Importance of Natural Resources

Nuestra comida y la contaminación ambiental

Do you remember that in previous videos we have been talking about greenhouse gases? The most important ones are CO2, methane and water. 97% of the scientific community agrees
that the liberation and atmospheric accumulation of these gases has an important anthropogenic component. According to the Environmental Protection Agency
of the US, the biggest polluting group in that country is not the industry,
but transport, where 90% of vehicles work based on hydrocarbons. It is the same in Mexico, the main pollutant is the motor vehicle, which is followed by electricity generation.
The issue of green energy for electricity generation has been described in a previous video.
In the third place, is our food supply industry:
from rice, monocultures, industrialized food and livestock sector. In the video about cows, I explained that the emitters champion of methane are farm animals, which also contribute
to 9% of CO2, 65% of nitrous oxide and 37% of anthropogenic methane, this …
derived from the bacteria that inhabit their digestive tract. Will there be anything we can do about
our daily food decisions to reduce our overall impact on the emission
of greenhouse gases and consequently, on the issue of climate change? Let’s think about this qualitatively:
Imagine a space where 3 families live … imagine how much space
on land they would need to harvest their food: legumes, vegetables, fruits …
imagine also how much water needs be consumed in all this …
Now, imagine that these families also want to consume meat. The little animals also eat, so you need to imagine more land to harvest food and more water to give
for the animals. How much time should they need to feed the animals with the harvested food
before they themselves become food? The calves are usually kept
between 1 and 2 years, the pigs between 3 to 6 months. They obviously eat
several times a day as well. So, conceptually … you can give yourself an
idea of ​​the resources that are required by these 3 families? … of course today,
We don’t live in places where food is immediately next to the families …
There are many processes of packing, freezing and transportation. We are not only talking about soil, fertilizer and water for plant foods, we also have transportation involved (and the pesticides to prevent bugs from eating the food on the first place), and animals were preserved and fed for a long time,
consuming resources that allowed them to live and only part of those resources would become available
energy to those who eat them, and they must be frozen and transported too. Now let’s analyze the issue with numbers, to
have a better picture. There are currently more than 570 million farms
around the world, dedicated to producing food in various climates and terrains, using
also diverse agronomic methods. There ar farms from 0.5 hectares in Bangladesh
to farms of 3000 hectares in Australia; places where 1 kg of nitrogen is used
per hectare in Uganda and places where they use 300 kg in China. Some products have
minimal processing and packaging, and are sold a short distance from where they are produced,
while 17 out of 100 kg of food is transported internationally.
These variations don’t make it simple for a numerical analysis to be done on
how much of the food we consume regularly impacts its water consumption,
acidification and eutrophication of the land used by one side or the release of
greenhouse gases on the other. Even so, databases of
global data have been developed, intended for evaluation of ecological impacts with multiple indicators
of our different sources of foods. The scientists Poore and Nemecek,
for example, published last year on Science, an analysis that also takes
into consideration the nutritional benefit of product groups. In global terms, the consumption of meat from
beef and lamb accounts for 50% of the greenhouse emissions while
the rest of the meal … all together, represents the other 50%.
If we talk about products of animal origin, including milk and cheese, 58% of emissions
come from these, and the remaining 42% represents all other foods.
Finally 26% of global greenhouse gases come exclusively from the food we consume The impacts of animal products can
exceed its vegetables substitutes markedly. Meat, aquaculture, eggs and
milk derivatives represent around 83% of the land used for food purposes
and contribute with about 57% of pollutant emissions while providing
only 37% of the protein and 18% of the calories we consume. For many products, the impacts are
biased by producers with particularly high impacts. This creates opportunities.
for specific mitigation for each case, making a huge problem
more manageable. For example, for beef, if we group
the 25% most polluting producers, they represent 56% of the emissions
of greenhouse effect of this item and 61% of land use (in numbers, it is estimated to
represent 1300 million metric tons CO2 and 950 million hectares
of land, mainly pastures). For the issue of fresh water consumption, it turns out
that 40% of the environmental problem in the world is associated with the production of only 5%
of the calories in the world’s food. And on the other hand, as consumers, we can
have an idea of ​​what kind of products we could consume less frequently to
contribute to climate change mitigation. Now, I know that if I started telling you that
if your favorite food is for example the hamburger, and you should NEVER in your life consume it again,
it would sound maybe even tragic … but what you could do is evaluate if you can
reduce your meat consumption one day a week, maybe two days … try different things,
maybe eventually you will find other advantages of doing so more regularily … if you are concerned about the issue of an
unbalanced diet, I invite you to watch my video on the topic here: There is also another important thing: chasing
“Organic” food is also not the non-plus-ultra solution (as I had already commented
in this other video), the most reasonable thing to do in environmental terms is to identify season food within your region… those that do not they have to be imported from another continent,
those that are not exotic … and those that you can buy in your local market. Besides being cheaper, this food normally is not absurdly packaged.
In that same line of thinking, neither all meat consumed everywhere in
the world have the same environmental effects and it would be useful for researchers, producers
and consumers to share information of this type to make better thought decisions.
I believe that a regulation that ensures this communication between the actors involved
in the food chain would be a very reasonable request to do to our politicians,
This way, together, we can do something in favor of climate change mitigation. If you want to get an idea of ​​the effects of
your food, I recommend using this carbon footprint calculator: What do you think about this topic? If you like my
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Reader Comments

  1. …¡felicidades y gracias por compartir! ¿Sabes el impacto que tiene el pasto "de jardín" en la conversión de CO2 a O2?

  2. El futuro es la Acuaponía (Hidroponía + Acuicultura), se podrían utilizar edificaciones abandonadas en las ciudades para efectuar cultivos hidropónicos alimentados con los nutrientes que secretan peces alimentados en estanques, esto también eliminaría el problema del transporte de los alimentos.
    Gracias por el vídeo, una feliz navidad

  3. WOW está vez me super intereso, me podría decir en donde encontró sobre que la carne no tiene los mismos efectos ambientales para pasar esta nota y comentarle a alguien que fue encargado de la mitigación del medio ambiente por favor ☺️

  4. Hola todo está de cabeza loca creo que lo único bueno de la guerra es el racionamiento del alimento tal vez si se creará una croqueta humana como la de los perros si funciona para ellos por que no para los humanos y no abría desperdicio y además en el racionamiento es bueno mantendría a la gente a raya y no abría gorditos sería una sociedad mejor y propongo que los finés de semana el gobierno no venda gasolina cuando hubo la carencia de no haber hasta resultó mejor que el hoy no circula y cambiar la ley para que todo el que pueda en México use energía alternativa como solar de aires y de gases de desechos humanos

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