Thursday July 19, 2018

Consuming Insects such as Crickets and Mealworms may help cut Harmful Emissions: Study

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Mealworms, Wikimedia
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London, May 5, 2017: Consuming insects such as crickets and mealworms, instead of beef could help tackle climate change by reducing harmful emissions linked to livestock production, new research suggests.

The study, published in the journal Global Food Security, showed that replacing half of the meat eaten worldwide with crickets and mealworms would cut farmland use by a third, substantially reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

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“A mix of small changes in consumer behaviour, such as replacing beef with chicken, reducing food waste and potentially introducing insects more commonly into diets, would help achieve land savings and a more sustainable food system,” said lead author Peter Alexander from the University of Edinburgh in Britain.

Further, consuming insects and imitation meat — such as soybean-based foods like tofu — are the most sustainable as they require the least land and energy to produce. Beef is by far the least sustainable, Alexander said.

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Lab-grown meat was also found to be no more sustainable than chicken or eggs, requiring an equivalent area of land but using more energy in production.

For the study, the team used data collected primarily by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and compared the environmental impacts of conventional meat production with those of alternative sources of food.

In addition, halving global consumption of animal products by eating more insects or imitation meat would free up 1,680 million hectares of land, the researchers said. (IANS)

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Women Are Rarely “Put Front And Center” At The Heart Of Climate Action

Feminism doesn't mean excluding men

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Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017.
Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017. VOA

Women must be at the heart of climate action if the world is to limit the deadly impact of disasters such as floods, former Irish president and U.N. rights commissioner Mary Robinson said on Monday.

Robinson, also a former U.N. climate envoy, said women were most adversely affected by disasters and yet are rarely “put front and center” of efforts to protect the most vulnerable.

“Climate change is a man-made problem and must have a feminist solution,” she said at a meeting of climate experts at London’s Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship.

“Feminism doesn’t mean excluding men, it’s about being more inclusive of women and – in this case – acknowledging the role they can play in tackling climate change.”

Research has shown that women’s vulnerabilities are exposed during the chaos of cyclones, earthquakes and floods, according to the British think-tank Overseas Development Institute.

In many developing countries, for example, women are involved in food production, but are not allowed to manage the cash earned by selling their crops, said Robinson.

Earth depletion
Earth depletion, Pixabay

The lack of access to financial resources can hamper their ability to cope with extreme weather, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the event.

“Women all over the world are … on the front lines of the fall-out from climate change and therefore on the forefront of climate action,” said Natalie Samarasinghe, executive director of Britain’s United Nations Association.

“What we — the international community — need to do is talk to them, learn from them and support them in scaling up what they know works best in their communities,” she said at the meeting.

Also read: Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wines

Robinson served as Irish president from 1990-1997 before taking over as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and now leads a foundation devoted to climate justice. (VOA)