A study by the Environmental Working Group assessed the climate impacts of 20 popular types of meat, fish, dairy and vegetable proteins and concluded that beef has more than twice the emissions of pork, nearly four times more than chicken and more than 13 times as much as vegetable proteins such as beans, lentils and tofu. Photo cred: iStockPhotoEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: We’ve been hearing for years how producing red meat is bad for the environment while consuming it is bad for our health. How do other types of meat, fish, dairy and vegetable proteins stack up in terms of environmental and health impacts? –– Julia Saperstein, via e-mailNot all forms of protein are created equal as to the environmental and health implications of raising and consuming them. A 2011 assessment by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that “different meats and different production systems have varying health, climate and other environmental impacts.”The quantity of chemical fertilizers, fuel and other “production inputs” used, the differences in soil conditions and production systems and the extent to which best practices such as cover cropping, intensive grazing or manure management are implemented all affect the amount of greenhouse gas emissions a meat product is responsible for generating. To wit, lamb, beef, cheese, pork and farmed salmon raised “conventionally” (e.g. with inputs including hormones and antibiotics and feed derived from crops grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers) were determined by EWG to generate the most greenhouse gases.EWG partnered with the environmental analysis firm CleanMetrics to assess the climate impacts via lifecycle assessments of 20 popular types of meat, fish, dairy and vegetable proteins. EWG’s assessment calculated the full “cradle-to-grave” carbon footprint of each food item based on the greenhouse gas emissions generated before and after it left the farm—from the pesticides and fertilizer used to grow animal feed all the way through the grazing, animal raising, processing, transportation, cooking and even disposal of unused food (since some 20 percent of edible meat gets thrown away by Americans).According to EWG, conventionally raised lamb, beef, cheese and pork also generate more polluting waste, pound for pound. Of these, lamb has the greatest impact, followed by beef and then by cheese—so vegetarians who eat dairy aren’t off the hook. “Beef has more than twice the emissions of pork, nearly four times more than chicken and more than 13 times as much as vegetable proteins such as beans, lentils and tofu,” summarizes EWG.On the health front, EWG reports that “eating too much of these greenhouse gas-intensive meats boosts exposure to toxins and increases the risk of a wide variety of serious health problems, including heart disease, certain cancers, obesity and, in some studies, diabetes.”Besides cutting out animal-derived proteins altogether, the best thing we can do for our health and the environment is to cut down on our meat consumption and choose only organic, humane and/or grass-fed meat, eggs and dairy. “Overall, these products are the least harmful, most ethical choices,” says EWG, adding that grass-fed and pasture-raised products are typically more nutritious and carry less risk of bacterial contamination. “While best management practices can demonstrably reduce overall emissions and environmental harm, the most effective and efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts from livestock is simply to eat, waste and produce less meat and dairy.” For more information, check out EWG’s free online “Meat Eater’s Guide.”CONTACTS: EWG Meat Eater’s Guide, www.ewg.org/meateatersguide.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: email@example.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
HOCKEY is a great way to come meet some new people and learn some new skills. These are the words of a young versatile midfield/attacking forward, Aliyah Gordon.The exuberant 18-year-old student believes that the sport has helped her develop as an individual and she believes it can do so for others.Her love for the sport began at the tender age of five.“My mother had stopped playing for a while but started back and joined GCC around that time and that’s how I got involved. She used to take me to her practices and I used to sit and watch,” Gordon said.What really drew her to the sport, she said, is “the ability to have that connection with your team, whether it’s training or playing a match, and to go out and act as one to execute a plan.”While, she is unsure about the specifics of the future for herself, one thing is certain: Hockey will remain one of her main goals.“Hopefully, I would be graduating from University and would become a better player than I am now. The ultimate goal is to play hockey for Guyana at the highest possible level,” Gordon said.Mixing school and hockey was no problem for this wonder-kid, who studied first at Queen’s College then Nations University.“It was not too difficult; I had been doing it from the beginning of my secondary school life so when the difficult times came around, like CSEC, I was so accustomed to having to balance them. Playing hockey was always a good way to relieve stress from the usual school day, so it worked out well for me.”Aliyah owes it to her parents, she says. They have been her biggest supporters, along with coaches, family and friends.
…will be fined if found littering — EPAResidents of Mabaruma in the North West District (NWD) of Region One (Barima/Waini) may soon be fined or jailed for littering. This follows the launch of the Mabaruma waterfront clean-up project at Kumaka on Monday last.Waste in the Aruka RiverKumaka clean-up under wayThe project is an initiative of the Ministry of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Regional Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA will act as an enforcement agent on the project which seeks to reduce littering and improve the management of solid waste.EPA through regulations enshrined in the constitution can prosecute for illegal dumping and littering. Senior environmental officer of EPA, Odessa Duncan says it is hoped that it will be able to create behavioural change in personal disposal of waste: “The EPA is looking to support the Ministry’s effort with enforcement. We will work with the NDC and the Town Council to ensure that persons who continue to dispose of their litter improperly will be charged and will be fined so as to maintain a clean environment.”Meanwhile, environmental advisor coordinator Dr Latchmin Punalall speaking at the launch at the Mabaruma NARIE Regional Office noted that the Ministry of Communities is also involved in the project: “The community as a whole will be enhanced and so we are encouraging persons not only to clean up but after we would have taken most of the stuff away that you keep it clean. I know the first phase where we have the huge amount of garbage to clean, you will not be able to facilitate it, so we will facilitate this first phase and then without much expense you will be able to keep it clean.”Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley said Region One Administration is not only looking to see that the Region becomes cleaner but the entire country: “As you know the government is poised on a green initiative to make Guyana a better country environmentally, and so the RDC would like to see it better and so over the coming months there are going to be a lot of projects that will be initiated that will strengthen this project.”A similar project was launched at Port Kaituma on Tuesday, following others that were launched in Bartica and Kwakwani. The ministry also plans to launch a similar project in Lethem, Region Nine, next week.Meanwhile, some residents of Kumaka expressed concern over the sustainability of the project, stating that traders from neighbouring Venezuela dispose of their waste in an improper manner coupled with the waste which comes from businesses situated along the Aruka River.In an invited comment EPA’s Duncan said residents also have a role to play under the project and that is to report instances of improper dumping: “When that information gets to us we will be able to take action and have those persons charged. That is why we also have an education component of the project.”Andrew Carmichael