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Here’s How Fish Sticks Can Generate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Shipping has a massive influence on climate and a shift to cleaner fuels will diminish the cooling effect from sulfur oxides and increase the climate impact

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A study found that Alaskan pollock is a relatively fuel-efficient fishery: Pollock are caught in large nets called midwater trawls that are towed behind boats, hauling in a lot of fish in each landing and reducing the climate impact of the fishing process. Pixabay

Researchers have found that transforming ‘Alaskan pollock’ into fish sticks, imitation crab and fish fillets generates nearly twice the greenhouse gas emissions produced by fishing itself.

Post-catch processing generates nearly twice the emissions produced by fishing itself, which is typically where the analysis of the climate impact of seafood ends, according to the findings, published in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

“The food system is a significant source of global greenhouse gas emissions, and Alaskan pollock is one of the biggest fisheries in the world,” said study researcher Brandi McKuin from Unviersity of California in the US.

“These findings highlight the need to take a comprehensive approach to analysing the climate impacts of the food sector,” McKuin added. “Alaskan pollock is sold as fillets and trim pieces that are used to make products like fish sticks and imitation crab, it’s a huge market,” she said.

Unlike previous studies that have largely overlooked the downstream processing activities associated with Alaskan pollock, this study examined all the components of the supply chain, from fishing through the retail display case.

The results identify “hot spots” where the seafood industry could concentrate its efforts to reduce its climate impacts, said the researchers. For the findings, the research team analysed the climate impacts of transoceanic shipping of exported seafood products.

They found that Alaskan pollock is a relatively fuel-efficient fishery: Pollock are caught in large nets called midwater trawls that are towed behind boats, hauling in a lot of fish in each landing and reducing the climate impact of the fishing process.

After the catch, Alaskan pollock are shipped for processing, and in some cases, transported on large container ships that burn copious amounts of fuel, including cheaper, poor-quality bunker fuel that produces high levels of sulfur particles. The researchers noted that sulfur oxides from ship fuels have a climate-cooling effect.

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Post-catch processing of fish generates nearly twice the emissions produced by fishing itself, which is typically where the analysis of the climate impact of seafood ends, according to the findings, published in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. Pixabay

“Seafood products that are exported have a lower climate impact than domestic seafood products,” she said, adding that the climate impacts of shipping will change this year as new regulations for cleaner marine fuels take effect.

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“Shipping has a massive influence on climate and a shift to cleaner fuels will diminish the cooling effect from sulfur oxides and increase the climate impact of products that undergo transoceanic shipping, including seafood,” said McKuin. (IANS)

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Find Out Why You Should Not Consume Processed Meat or Poultry

Want to live longer? Stop eating red, processed meat

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Researchers have found that eating two servings of red meat, processed meat or poultry was linked with cardiovascular diseases. Pixabay

If you want to live longer, read this carefully. Researchers have found that eating two servings of red meat, processed meat or poultry — but not fish — per week was linked to a three to seven per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and three per cent higher risk of all causes of death.

After a controversial study last fall recommending that it was not necessary for people to change their diet in terms of red meat and processed meat, a large analyzed new study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, links red and processed meat consumption with a slightly higher risk of heart disease and death.

“It’s a small difference, but it’s worth trying to reduce red meat and processed meat like pepperoni, bologna and deli meats. Red meat consumption also is consistently linked to other health problems like cancer,” said study senior author Norrina Allen from Northwestern University in the US.

The new study pooled together a large diverse sample from six cohorts, included long follow-up data up to three decades, harmonized diet data to reduce heterogeneity, adjusted a comprehensive set of confounders and conducted multiple sensitivity analyses.

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Red meat and poultry consumption also is consistently linked to other health problems like cancer. Pixabay

The study included 29,682 participants (mean age of 53.7 years at baseline, 44.4 per cent men and 30.7 per cent non-white).

According to the researchers, diet data were self-reported by participants, who were asked a long list of what they ate for the previous year or month. The study found three to seven per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death for people who ate red meat and processed meat two servings a week.

A four per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease for people who ate two servings per week of poultry, but the evidence so far is not sufficient to make a clear recommendation about poultry intake.

And the relationship may be related to the method of cooking the chicken and consumption of the skin rather than the chicken meat itself, the study said. Researchers found no association between eating fish and cardiovascular disease or mortality.

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Fried chicken, especially deep fat-fried sources that contribute trans-fatty acids, and fried fish intake have been positively linked to chronic diseases, according to the study.

“Modifying intake of these animal protein foods may be an important strategy to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death at a population level,” said study lead author Victor Zhong. (IANS)