Sunday February 24, 2019

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

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Mealworms, Wikimedia

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)

Next Story

Americans ‘Alarmed’ by Climate Change Double in Just 5 Years

Twenty-nine percent of respondents to the poll conducted last December by Yale and George Mason universities.

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Paris Climate Meet, Global Warming
A woman displays a placard during a demonstration in New York on June 1, 2017, to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 195-nation Paris climate accord deal. VOA

The proportion of Americans found to be “alarmed” by climate change has doubled in just five years, the pollsters behind a nationwide survey revealed on Tuesday.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents to the poll conducted last December by Yale and George Mason universities were in the alarmed category — an all-time high — and twice the percentage of those surveyed in 2013.

More than 1,100 adults across the United States were asked about their beliefs, attitudes and behaviors toward climate change.

The answers were then used to classify respondents into six groups, from dismissive, or least worried about climate change, to alarmed, for those most worried.

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FILE – People cool off at the Unisphere in Queens, New York, July 2, 2018. VOA

Those deemed dismissive of global warming represented 9 percent of respondents, a drop of five points compared to 2013.

‘Green New Deal’

The findings come amid a growing polarization of the political debate over the issue of global warming in the United States.

The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris climate deal has fired up his base, while opponents have championed a “Green New Deal” that seeks to eliminate the nation’s heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions within a decade.

The 2015 Paris accord, agreed by nearly 200 nations, seeks to wean the global economy off fossil fuels in the second half of this century, limiting the rise in average temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

The increased visibility of global warming such debates generate could explain Americans’ rising concern, said Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor emeritus at Hunter College in New York City.

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The climate in New York City in 60 years could feel like Arkansas now. Pixabay

“The more information you get there more interested that you are,” he said.

Academic research has further shown that growing exposure to bouts of extreme weather may also change minds, he added. “And it results in higher concern.”

Climate change influences economy

Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, hitting everything from health to infrastructure, according to a 2018 government report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II.

ALSO READ: Global Warming Could Change US Cities’ Climate by 2080- Study

Meanwhile, three of the five costliest hurricanes in the United States — Harvey, Maria and Irma — occurred in 2017, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the U.S. Commerce Department. (VOA)