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Asia’s Increase In Consumption Of Meat To Cause Environmental Problems: Researchers

“You have a lot of people in Asia who don’t get that great a diet so animal-sourced food intake will increase,” said the FAO’s Dawe.

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Commuters stand at an open doorway of a suburban train during the morning rush hour in Kolkata, India, July 31, 2015. India is set to overtake China and become the world's most populous country in less than a decade - six years sooner than previously forecast, the United Nations said in 2015. VOA

Asia’s growing appetite for meat and seafood over the next three decades will cause huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions and antibiotics used in foods, researchers said Tuesday.

Rising population, incomes and urbanization will drive a 78 percent increase in meat and seafood demand from 2017 to 2050, according to a report by Asia Research and Engagement Pte Ltd., a Singapore-based consultancy firm.

“We wanted to highlight that, because of the large population and how fast the population is growing, it is going to put a strain on the environment,” said co-author Serena Tan.

“By recognizing this and where it comes from, we can tackle the solutions,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Pope, Aisa
Asia’s growing appetite for meat and seafood over the next three decades will cause huge increases in greenhouse gas.

More carbon dioxide, antibiotics

With supply chains ramping up to meet demand, greenhouse gas emissions will jump from 2.9 billion tons of CO2 per year to 5.4 billion tons, the equivalent of the lifetime emissions of 95 million cars, the researchers said.

A land area the size of India will be needed for additional food production, according to the report, while water use will climb from 577 billion cubic meters per year to 1,054 billion cubic meters per year.

The use of antimicrobials, which kill or stop the growth of microorganisms, and include antibiotics, will increase 44 percent to 39,000 tons per year, said the report, which was commissioned by the Hong Kong-based ADM Capital Foundation.

Overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food is rife in Southeast Asia, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said this year, warning of serious risks for people and animals as bacterial infections become more resistant to treatment.

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Avoid the intake of processed meat in your diet. Pixabay

Income growth

Growing urban areas contribute to the rising demand for meat and seafood, because people there usually have better access to electricity and refrigeration, said David Dawe, a senior economist at the FAO in Bangkok.

“But income growth is the big driver,” he added.

Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Pakistan are among nations likely to contribute most to the rise in meat and seafood consumption, while countries with aging populations, like China, will likely limit growth, Tan said.

Food producers can increase efficiency by implementing rainwater harvesting, using sustainable animal feed and capturing biogas from cattle, Tan said.

Also Read: Environmentalists Investigate The Kerala Floods

Regulators, consumers and investors can also pressure restaurant chains and producers to limit the use of antibiotics in meat supplies, she added.

At meal times, consumers can also choose plant-based foods made to look like meats as an alternative, Tan said.

“You have a lot of people in Asia who don’t get that great a diet so animal-sourced food intake will increase,” said the FAO’s Dawe. “In many ways it’s a good thing for nutrition, but it does raise environmental issues.” (VOA)

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New Technology That Can Clean Water Twice As of Now

more than one in 10 people in the world lack basic drinking water access, and by 2025, half of the world's population will be living in water-stressed areas.

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Novel technology cleans water using bacteria

Researchers, led by one of Indian-origin, have developed a new technology that can clean water twice as fast as commercially available ultrafiltration membranes, an advance that brings hope for countries like India where clean drinking water is a big issue.

According to a team from the Washington University in St. Louis, more than one in 10 people in the world lack basic drinking water access, and by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.

The team led by Srikanth Singamaneni, Professor at the varsity, developed an ultrafiltration membrane using graphene oxide and bacterial nanocellulose that they found to be highly efficient, long-lasting and environment-friendly.

The membrane technology purifies water while preventing biofouling, or build up of bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms that reduce the flow of water.

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The membrane technology purifies water while preventing biofouling. VOA

For the study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, they used bacteria to build such filtering membranes.

The Gluconacetobacter hansenii bacteria is a sugary substance that forms cellulose nanofibres when in water.

The team then incorporated graphene oxide (GO) flakes into the bacterial nanocellulose while it was growing, essentially trapping GO in the membrane to make it stable and durable.

They exposed the membrane to E. coli bacteria, then shone light on the membrane’s surface.

After being irradiated with light for just three minutes, the E. coli bacteria died. The team determined that the membrane quickly heated to above the 70 degrees Celsius required to deteriorate the cell walls of E. coli bacteria.

While the bacteria are killed, the researchers had a pristine membrane with a high quality of nanocellulose fibres that was able to filter water twice as fast as commercially available ultrafiltration membranes under a high operating pressure.

When they did the same experiment on a membrane made from bacterial nanocellulose without the reduced GO, the E. coli bacteria stayed alive.

The new technology is capable of identifying and quantifying different kinds of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, as a threat to shut down water systems when it suddenly proliferates. Pixabay

While the researchers acknowledge that implementing this process in conventional reverse osmosis systems is taxing, they propose a spiral-wound module system, similar to a roll of towels.
Also Read: India Gets Assistance of Rs 3,420 Crore From Japan
It could be equipped with LEDs or a type of nanogenerator that harnesses mechanical energy from the fluid flow to produce light and heat, which would reduce the overall cost.

If the technique were to be scaled up to a large size, it could benefit many developing countries where clean water is scarce, the researchers noted. (IANS)