumer)

  • Animal based foods contribute 80% of this amount

  • Thus 23% of GHG emissions from food waste are from animal food

Results: 50% reduction in meat eggs dairy (scenario 3 in the paper)

  • Results in 35-36% reduction in food related GHG

  • 5.0 -> 3.3 kg of CO2 equivalent person per day

  • This results in a 224 MMT reduction for total USA population

  • Achieves 24% of the reduction needed to achieve USA 2017 GHG reduction targets

  • Equivalent to removal of 47.5 million vehicles from the road

  • 50% reduction in meat dairy and eggs, but including 90% reduction in beef, would result in even greater GHG reduction

 

ADDRESSING THE CARBON FOOTPRINT, HEALTHFULNESS, AND COSTS OF SELF-SELECTED DIETS INTHE USA: A POPULATION-BASED CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY

The Lancet - Planetary Health

March 2020

  • Paper looks at the dietary GHG reduction of various protein substitutions

    • Also looks at health index and cost

  • Uses US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey population diet data

  • Plant protein sources are pulses, soy, nuts and seeds, thus the most
    relevant whole food comparators!

  • Does NOT look at replacement of dairy, egg, or other meats, unfortunately

  • Notable substitutions results:

    • Beef replaced by poultry = 35.7% food related GHG reduction

    • Beef poultry and replaced by plant protein = 49.6 % reduction in GHG

    • Healthy eating index is increased by 8.7% for plant based group

    • Costs reduced by 10.5% in plant based group

  • ​SEE Figure 2, last column

    • This one can see that the residual GHG in the plant based group is due to residual animal protein

    • Replacement of other meats, eggs and dairy by plant proteins would cause significant further reductions

  • The most important aspect of the paper is the data set from which the relative GHG impact of various foods come from:

 
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