We hear it all day long: eating red meat would be terrible for our carbon footprint. But to fully understand the real impact of our meat consumption, it is important to understand our food system.
Take an interest in breeding conditions
Take the example of a cow, raised outdoors and has more than one hectare of grass: this cow will not stress. She will not have a digestive disorder related to a diet too rich and unbalanced, as is often the case of cows locked and fed with cereals. Thus, this cow, quiet and happy in its meadow, will degas very little methane - a gas 25 times more powerful, in terms of greenhouse gases, than carbon dioxide.
As a bonus, this outdoor cow, grazing the grass, will promote the sequestration of atmospheric CO2 in the soil, in very large quantities - of the order of 0.7 tons per year and per hectare. Because when a cow grazes, it automatically activates the regrowth of grass behind it, a herb that uses carbon for its photosynthesis. To put it another way, raising cattle in the open air can capture carbon, which is absolutely not negative for the climate.
On the other hand, a chicken can have a very strong carbon footprint since it eats seeds which must be sent to the end of the world in 90% of cases, since France is not autonomous in this sector.
Focus on local meat
Of course, it is necessary to moderate its consumption of meat, whether it is red or white, but not to impact the climate, it is mainly to look at the conditions of animal husbandry. The key is to favor breeding methods that emphasize extensive rather than intensive, animal welfare rather than productivity, and especially local production, whether plant or animal.
Because if we relocate our food system, and therefore limit the kilometers traveled by the products we consume, we will eliminate a significant part of the problem.