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Bob Wallace

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Low GHG Meat
« on: October 02, 2017, 08:27:06 PM »
Perhaps it's time for a separate topic. 

China just purchased $300 million of factory grown meat from three Israeli companies.  If we're talking production levels that high then it's time to stop talking about lab-grown.  This is factory meat.



Quote

Is there a Moore’s law for lab-grown meat? Probably, but I am not aware of details on this subject yet. However, looking back just a few years, we have seen some insane price drops for lab-grown meat. In 2013, a burger of lab-grown meat would have cost you $325,000 excluding tips, and just two years later the same lab-grown burger was only $11.36.

Drawing reference from the continuous price drop in the last couple of years, it could be presumed that in 3 years, the global market could be inundated by lab-grown meat sold at ridiculously cheap prices. This lab-grown meat will be antibiotic-free and hormone-free, a much healthier option when compared with farmed meat.

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/10/02/lab-grown-meat-arrived-good-news-planet/


No methane from ruminants.  No methane from decomposing poop. 

No more "25 pounds of veg protein to produce one pound of animal protein". 

No more forests being destroyed to create grazing land.  Forests returning to unused grazing land and soaking up carbon.

Far, far less petroleum used for production.

Quote

It is estimated that about 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock (estimates vary greatly depending on the assumptions).


And - this could be a huge boon in feeding our extra billions as agriculture becomes more disrupted by extreme weather.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 08:41:46 PM by Bob Wallace »

Neven

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 10:32:46 PM »
What are the downsides? Because it sounds too good to be true.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

wili

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 10:39:43 PM »
Ummm, why not just eat vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits...?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 11:27:36 PM »
Ummm, why not just eat vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits...?

Could.  But most people won't give up meat unless forced to do so.

The way we avoid extreme climate change is to give people low carbon options that are acceptable and affordable.  We've been trying to get people to live a 'green' life for half a century with only very limited results.

EVs that are cheaper to purchase, cheaper to operate and give a more comfortable ride will replace ICEVs.  People will be glad to spend less for more.

Electricity from wind and solar that is cheaper than electricity from coal and gas will be welcomed.

LEDs are being rapidly adopted because the give as good or better light as incandescents and need to be changed far less often.  While costing only a small amount more.

Solutions that make people want to switch.

At this point factory beef is basically only ground beef, AFAIK.  But if we could offer people cheaper ground beef then we should see the cost of steaks and roasts increase and amount consumed decrease.  Many people would satisfy their meat craving with a hamburger steak, meatloaf, or ground beef dish if there was a large price differential.

Neven

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 11:35:36 PM »
I guess my beef with it - very funny, Neven - is that it doesn't improve the way I'd like to live my life (I eat meat for the fat more than the protein, and I buy the best organic, grass-fed stuff I can find).

But it looks good for replacing all the fast food stuff that tastes like nothing/shit anyway. And it's true that that's what most people want to eat, most of the time. Less GHGs, less CAFO, less cruelty, less pollution, less toxins in the meat.

It's the best option after Arcadia, I guess. Just like symptom relief is the best option after systemic change.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

wili

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 11:51:37 PM »
 I hope you don't mind the introduction of facts into the discussion.

In 1971, only 1% of Americans (US) were vegetarians or vegans. As of 2013 it was 13%, with much of that increase coming in just the previous few years.

In the UK, vegetarianism and veganism has also increased dramatically, now up to 11% by some estimates. And of course, reducing greatly the amount of meat eaten can also have big effects, and Brits are doing that, too: "one survey identifying 23% of the population as "meat-reducers", and 10% as "meat-avoiders"".

I'm pretty sure that none of those people were 'forced' into this diet. Wouldn't you want to be on the side of those encouraging these trends?

Yours is the kind of defeatism you are always quick to point out and attack in other posters comments on other issues.

And if we are discussing China and India, in the quite recent past the diet of most of their citizens could best be described as essentially vegan with occasional lapses (as many vegetarians and vegans have...but for survival purposes, purity is not the point).

For a wide variety of reasons, lost of people can change their dietary practices fundamentally and quickly. Look at the sudden popularity of the Atkins diet a few years ago, when millions of people decided to turn away from what had been considered for millennia 'the staff of life,' bread.

