Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids, which are essential building blocks for the body. There are nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained from the diet. These essential amino acids are required for the synthesis of proteins that support tissue growth and repair, hormone and enzyme production, immune system function, and other physiological processes. Dietary protein also plays a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis, which is the process by which the body repairs and builds new muscle tissue.… Read the rest “The Environmental Footprint of Protein”
The environmental cost of beef production is well known: it generates a lot of greenhouse gases (GHG), compared to plant-derived foods or even meats such as pork or chicken. A major reason is that bovines’ stomachs use oxygen-free, “enteric” fermentation to digest grass, as described in a previous post. As a result, they burp up a lot of methane, which is a potent GHG.
The greenhouse gas contributions of methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases are encompassed by the term “CO2 equivalents” (CO2e).… Read the rest “Your steak and global warming”
“Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together. It’s official: taking to the roads in an SUV’s got nothing on cattle flatulence . . . “ This is a direct quote from a recent web post of a climate sceptic. It restates a popular meme about climate change, favoured by conservative commentators: that man isn’t the most important agent of global warming, it’s the farting cows, stupid.… Read the rest “We Need to Talk About Methane”
The present-day Gila River in the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area in southeast Arizona.
Both nature and nurture affect human obesity. For some people, and for some populations, the genetic tendency to become obese is not fulfilled because of their environment, the circumstances of their lives. But when those circumstances change, the genetic potential may be realised quickly, and lead to the medical issues that follow from obesity. An example that starkly illustrates this comes from the sunbaked desert south of Phoenix, Arizona.… Read the rest “The Gila River People, Victims of Modernity”
It’s a good idea to look critically at any powerful new technology, and the creation of genetically-modified organisms, GMOs, is no exception. Like any new technology, it might have unanticipated, deleterious consequences that outweigh any benefit. Many criticisms of GMO have of course been raised, as a brief interrogation of the internet will show. But unfortunately, the criticisms of GMOs we hear most often are not the most important ones, and the ones that are most important are often not heard clearly.… Read the rest “GMO”
Carrots and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are loaded with one of our most important micronutrients, one that is deficient in the diets of over 100 million people in the world: Vitamin A. About thirty years ago it became evident that vitamin A deficiency is incredibly harmful to children under the age of six, and can lead to susceptibility to infection, blindness, and death. In some parts of Africa, vitamin A deficiency has been overcome by growing orange sweet potatoes brought from America.… Read the rest “Saving Vision and Lives, One Sweet Potato at a Time”