Author Topic: Paleo and the Environment  (Read 1289 times)

Offline flickz

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Paleo and the Environment
« on: August 23, 2016, 07:37:56 PM »
Hi, I've read http://paleoleap.com/paleo-meat-environment/ and http://robbwolf.com/2012/05/17/paleo-diet-sustainability-economic-growth/ which say that paleo is better for the environment. For instance, they discuss how letting livestock graze on the land itself, rather than feed them corn, is better for the soil. However, according to other sites like http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/can_seven_billion_humans_go_paleo/, while the paleo diet does help the environment in lots of ways, it has a lot of cons as well. It mentions that we have two and a half times the fishing fleet that the oceans can sustain. Digging into the top results for whether grass-fed beef is better than other beef, https://www.google.com/search?q=paleo+and+the+environemnt&oq=paleo+and+the+environemnt&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2.3098j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#safe=active&q=grass+fed+beef+environmental+impact (especially the slate article at the top), it seems like more research needs to be done, but that grass-fed is not necessarily better and possibly much worse. Perhaps there still need to be more studies done.

What are your guys thoughts? How can we eat lots of delicious meat and still do our part for the environment?

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Paleo and the Environment
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 10:41:36 AM »
With respect to grass fed versus grain fed beef, a little thought shows that grass fed beef cannot be worse for the environment.  That's because grass fed cattle are limited by the amount of grass, and thus the amount of sunlight, and the amount of sunlight hasn't changed.  Just as many grass fed ruminants have been around as there are now for millions of years, long before any global warming.

Any carbon dioxide from growing grass fed beef is reabsorbed by grass as it grows.  As for methane emissions, methane is a relatively unstable gas, and is removed from the atmosphere relatively rapidly through oxidation.

With respect to paleo as a whole, there's a good argument that there isn't enough meat to go around for everyone in the world to eat paleo.  But if we all become vegan, that just means that, in the long term, the human population will expand until we reach the limits of agriculture.  In my opinion, it's better for the environment for those who can afford to be paleo to eat paleo, and for us to encourage the human population to decline in overpopulated areas of the world so everyone can go paleo.