Archeologists tell us that the Jewish prohibition against pork eating seemed to occur quite suddenly in response to a need to set themselves apart from the newcomers on the Gaza strip in ~1200 bce, the Peleset (thought to be the term that evolved into Palestinians).

I'm not against meat substitutes of various sorts. But clearly anything that requires that much processing is going to be more energy, and so carbon, intensive than the straight forward, nutritious fruits of the earth.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 12:09:03 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

magnamentis

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 12:42:25 AM »
Ummm, why not just eat vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits...?

because genetically we have various kinds of metabolisms and not all of them are made for sole vegetarian nutrition, you can read this up, there is too much to it while as a general guideline, people with bloodgroup "zero" don't do well with wheat corn and the likes, it makes them ill, i self tested this, at the age of 42 i could barely walk down the stairs in the morning without using the rails and now, 20 years later i jump up and run, i simply gave up on carbo hydrates as a main source of energy and switched to specific vegetable, limited amounts of fruit (suger/fructose is the problem) and mostly lean meat, bio-eggs, fish, chicken and twice a week a juicy spanish "chuleton the buey" LOL

i have some food tables for each bloodgroup as a guideline while it's far from being the whole story. mostly it's about quantities as well as sources. in my fridge there are zero processed foods while i enjoy the full program in restaurants, currently a bit too frequently but these are periods that pass ;)

sidd

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 01:27:42 AM »
What is the CO2/water/energy/waste footprint for factory grown meat ? The cleantech article did not mention.

In terms of cruelty to animals, it is certainly better.

sidd

wili

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 02:54:59 AM »
mag, you can do fine on a vegan or vegetarian diet without corn or wheat.

Lots and lots and lots of people have gone vegetarian or vegan and are doing fine, actually usually with great improvements in health. It is the rare exception that gets all the press, of course.

And of course, it is perfectly possible to eat a totally sh!tty veg diet, just as is true with any other broad diet definition...marshmallows are, after all, vegan!

Good idea to stay away from processed foods though, generally.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 03:28:12 AM »
The "Meat the Future" website makes a good point:  the meat of the future does not have to look like "meat" -- think of all the meat products today that do not!

Quote
But why should lab-grown meat look like the meat we consume today? Growing protein in bioreactors could lead to entirely new forms of meat with radically different aesthetics, materials and eating rituals. While these new products might seem unfamiliar and artificial, much of the meat we already consume is divorced from the animal’s natural form: Ground beef, smoked sausages, and chicken nuggets.

The Next Nature Lab is currently developing new visions on the production methods, designs and eating habits that might emerge around in-vitro meat. These speculative designs vary from knitted meat, protein powder fondue and luxurious meat fruit, to kitchen based bio-reactors and colorful magic meatballs for the kids.
https://www.nextnature.net/2012/09/eating-in-vitro-meat-the-expectations/


"Your Future Dish: Potatoes, Vegetables and Magic Meatballs?"
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 04:36:38 AM »
Quote
Yours is the kind of defeatism you are always quick to point out and attack in other posters comments on other issues.


Defeatism or 'been there, tried that, it didn't work, now have a better idea' -ism?

Some people in India don't eat meat.  It's a religious thing.  Many people in India eat meat. 

Until recently many people in China ate little or no meat for one simple reason.  They could not afford to purchase meat.

Veganism is "in" right now.  Vegetarianism was "in" in the 1970s.  I joined up and didn't eat meat for over 12 years.  The people who I knew who were veggies back when I was moved back to meat faster than I did.  We'll have to wait to see if today's vegans stay the course.

If you think you can convert the world to veganism, have a try at it.  And good luck to you.

Personally I think the route to reducing our food related GHG problem is to quit eating animals.  But for those of us who still desire to eat animal protein - meat - make it factory meat.


wili

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 04:43:29 AM »
Bob: Yeah, some people have not eaten meat because of poverty.

Some people have ridden bicycles because of poverty.

Do you think it is a bad idea to encourage people to use bicycles just because some people have been forced to use them instead of bikes in the past??

Personal anecdotes tell us approximately nothing about the issue, of course.

But if you really personally think that not eating animals is a good thing, why not join me in promoting it, rather than reaching for shaky arguments why it can't happen?? :)

:::::::::::::::::::::::

Sig: Nice point. My favorite odd looking meat forms:



 ;D ;D ;D

Sleep tight all, and stay away from gunfire if possible!! :-[
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 04:48:57 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 04:50:26 AM »
Wili, you simply don't get it.

There are many billions of people who want to eat meat.  On of the first things that happens when economic conditions improve is that people starting more meat.

I know of no way to turn that around to any meaningful degree. 

If you think you do, the get at it.  If you work fast enough then there will be no market for factory meat.

wili

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 04:55:40 AM »
Bob, you simply don't get it. There are billions of people who want to move away from a meat-intense diet, for their health, for their budget, for the basic morality of it, and for the environment.

(There, fixed that for ya!  ;D ;D )
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

sidd

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 05:11:44 AM »
There a few hundred million in south india who have eaten no meat for generations upon generations. So meat is not a human imperative, but it would be difficult to wean a majority off.

But who knows. Collapse of monoculture agriculture would lead to mass adoption of vegetarian diet very quickly, since the feedlots and battery farms cannot run without huge grain input.

sidd



Bob Wallace

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2017, 05:38:30 AM »
Quote
The video talks about it taking a 28th the land and an 11th the water. There would also obviously be no methane production or millions of tons of animal waste to get rid of. Also the meat would no require steroids or antibiotics.

Comment on CT.

That's a major change in land and water use.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2017, 05:53:06 AM »
The confinement farms are economically supported by GMO grain that allows roundup to supplant cultivation and manpower.
 The efficiency of eliminating human labor and the efficiency of scale allow urban consumers to eat cheap protein and sugar. The bargain is we can ignore willfully because we crave, and fat and sugar are cheap, and suffice.
 Maybe I am cynical but perhaps it would be easier to somehow replace everyone's sugar and fat with some replacements that are still sugar and fat but fat and sugar from low or zero fossil fuel sources and methane mediated farming techniques ?
 How do we get from fossil fuel supported ag to anything near zero fossil fuel ag ?
 With zero fossil fuel ?   Nobody has a clue how to do that and there is almost nobody asking how we are suppose to get there.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2017, 06:19:41 AM »
Quote
How do we get from fossil fuel supported ag to anything near zero fossil fuel ag ?
 With zero fossil fuel ?

1. We electrify ag equipment.

2. We use non-petroleum based fertilizers.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2017, 07:13:51 AM »
However we get there we should keep a close eye on the goal ... Zero fossil fuel. Food is an economic decision for consumers and " cheap " is important . I can't speak for farmers in general but farming is a difficult way to make a living. Many of us need a second outside income to keep the farm going at all.
So a conversion to electric better be cheap just like the prices the public expects to pay for food.
 Where is there any discussion of these issues?  Maybe I am missing something?
 

sidd

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2017, 08:03:25 AM »
1/28th the land is easy to believe, and 1/11th the water is excellent (5000-20000  l/kg for conventional feedlot by one study, there is another that i have but do not have the time to track down, wikipedia has some data also)

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jan/10/how-much-water-food-production-waste

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_meat_production#Water_resources

Would be nice to know the energy footprint for factory cultured meats also.

Now as to zero fossil fuel, i will note that in my experience east of the mississipi, typically 1/3 cultivated area is required to provide biofuel for all oilfired equipment consumption from tractors, combines, dump trucks, generators seed cleaners, augers, seedpress etc.

Amish got a good handle on this, especially the ones who dont hook to grid, but use oilfired machinery. Some of them are putting in solar panels if the bishops and elders go for it.

sidd



sidd

johnm33

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2017, 11:43:58 AM »
I'm surprised no-one has ever tried farming iguanas, they're cold blooded so would put on meat far cheaper than chickens, those from the galapagos even eat seaweed so should be very nutritious, and sometime in the el-nino weather cycle they suffer population collapses so there's a perfect time to remove a few. Not that they're the only vegetarian iguanas.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 10:22:41 AM by johnm33 »

Paddy

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2017, 12:00:55 PM »
Other options for low GHG (and also general sustainability):
- Selectively targeted invasive species, e.g. N American crayfish in Britain, or overpopulated wild species, e.g. kangaroos in Australia
- Insect protein
- Some but by no means all species of farmed fish, e.g. tilapia and basa

We should also try and nudge the bulk of the population into eating more veggies and less meat for health as well as ethical reasons. Getting 2% of people to switch from "meat twice a day" to "meat once a day" has about the same impact on meat consumption as getting 1% of people to go vegetarian, and also benefits the health of more people.  (Assuming reasonably healthy alternatives are chosen).

