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Meat in a Green World

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Title: Meat in a Green World


1
Meat in a Green World
An overview of sustainability and farming.
2
Welcome
Use the following buttons to guide you through
this resource.
This button takes you to the main menu.
This button moves you to the next slide.
This button moves you to the previous slide.
3
Menu
Click on the information section you wish to
read. Click Questions, if you are ready to take
the multiple choice quiz.
  • Information
  • Overview of Climate Change
  • 2. Causes
  • 3. The Consequences of Global Warming
  • 4. Sustainable Development
  • 5. Overview of Livestock Farming

6. The Challenge for Livestock Farmers 7. How are
Emissions Measured? 8. Reducing GHG Emissions
from Livestock Farming 9. Improvement Strategy
10. Changing Consumers Behaviour
Questions
End
4
1. Overview of Climate Change
The greenhouse effect is essential to life on
earth. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) naturally make up
about 1 of the earths atmosphere and help to
regulate our climate. However, as a result of
population growth and industrial development,
human activity is responsible for releasing more
GHGs into the atmosphere than would normally
occur. This has affected the natural regulation
of the earths temperature resulting in increased
climate change that is unpredictable with
variations and extremes of temperature and
weather conditions.
5
2. Causes
Globally many human activities are responsible
for GHG emissions energy production and usage,
transport, industry, agriculture and forestry.
Food production is responsible for around a
fifth of the UKs greenhouse gas emissions, of
this figure a third comes from agriculture and
land use. The other two thirds from processing,
retailing and consumer use of food and food waste
(Pigs and The Environment, A Kleanthous 2009).
6
2. Causes
The majority of GHG emissions are in the form of
carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel use and
deforestation (the destruction of forests that
help trap CO2 and replenish oxygen in the
atmosphere), but methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide
(N2O) from agriculture also make a significant
contribution. The global warming potential
(GWP) of Methane and Nitrous oxide are much
higher per tonne than that of Carbon Dioxide,
although the effects may not last as long in the
atmosphere.
Methane 21 x greater Global Warming Potential
than CO2 (over 100 years) Nitrous oxide 296 x
greater Global Warming Potential than CO2 (over
100 years)
7
3. The Consequences of Global Warming
Climate is what you expect, weather is what we
get. (Mark Twain) There is evidence that the
climate is changing, but the big question is
whether this a natural event or driven by human
behaviour. The impact of changing climate is
complex with variability in different regions at
different times. Variable weather patterns should
not be confused with long term trends which take
over 30 years to track and record. It is
thought that long term effects of climate change
are likely to be increased areas affected by
drought increased intense tropical cyclones
increased incidence of high sea levels melting
of polar ice caps warming of oceans.
8
4. Sustainable Development
Currently, our consumption of natural resources
is faster than the rate at which they can be
created or replaced. No production system can be
sustained in the long term if it exceeds the
Earth's overall ability to process waste and
provide for a stable climate, flood regulation,
pollination and many other essential
environmental services. There are many
definitions of sustainable development. The most
widely used is Meeting the needs of the present
generation without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their needs
(Brundtland Commission's 1987 report for the
United Nations, Our Common Future).
9
4. Sustainable Development
Achieving sustainable development requires a
balance between expanding economic opportunity,
reducing hunger and poverty, whilst preserving
the planet. Improving life while living within
the capacity of the ecosystem (World Wildlife
Fund 1991).
10
5. Overview of Livestock Farming
Introduction Livestock farming in the UK is a
large, complex and highly-interdependent
industry. 2.9 million cattle, 16.7 million sheep
and 9.2 million pigs supply the human food chain
with a nutrient dense product that has been at
the heart of the national diet for thousands of
years. But we do not produce all we eat, imports
are a significant part of the market, such as for
pig meat where we are only 48.0 self sufficient.
11
5. Overview of Livestock Farming
More than 60 of British agricultural land is
grassland and much of it is unsuitable for crop
production. There are large areas of the UK which
cannot reasonably produce food for people unless
cattle or sheep are grazed. Livestock farming
plays an important part in landscape management.
The traditional small hedge-bounded field
structure that characterises English hills and
uplands is maintained by grazing livestock.
12
5. Overview of Livestock Farming
Furthermore, rough grazing plays an important
role in locking up carbon dioxide in plant
material and soil organic matter and regulating
the flow of rain into water courses. Without
livestock farming the landscape could look very
different.
13
6. The Challenge for Livestock Farmers
To meet the carbon targets made legally binding
in the 2008 Climate Change Act, the Government
has published the UK Low Carbon Transition
Plan. This sets out a comprehensive strategy to
reduce national GHG emissions by 18 of estimated
2008 levels by 2020. As part of this plan,
English farmers are required to continue making
reductions in their annual GHG emissions. The
immediate priority is for emissions estimated in
1990 to be at least 11 lower than the level
predicted for 2020 a saving of some 3 million
tonnes per year of CO2.
14
6. The Challenge for Livestock Farmers
The global warming potential (GWP) for meat is
the sum of methane emissions from rumen
fermentation and manure breakdown, nitrous oxide
from the fertilisers used to grow feed and carbon
dioxide emitted from transport, processing,
packaging, and cooking the end product. The GWP
per tonne produced is 6 for pig meat, compared
with 16 for beef, 17 for lamb and 5 for poultry.
15
7. How are Emissions Measured?
Calculating the level of GHG emissions produced
by livestock farming is a complex task. The tool
adopted by experts is called Life Cycle Analysis
(LCA). LCA is a method of accurately assessing
the burden placed on the environment by the
production or manufacture of a product. The
analysis takes into account how much energy and
raw materials are used and the amount of products
and waste generated at each stage of a products
life. For example, for pigs this might
include gt On farm source and type of feed,
housing, manure storage gt Abattoir/Meat plant
transport, use of energy and water in the plant,
meat waste, refrigeration gt Retailer transport,
packaging, refrigeration gt Consumer transport,
refrigeration, cooking, waste disposal
16
7. How are Emissions Measured?
The following measures are used to make
comparisons of the impact Global warming
potential greenhouse effect caused by emissions
of greenhouse gases Eutrophication  oxygen
depletion of water and reduction in water quality
due to increased nitrates, phosphates and ammonia
in the ecosystem as a result of chemical
fertiliser use. Acidification  emissions
causing extremes of pH in habitats e.g. acid
rain Abiotics  depletion of natural resources
that cannot be preplaced for example fossil fuels.
17
7. How are emissions measured?
These are quantified and used to identify
possible improvements or changes in production
patterns or methods. LCA is a rapidly developing
science and methodologies often do not compare
like with like. By considering all the
individual components, experts have been able to
establish national benchmarks for primary energy
consumption and overall GHG emissions for food
production.
18
8. Reducing GHG Emissions from Livestock Farming
Achieving Targets To play their part in ensuring
that British farming meets its UK Carbon
Reduction Plan target, farmers must continue to
reduce their annual GHG emissions by at least 11
from 1990 levels by 2020. The industry works on
the measurement of emissions per kilogramme of
meat as the benchmark for efficiency.
Reductions in stock numbers would, if
consumption stays the same, cause the transfer of
production, and therefore emissions, to other
parts of the world.
19
8. Reducing GHG Emissions from Livestock Farming
Over recent years profitability through
efficiency has led to a decline in livestock
numbers, which has led to a decrease of GHG
emissions of 17 since 1990. However, with a
growing population output needs to be increased
to meet world food needs. The ongoing challenge
of reducing emissions and providing sufficient
meat for consumption will be met by further
improvements to productivity. However, the United
Kingdom is not totally self sufficient in meat
production and imports play a major part in
fulfilling demand.
We also export parts of the carcase which other
nations prefer consuming. This helps maximise
carcase ultilisation and therefore reduces the
GHG per unit of meat.
