Britons who switch from red meat to chicken are inadvertently contributing to deforestation.
Organic Britons who switch from red meat to chicken are inadvertently contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon, says Greenpeace
- Many Britons are moving from red meat to chicken for environmental reasons.
- Greenpeace claims that this is leading to an increase in farm chickens
- These feed on grains derived from soybeans imported from South America.
- Greenpeace reveals that UK food giants and supermarkets cannot guarantee that this soy is free from deforestation
Meatless Mondays, vegans and ‘flexitarianism’ are recent initiatives to help the British reduce meat consumption, reduce emissions and help the environment.
And a central issue for many people who eliminate meat from their diet is to start with a small step: exchange red meat for chicken.
But this measure is inadvertently feeding the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, says Greenpeace.
The environmental charity states that 1.4 million hectares of land are needed, an area larger than Northern Ireland, every year to produce enough grain to feed the chicken factories in the United Kingdom.
This grain comes from South American soybean farms and Greenpeace reveals that UK food suppliers cannot guarantee that their chicken grain comes from sustainable sources.
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In the image: soybeans in a silo in Itacoatiara, Brazil, which will be loaded on ships for export. Greenpeace states that 1.4 million hectares of land, an area larger than Northern Ireland, are needed each year to produce enough grain to feed the chicken factories in the United Kingdom.
Greenpeace went to 23 leading UK brands and asked them about their chicken sales and soy use (pictured)
Greenpeace went to 23 leading UK brands and asked them about their chicken sales and soy use.
None of the respondents could say with certainty that the soy they used was free of deforestation.
McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Nando’s and Subway refused to disclose their meat sales or use of soybeans altogether.
There has been no direct correlation between chicken consumption in the United Kingdom and deforestation in South America, but Greenpeace says there is a definitive link.
A direct correlation between chicken consumption in the United Kingdom and deforestation in South America has not been proven, but Greenpeace states that there is a definitive link as soybean farms (pictured) are expanding to meet the growing demand in the United Kingdom.
Deforestation in the Amazon (pictured) for logging and agriculture is decimating the rainforest. Greenpeace states that much of the soy produced for farm animals manufactured in the United Kingdom comes from deforested areas
HOW TO DAMAGE THE ENVIRONMENT WHEN EATING MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS?
Eating meat, eggs and dairy products harms the environment in different ways.
Cows, pigs and other farm animals release large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. While there is less methane in the atmosphere than other greenhouse gases, it is approximately 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide to trap heat.
Livestock raising also means turning forests into agricultural land, which means that trees that absorb CO2 are being cut, which further increases climate change. More trees are cut down to convert the land for cultivation, since about one third of all the grain produced in the world is used to feed animals raised for human consumption.
Industrial farms and cultivation also require large amounts of water, with 542 liters of water used to produce a single chicken breast.
In addition to this, the nitrogen-based fertilizer used in crops adds to nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide is approximately 300 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere. These fertilizers can also end up in rivers, which further increases pollution.
Overall, studies have shown that becoming a vegetarian can reduce your food carbon emissions by half. Being vegan can reduce this even more.
His latest report, entitled Winging it: how the chicken habit in the United Kingdom is fueling the climatic and nature emergency, reveals that Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay are the main sources of more than three million tons of soybeans imported into the Kingdom United every year to feed the industrial farm. animals
Greenpeace forestry activist in the United Kingdom, Chiara Vitali, said: “ Consumers who cut red meat are clearly trying to do the right thing for the right reasons.
“ But supermarkets and fast food restaurants keep them in the dark when it comes to the precious forests that are destroyed to feed most of the chicken they sell.
‘What’s worse, instead of addressing the problem, they are adding it by pressing customers to buy more.
‘For too long the impact on our planet of growing crops for chicken feed in the United Kingdom has been overlooked.
‘A direct exchange of beef and chicken effectively equals emissions from our meat consumption from the United Kingdom to South America.
“The simple truth is that we cannot continue to consume industrially produced meat in the volumes we currently have. That is why we ask companies to set clear meat reduction objectives and be transparent about the origin of their animal feed.
‘Animal feed for meat production is Europe’s biggest contribution to deforestation.
“Soy imports account for 47 percent of Europe’s deforestation footprint, compared with 14 percent for pasture expansion for cattle and 10 percent for palm oil.”