As for the recent rise in veganism: it will be interesting to see how far it goes, and how much per capita meat consumption drops across the whole population.

(Personally, I'm a lazy flexitarian of the "vegetarian more days than not" variety, and also cutting down my dairy consumption).

wili

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2017, 09:37:08 PM »
Great points, Paddy.

The world doesn't have to be 100% vegan or vegetarian to be sustainable. But the norms for levels of meat eating do have to shift far more towards meat and dairy becoming rarer and rarer in most people's diets. For those still eating meat, yes, targeting invasive species is a good idea.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2017, 05:07:45 AM »
Folks, there is a vegan thread.


Paddy

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2017, 10:08:32 AM »
More on eating invasive species, and its drawbacks and limitations, here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-we-really-eat-invasive-species-into-submission/

Ken Feldman

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2019, 10:25:38 PM »
Here's an interesting article on selectively breeding cows with lower levels of methane-producing bacteria in their digestive tracts.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2208449-we-could-breed-climate-friendly-cows-that-belch-less-methane/

Quote
Livestock are responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the majority stemming from beef and milk production, largely because flatulent, belching cattle emit so much methane. Researchers have previously looked at tweaking their diet to reduce these emissions, such as by adding seaweed.

But now there might be a long-term solution, as it appears that a core group of gut microbes play a key role in how much methane a cow produces. The bacteria are closely correlated to the cows’ genetic makeup, suggesting the drivers for emissions are passed down through generations.

“Because of the heritability, it should be possible using that information to breed animals for low emissions and increased productivity,” says John Wallace of the University of Aberdeen, UK, who led the research. The microbiome of herds could be sequenced and individual animals with high emissions selectively bred out. Eliminating the worst offenders in the microbiome could cut methane by 50 per cent, Wallace says.



GoSouthYoungins

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2019, 02:05:01 AM »
Here's an interesting article on selectively breeding cows with lower levels of methane-producing bacteria in their digestive tracts.

All that is needed is to bury their shit while it is fresh. This creates soil.

There are more ppl without a job in the US than there are cows. Easy fix. Robust solution.

Grass turns CO2 into plant matter. Cow turn plant matter into beef, heat, and shit. Shit (if buried) turns into soil.

The high tech stuff is just dumb.
big time oops

Bruce Steele

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2019, 04:18:11 AM »
GSY, Have you ever watched a cow and noticed they like to lay around a lot and chew their cud ?
As it turns out most of the emissions from bovines is from burping. So changing bovine diets, or special kelp, or genetics to modify gut flora are all the sorts of easy fixes that can shave off part of a farms total emissions. Not dumb not rocket science.

https://climate.nasa.gov/blog/92/


nanning

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2019, 07:29:50 AM »
GSY, Have you ever watched a cow and noticed they like to lay around a lot and chew their cud ?
As it turns out most of the emissions from bovines is from burping. So changing bovine diets, or special kelp, or genetics to modify gut flora are all the sorts of easy fixes that can shave off part of a farms total emissions. Not dumb not rocket science.

https://climate.nasa.gov/blog/92/
(subquote bolded by me)

What does this say about our 'stewardship' and our morality with regard to all other life?

How I have found living nature to be:
Humanity (of which civilisation is just a part) is no more than 1 leaf from the tree-of-life (not religious). All leafs are alike. All are unique solutions. The longer the evolutionary path, the more advanced the solution. Worth, wealth, affluence, ownership only exist in human fantasy.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russel
"Only men of extraordinary independence of character seem able to resist the pressure of prevailing opinion" - Albert Einstein

GoSouthYoungins

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2019, 09:17:52 PM »
It really is dumb. Trying to make cows that don't burp as much methane! Seriously?

Next up: trees with less flammable leaves to prevent forest fires.
big time oops

Gumbercules

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2019, 01:01:36 AM »
I guess my beef with it - very funny, Neven - is that it doesn't improve the way I'd like to live my life (I eat meat for the fat more than the protein, and I buy the best organic, grass-fed stuff I can find).

But it looks good for replacing all the fast food stuff that tastes like nothing/shit anyway. And it's true that that's what most people want to eat, most of the time. Less GHGs, less CAFO, less cruelty, less pollution, less toxins in the meat.