20
9. Improvement Strategy
Within the beef, sheep and pig industries, the
following areas have been identified as
opportunities for efficiency and
improvement. Select better animals Genetic
selection can improve growth rates in pigs,
cattle and sheep with subsequent increase in
yield of meat. Improvement of reproductive
performance will reduce the numbers of breeding
animals required and in addition increase the
number of live healthy offspring.
21
9. Improvement Strategy
In the pig industry genetic characteristics are
also important for the efficient conversion of
feed into meat muscle (feed conversion ratio) and
increasing prolificacy i.e. the number of animals
born and reared per sow. Similarly, disease
resistance and longevity of life are all
heritable. These genetic traits are key to
efficiency however, efficient production must
not be at the expense of high animal welfare.
22
9. Improvement Strategy
Change the feed Improving the formulation of
rations fed to livestock can impact upon the
level of emissions. Matching the energy and
protein needs of the animal to the diet in beef
cattle rations encourages lower methane
production per kg of beef produced. New forage
crops are being developed that offer a better
nutrient balance to livestock for example high
sugar ryegrasses for cattle and sheep.
23
9. Improvement Strategy
Soya is an important source of protein for farmed
livestock in the UK. Inclusion rates in the diet
range from 30 for chickens, 10 for pigs and 3
for ruminants. Much of the soymeal used is
imported from North and South America. The Round
Table on Responsible Soy (supported by WWF) is an
international platform to support the production
of sustainable, ethically produced soya. A number
of livestock stakeholders have agreed to
encourage increased use of sustainable soya. The
pig industry is currently undertaking research to
replace soya in the diet of pigs.
24
9. Improvement Strategy
Fertiliser and Waste management Over the past 10
years, the overall nitrogen, phosphate and potash
applications to grassland in England and Wales
have been halved. In terms of agricultural
practice in the UK, beef and sheep farmers are
the lowest users of artificial fertilisers on
grass.
Urine and faeces from livestock contain useful
nutrients for use by grass and crops. Farmers use
manures from housed animals to grow crops. If the
grass or crop does not capture and use all of the
nitrogen in the manure or urine deposited by the
animals in the field this surplus can be leached
out by rainwater as it travels through the soil
to streams and lakes or underground reservoirs.
Surplus nitrogen form manures or fertilisers
remaining in the soil during winter may from
nitrous oxide a very potent greenhouse gas. There
are some chemicals, called de-nitrification
inhibitors which can be used on land to reduce
the problem, but they are currently too expensive
for widespread use.
25
9. Improvement Strategy
Ammonia is an issue with all housed livestock,
but modern housing and feeding management can
reduce the impact on the environment. Covering
a slurry store reduces the emissions of ammonia
and methane into the atmosphere.
26
9. Improvement Strategy
Use of anaerobic digesters, whilst not
widespread, will manage a naturally occurring
process through the conversion of methane into
bio-gas energy and produce high volumes of
fertiliser as a by-product which can be used as a
replacement to chemical fertilisers. As well as
managing methane and carbon dioxide emissions
from livestock production, anaerobic digestors
can save money by potentially providing the
farmer with energy, fuel and sustainable
fertiliser. The energy maybe in the form of heat
or electricity, or both.
27
9. Improvement Strategy
Pollutants from livestock farming can be reduced
but not eradicated. More research is required to
help farmers manage the waste that is an
inevitable by-product of livestock production.
Sustainable production is the sum of the parts
genetics, feed , housing, technology adoption,
systems management ( including slurry management)
and acquisition of knowledge on the part of all
individuals involved in livestock production.
28
10. Changing Consumers' Behaviour
Human Diet and Health A healthy balanced diet is
vital to our well being. Meat contains a range of
beneficial nutrients some of which are more
freely available than from a vegetarian diet.
Some meat and meat products, however, can
contain high levels of saturated fat, associated
with heart disease and diabetes.
29
10. Changing Consumers' Behaviour
The average consumption of red meat in this
country is around 76g per day a moderate
amount. The majority of people in Great Britain
consume a very varied and cosmopolitan diet which
will not necessarily include red meat every
day. Consumers whose diet is more reliant on
processed meat products, which by their very
nature will involve greater contribution to GHGs,
should be encouraged to choose fresh lean red
meat instead.
30
10. Changing Consumers' Behaviour
Waste UK households throw away 6.6 million tonnes
of food waste every year. Of this, nearly a fifth
4.1 million tonnes could have been eaten if
it had been stored or managed better. Families
with children create the greatest proportion of
avoidable food waste. Fresh, rapidly perishable
foods such as bread, salad, and fruit tend to be
wasted in a higher proportion than meat. This may
be because of the relative expense of meat.
31
10. Changing Consumers' Behaviour
WRAP has a target to reduce consumer food waste
by 100,000 tonnes by April 2011. More than 30
retailers have signed up to this commitment.
Reducing the amount of packaging used for food
is not the only consideration for sustainability.
Innovative packaging technologies such as gas
flushing, interactive films, re-sealable packages
can all increase shelf life and therefore food
waste. For unavoidable food waste WRAP
recommends home composting or the use of local
authority recycling.
32
Questions
Welcome to the question section. You will be
given 10 questions to complete. Each question is
multiple choice. Click on the answer you believe
is correct.
Click the arrow to start the questions.
33
Question 1
What is the greatest source of greenhouse gas
emissions in the UK ?
1. Farming and food production
2. Fossil fuel use and deforestation
3. Nuclear fuel use and deforestation
4. Car fuel use and food production
34
Question 1
Correct, well done.
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35
Question 1
Incorrect, try again.
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36
Question 2
How much is food production responsible for the
UKs greenhouse gas emission?
1. One-third
2. Two-thirds
3. One-fifth
4. One-sixth
37
Question 2
Correct, well done.
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38
Question 2
Incorrect, try again.
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39
Question 3
Name three main consequences of global warming.
1. Drought, disease and pest infestation.
2. Deforestation, more ice caps and rain.
3. Low sea levels, melting polar ice and disease.
4. Drought, melting ice caps and warming oceans.
40
Question 3
Correct, well done.
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41
Question 3
Incorrect, try again.
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42
Question 4
What is the percentage of pig meat which the UK
produces for its own needs?
1. 38
2. 48
3. 58
4. 83
43
Question 4
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44
Question 4
Incorrect, try again.
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45
Question 5
Which of the following is locked-up in plant
material as a result of rough grazing?
1. Methane
2. Carbon dioxide
3. Nitrogen
4. Nitrous oxide
46
Question 5
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47
Question 5
Incorrect, try again.
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48
Question 6
What reduction in GHG emissions are English
farmers required to make?
1. 5 lower than in 1990 by 2020
2. 11 lower than in 1990 by 2020
3. 21 lower than in 1990 by 2020
4. 31 lower than in 1990 by 2020
49
Question 6
Correct, well done.
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50
Question 6
Incorrect, try again.
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51
Question 7
For a product, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) takes
into account
1. The amount of energy used, recycling potential
and waste produced.
2. The amount of transport and materials used, as
well as recycling.
3. The amount of energy and raw materials used,
as well as waste generated.
4. The amount of energy and money used, as well
as waste recycled.
52
Question 7
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53
Question 7
Incorrect, try again.
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54
Question 8
Name three improvement strategies for meat
production.
1. Animal selection, feed change and waste
management.
2. Animal selection, increased roaming and water
management.
3. Waste selection, change in animal type and
waste management.
4. Land selection, increased methane production
and water use.
55
Question 8
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56
Question 8
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57
Question 9
What is the average amount of red meat
consumption in Great Britain?
1. 176g per day
2. 136g per day
3. 106g per day
4. 76g per day
58
Question 9
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59
Question 9
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60
Question 10
Which type of household creates the biggest
proportion of food waste?
1. Singles
2. Families with children
3. Retired couples
4. Young couples
61
Question 10
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62
Question 10
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Click this arrow to end.
63
End of questions.
Click the home button to return to the main menu.
64
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