Effects of GHG on Agriculture Crops o While CO2 & higher temps may increase yields… Overall lower crop yields o Heat waves o Drought o Flooding o Extreme weather o Increased threats from parasites and diseases o Decreases productivity
Vicious Circle Global warming impedes food production leading to poorer growing conditions. Agriculture produces greenhouse gasses, which leads to global warming Because of poorer growing conditions, more agricultural land is needed to farm More land used for agriculture leads to more global warming. Because of global warming, we will need more land to produce the same amount of food.
Food Production Accounts for 19 – 29% of greenhouse gasses 80% of agricultural emissions are from animal production, including animal methane emissions (14-18% of total GHGs – compare to all transportation @ 13%) Most deforestation is due to agriculture (livestock production accounts for 70% of it) Food production requires energy for: o Soil management, fertilization, pest/herb-icides o Farm machinery/irrigation o Transportation o Agriculture is responsible for most methane and nitrous oxide emissions
CO 2 Emissions by food Source: Environmental Working Group
You think the human population is increasing? The world’s meat supply is growing faster than the population. As we become wealthier, we consume more meat. Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organization
To put it in perspective… It takes the energy equivalent to 31 KWH to produce one pound of beef The average California home uses 22 KWH of electricity per day to run their home. To compare: 1.4 days of electricity for your home 1 pound of beef =
5,000 gallons of water are required to produce one pound of beef The same as filling 10 fifty-gallon water barrels. Average San Diego family uses 350 gallons of water per day. One pound of beef, 14 days of water.
Is meat is like a food factory in reverse? Start with a large of amount of animal food Animal feed fed to livestock End result, very little food produced Meat, a bad investment: 15 units of feed to produce one unit of food
Food Waste 40% of food produced is wasted. For the average US household of four, food waste translates to $1,350 - $2,275 per year Additional cost (and GHG’s) in disposing of food in landfills: landfill costs, refuse pickup Rotting food creates methane gas, a GHG 21 times more potent than CO 2
Multiplied losses Because of waste, more food than is consumed must be produced On average 16.7 pounds of food must be produced for 10 pounds of food to be consumed (40% waste) Consume less, less waste.
Other Areas of Food Emissions 24% - Packaging and Processing o 90% of food eaten is processed 12% - Transportation o Food Miles – Railway 10X more efficient than trucking. Shipping is most efficient. Air is least efficient. o Local food can be lower GHG, but not necessarily as food grown closer to home can be less sustainably grown, transportation is often a small % of overall energy, and freight can be very efficient. Organic – potential to be lower-GHG Other: transportation to and from food store, cooking, refrigeration, etc.
1.Eat less ( 1.Eat less (Stop eating at 80% full)
2. Eat less meat Eat less meat in whatever way works for you. Cut back in each meal, eat lower on the food chain (chicken v. beef), or try Weekday vegetarian or Meatless Mondays. Weekday vegetarianMeatless Mondays
Shopping Think about where your food comes from… Bring a list so you buy only what you need. Is the food unprocessed? Is it un- or minimally packaged? Is it seasonal? Is food organic? Is it nutritious? How was it transported? Was it grown sustainably? How far is the store/market? thestoryofstuffwater
In the home Plan your meals Eat your leftovers Don’t let food expire Cook multiple dishes in the oven simultaneously Cut down on frozen foods Keep your Refrigerator/Freezer full Conserve water Eat all of the food (e.g., make soup from scraps) Eat at home more
Home Grown Home Gardens: less water than a lawn; can control oil-based inputs (fertilizer, pesticides) Fruit Trees: low-water, appropriate for climate Grow in the home: sprouting, hydroponics, potted food plants Chickens: Produce eggs; consume food scraps Also: everyone can compost
BONUS! A low-GHG diet is Healthier for you & your family Better for the environment Kinder to animals Delicious
What’s Next? How each of us can make a difference… Make changes in our own lives and homes Share your knowledge and your passion on climate change with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors Let your elected officials and the media know that climate change requires immediate action Volunteer with an organization working on climate change
What’s SanDiego350.org? We work to increase awareness of climate change and advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. All-volunteer San Diego organization loosely affiliated with 350.org Started up in 2011 after successful 350.org “Moving Planet” event in Balboa Park We believe that everyone, regardless of their skills or time available, has a role in this movement.