It's the best option after Arcadia, I guess. Just like symptom relief is the best option after systemic change.

Agree. There are MANY nutrients found in certain kinds of meat that aren't found(or are scarce) in plants. Vitamin D, EHA/DPA, Heme Iron, Creatine, Taurine, all the stuff you can get if you use marrow and bones to make broth. And probably things we don't know about yet. It is an objective fact that humans are naturally omnivores. Even most plant eaters inadvertently ingest animals (insects). Apes hunt for meat too. If we could engineer "dumb" (no nervous system) animals that can create these chemicals at significantly reduced energy cost or somehow make meat and organ meats that are identical to that found in wild animals, why not?

Next best is hunting, but of course there aren't enough wild animals for everyone to do that, but it's at least an ethical option.

Very good point on replacing garbage meat (McDonald's burgers) with generic lab grown "meat".

Beyond Meat isn't meat, and it isn't healthy either.

Insects may be a good option too.

DaveHitz

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2019, 06:29:24 AM »
What are the downsides? Because it sounds too good to be true.

My biggest concern is that the scientists will try to "improve" on meat and end up with something bad for us. Historically, that seems to happen whenever they start messing with a natural food.

For instance, they tried to "improve" butter by getting rid of that nasty saturated fat and replacing with trans-fat. Then it turned out that trans-fat is seriously bad for you, and many are arguing that saturated fat never was so bad after all.

For instance, they tried to "improve" rice by grinding off the outer hull to improve shelf-life. They part did work, but they also removed lots of nutrition. Turns out brown rice is healthier than white rice, and many people got beriberi till they figured out what was going on.

So I worry that the scientists won't be able to grow meat exactly the way it comes from animals, and even if they could, I worry that they will try to change it on purpose to "improve" it. Given the dismal track record of food scientists, I don't trust them.

TerryM

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2019, 08:20:13 AM »
What are the downsides? Because it sounds too good to be true.

My biggest concern is that the scientists will try to "improve" on meat and end up with something bad for us. Historically, that seems to happen whenever they start messing with a natural food.

For instance, they tried to "improve" butter by getting rid of that nasty saturated fat and replacing with trans-fat. Then it turned out that trans-fat is seriously bad for you, and many are arguing that saturated fat never was so bad after all.

For instance, they tried to "improve" rice by grinding off the outer hull to improve shelf-life. They part did work, but they also removed lots of nutrition. Turns out brown rice is healthier than white rice, and many people got beriberi till they figured out what was going on.

So I worry that the scientists won't be able to grow meat exactly the way it comes from animals, and even if they could, I worry that they will try to change it on purpose to "improve" it. Given the dismal track record of food scientists, I don't trust them.


Ramen!!
Terry

nanning

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2019, 10:45:30 AM »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russel
"Only men of extraordinary independence of character seem able to resist the pressure of prevailing opinion" - Albert Einstein

Ken Feldman

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2019, 09:38:44 PM »
More on the low-methane emitting cows.

http://texasclimatenews.org/?p=16529

Quote
It’s a hard truth that livestock, mostly cattle, produce over a third of the U.S.’s emissions of methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas with an estimated 34 times greater warming effect than CO2. Despite the planetary impact, however, some people are not willing to give up their hamburgers.

Switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet has been shown to significantly reduce an individual’s carbon footprint, but it is not a feasible solution to the problem. Beyond the diehard burger-lover, people all over the globe rely on cattle for income and sustenance, and in some poorer regions there are often no viable alternatives. Farming livestock, mostly cattle, provides a living for about 59 percent of the poor people living in rural and marginal communities and offers poor farmers increased economic stability and opportunity.

The bottom line is that people are not ready to transition to sustaining themselves without carbon-intensive animal products. Luckily, scientists around the globe are aggressively working on ways to make cattle and other ruminants, such as sheep and goats, more sustainable in the near future.

Quote
Making a high-efficiency cow

Reducing cattle populations is just part of the solution. Reducing ruminant livestock emissions is a complex global issue, requiring solutions with the dexterity to transcend geographic locations and socioeconomic systems. Mitigation depends on decreasing the number of animals while also increasing the efficiency and productivity of the individual animal.

