Friday, January 20, 2017

Myths hurting beef industry: consultant

The disconnect between the agriculture industry and consumers, and the truth behind some of the myths surrounding the beef industry, were explored by guest speaker Jude Capper at this year’s Tiffin Conference. “(The disconnect) seems to be getting bigger with the rise of media people who like to tell the consumer what they think we do rather than what we actually do,” said Capper. Capper is an independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant based in Oxfordshire, U.K. Her research focuses on modelling the environmental impact of livestock production systems, specifically dairy and beef – projects include the effect of specific management practices and technology use upon environmental impact. Some popular media myths explored by Capper include the effectiveness of the “Meatless Monday” campaign; ecological impact of beef production; differences between grassfed and grainfed beef; the image of the “factory farm” versus the reality; and the perceived dangers of hormones in beef. “Meatless Monday” as an environmental movement doesn’t have the impact some believe it does, according to Capper. She said the total carbon footprint from meat in Canada amounts to about 3.9 per cent. “What that means is if everyone in Canada went meatless every Monday for a whole year, the national carbon footprint would come down less than 0.55 per cent,” she said. And because the meat needs to be replaced with another food, the idea is misleading to the public. In regards to the ecological impact of beef production, Capper said efficiencies at all levels of production have led to larger yields. Between 1977 and 2007, water use in the U.S. was reduced by 12 per cent, land use reduced by 33 per cent, and carbon footprint by 16 per cent...more

No comments: