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The Real Effect Your Lunch Has On The Environment

THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF YOUR HAMBURGER YOUR TOTAL CARBON FOODPRINT 13% CH4 71% 15% CO2 N2O BUN Carbon dioxide emissions are Сог generated when fossil fuels are burned to create energy. CROP PRODUCTION The production and use of chemical fertilizers for agriculture is a major N2O cause of nitrous oxide emissions. of N2O Emissions come from nitrogen fertilizers used on croplands, which pollute air, soil & water, jeopardizing biodiversity. 30% Methane emissions are released as a CH4 result of livestock digestion and manure treatment. Cows are ruminants, of Water used in the U.S. is consumed by crop irrigation. meaning that the bacteria that aid their digestion produce methane. 31% CROP HARVEST & TRANSPORTATION of Overall Crop Emissions come from transportation, which is mainly gasoline and diesel used to power trucks, tractors & harvesting equipment. 14% LETTUCE, ONIONS, PICKLES AND TOMATOES The Biggest Greenhouse Gas Impact from produce is N2O resulting from fertilizer application. Processing tomatoes into ketchup, cucumbers into pickles, and cucumbers & onions into relish requires a great amount of Water and Electricity. of Tomatoes' CO2 Emissions come from transportation to retail. 30% CHEESE PRODUCTION Similar to meat, of Emissions from dairy are created during production due to the high CH4 emissions from the ruminants' digestion and manure, as well as the N2O generated from growing feed using pesticides, chemical fertilizers, fuel, and water. 90% Cheese generates the 3rd Highest Emissions among all animal products af ter beef & lamb production: TRANSPORTATION 15 15 LB of cheese eaten accounts for almost The carbon footprint of cheese imported to the U.S. by Air 46% LBS of greenhouse gas emissions. is 46% Higher than cheese produced domestically. MEAT FEEDING THE ANIMALS of all Grain 8& Cereals grown in the U.S. are fed to farmed animals. It takes 13lb of Grain to produce 70% ilb of Meat. Around 260 Million Acres of U.S. forest have been cleared for croplands that grow feed for farmed animals. This in turn has contributed to deforestation and pollution, increasing GHG emissions, as trees usually act as sponges in absorbing CO2. LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from beef occur between the birth and of N20 Emissions come from manure, which can flow into groundwater and lakes leading to water contamination & marine dead zones. 90% 43% slaughter of the animal. of U.S. CH4 come WASTE from beef cattle's enteric Consumers waste about 16% of the beef 18% fermentation and stored they purchase, while retailers discard about 5% of the meat they sell. cattle manure. POST-FARM TRANSPORTATION of Meat's CO2 Emissions (gasoline, diesel) are generated in the transportation phase (transporting animals, supplies and retail food products domestically to and from farms, slaughterhouses and stores, and refrigeration). of Greenhouse Emissions associated with meat come from the 10% 5% electricity used to run slaughterhouses and pump their wastewater, which is among the largest contributors to toxic nitrate pollution in waterways. WHAT CAN WE DO? THINK ORGANIC Choose meat and dairy products that come from & EAT GREENER organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed animals. BUY LOCALLY 10 to 30% and that of meat production by 1 to 3%. It can reduce the climate impact of vegetable production by EAT LESS, BUT EAT BETTER By varying your diet, eating more fruit and vegetables, and reducing the size of your meals, you can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. SOURCES Union of Concerned Scientists - Raising the Steaks: Global Warming and Pasture-Raised Beef Production in the United States, 2011 United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/n20.html Environmental Working Group - Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change and Health, 2011 Environment Working Group - Meat Eaters Guide to Climate Change and Health (Website), 2011: http://www.ewg.org/meate atersguide/interactive-graphic/me at-processorsslaughterhouses/ People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) - How Does Eating Meat Harm The Environment?: http://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/how-does-eating-meat-harm-the-environment/ People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) - Meat Production Wastes Natural Resources: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/meat-wastes-natural-resources/#ixzz2op90034W Brighter Planet - The American Carbon Foodprint: Understanding and Reducing your Food's Impact on Climate Change, 2010 PBS News Hour The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers, 2012: http://www.pbs.org/new shour/rundown/2012/08/the-hidden-costs-of-hamburgers.html National Geographic - Fertilizer Buying Guide: http:/lenvironment.nationalge ographic.com/environment/green-guide/buying-guides/fertilizer/environmental-impact/ Grace Communications Foundation - Energy and Agriculture: http://www.gracelinks.org/118/energy-and-agriculture

The Real Effect Your Lunch Has On The Environment

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Each part of your hamburger might be bad for the environment.

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The Huffington Post

Category

Environment
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