Between 2 percent and 12 percent of a ruminant’s energy is lost through the process of enteric fermentation. In addition to cutting the animal’s GHG emissions, making a cow’s digestive process more efficient would reduce the amount of food required per animal, saving resources and offering producers a better bottom line.

Texas microbiologist Elizabeth Latham, co-founder of Bryan-based Bezoar Laboratories, is one of the scientists tackling the challenge of making a high-efficiency cow.

“I see climate change as a symptom to a bigger problem, which is either a misuse of resources or a lack of optimization/efficiency, and in terms of enteric methane, that represents a metabolic inefficiency,” Latham said.

It is this metabolic inefficiency that Latham set out to address as a Ph.D. candidate at Texas A&M University, where she began the development of a methane-reducing probiotic for cattle. In 2017, Latham co-founded Bezoar Laboratories with the goal of increasing the health and sustainability of the meat and dairy industries.

The probiotic, called Paenibacillus fortis, can be easily eaten by cattle, so it works in their rumen to block the processes that produce methane.

“You can think of it like carbon trapping,” Latham said, “because the [greenhouse gas] that would have been lost to the atmosphere can now be used metabolically by the animal, so that translates to more meat or more milk, or feeding them less.”

The cost-efficient probiotic has been shown to reduce enteric methane by up to 50 percent per animal, while also reducing common food-borne pathogens, such as e. coli, campylobacter and salmonella, by 300 percent. Paenibacillus fortis is now patent-pending and being tested for a pilot program that could begin at select dairy farms as early as next year.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2019, 10:34:22 PM »
Ken, I googled Bezoar Laboratories . Pretty small startup but if I had money to put into an IPO I would invest if Bezoar goes public some day. A fifty percent reduction in bovine methane would make a serious dent in anthpogenic methane production.
 http://sprintaccel.com/2019/04/17/bezoar/

sidd

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #36 on: Today at 06:07:47 AM »
Re: "cost-efficient probiotic has been shown to reduce enteric methane by up to 50 percent "

what of the well being of the cows ? Do they like it ? Will they be healthier ? Or is this just another band aid to keep the feedlot industry going, hapless animals standing around in their own shit for months, eating unnatural diets, crammed full of drugs to keep 'em from dying ?

I have a feeling that those who can ought to drive up from denver to cheyenne along the front range an see the miles and miles and miles of animal hell. And smell it. Mebbe they'd eat less beef.

sidd

VaughnAn

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #37 on: Today at 06:52:30 AM »
Re: "cost-efficient probiotic has been shown to reduce enteric methane by up to 50 percent "


sidd

I owned a dairy farm in the 1970s to 1990s.  I fed the cows probiotics.  There were fewer health issues with the cows when I was feeding them probiotics.  Did this reduce methane cow farts.  Not sure as this was hardly a concern at the time.  They did produce a bit more milk though.  Yes, I did have them grazing in the pastures seasonally. 

Dairies today are nothing like they used to be either.  Many dairies have thousands of cows on just a few hundred acres of land or less and buy all of the feed from outside sources. There are dairies that are collecting methane from cow manure and producing electricity from it too.  So, I agree cows produce considerable methane, however there are several ways to reduce emissions.

dbarce

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Re: Low GHG Meat
« Reply #38 on: Today at 09:04:58 AM »
When talking about GHG emissions of livestock, Its not just the methane, but as you mention the mega-farms (over 1000 heads) consume a lot of fossil fuels in order to keep the feed flowing. If I understand the terms of COP resolutions/IPCC reports etc, we are supposed to reduce emissions to zero, and eventually take some carbon out of the atmosphere. This is NOT going to happen with industrial farming methods, or lab-grown meat, as every step of the process consumes high amounts of FF energy. (The production, distribution etc,.. of probiotics too) I hope this point is clear.

I agree with posters above, that the only real solution would be a drastic reduction in meat consumption, adapting of course to the place where you live. I.e. If you live in a mountainous region with lots of rain, and lots of grass, then the most efficient way of converting this solar energy into human-digestable protein is through a herbivore.  How are you supposed to grow protein and carbs otherwise in such an environment?

The following study shows that a proper 'intensive' grazing management could actually lead livestock to be a carbon sink.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308521X17310338?_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_origin=gateway&_docanchor=&md5=b8429449ccfc9c30159a5f9aeaa92ffb