(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have found that producing organic meat produces about the same amount of greenhouse gases as growing conventional meat.
It turned out that the presence of fertilizers and additives in animal feed does not greatly affect the amount of greenhouse gases that they emit during their short life.
Previously, scientists found that animal husbandry creates about 15% of all greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere annually. It is estimated that one cow creates 250 to 500 liters of methane every day. And this is without taking into account the carbon dioxide that animals give off when breathing. It was believed that this amount could be reduced by feeding livestock with food raised without the use of fertilizers.
But now German researchers have shown that organic meat is not much better than natural meat in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere as a result of its production. The study authors analyzed the amount of greenhouse gases that are generated during the production of various food products. Scientists have divided foods into three main categories: traditional meat, organic meat, and plant foods. The researchers took into account emissions from various stages of the production process – for example, when growing and processing feed and fertilizers, as well as methane released by animals and when their feces decompose.
The data obtained showed a slight difference in greenhouse gas emissions from the production of traditional meat and organic. The authors found that reductions in emissions from organic animal rearing were often offset by increased methane emissions due to slower growth rates and the need to raise more animals as these tend to be less meaty.
The researchers also found that organically raised chickens produced slightly more greenhouse gases than conventionally raised chickens. However, organic pork generates less emissions than traditional pork.
The researchers suggest the need to introduce taxes on meat, reflecting the environmental costs of their production. Scientists estimate that such a tax on regular beef will increase its price by about 40%, while organic beef will grow by only 25% (since it is already more expensive than regular beef). Prices for animal products such as cheese or milk will also rise. The rise in prices will have a positive effect on artificial (cultivated) meat, which is beginning to conquer the world market.
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