In this file:


·         Drop beef and save millions of lives, slash emissions: WEF

Switching from beef to alternative proteins could save millions of lives and dramatically slash greenhouse gas emissions, the World Economic Forum said Thursday…


·         More fake news on GHG

Sensationalism seems to take priority over journalism, and in this instance, CNN thought it appropriate to disparage an entire industry.


·         Saving Lives and the Planet: Balancing Diet with Alternative Proteins Can Cut Deaths by 5% and Emissions by 25%



Drop beef and save millions of lives, slash emissions: WEF


By Jorge Guerreo, Japan Today

Jan. 4, 2019


GENEVA | Switching from beef to alternative proteins could save millions of lives and dramatically slash greenhouse gas emissions, the World Economic Forum said Thursday.


New research conducted by the Oxford Martin School for WEF showed that efforts to replace meat and especially beef could provide huge benefits for human health and the environment.


The organization, famous for the plush gathering of the world's rich, famous and influential at the luxury Swiss ski resort of Davos each January, said 2.4 percent of global diet-related deaths could be avoided by moving away from beef.


And for wealthier countries, a full five percent of such deaths could be avoided, according to the school's white paper "Alternative proteins".


"The most positive effects are found in wealthier countries, where beef consumption is high and where there is a particular benefit of consuming more fibre," it found.


The paper did not provide figures on how many people are estimated to die annually from diet-related causes, nor what diseases or conditions were included in that category, but WEF maintained that switching from meat "could prevent millions of unnecessary deaths per year."


It also pointed out that demand for meat is projected to keep growing even as the global population is predicted to swell to 10 billion around the middle of this century.


"It will be impossible to sustainably satisfy the world's future demand for meat," WEF managing director Dominic Waughray said in the statement.


He stressed that "innovation in products, improvements in how we produce beef, pork and chicken, and an effort on the part of the consumer to embrace a more diverse diet," could make it possible to improve global health, even without giving up meat altogether.


The report analyzed 13 sources of protein, including beef, pork and chicken, along with fruits and vegetables such as beans, processed non-animal substitutes like tofu, and novel products including insects.


It found that switching from meat to alternative proteins could have both a negative and a positive effect on nutrient intake, but that overall, increasing consumption of alternatives offered health improvements.


Beans, mycoprotein and peas offered the biggest health boost, with the possibility to reduce mortality rates by up to seven percent, it found.


The white paper also highlighted 2010 data showing that beef production alone accounts for a quarter of all food-related greenhouse gas emissions...





More fake news on GHG

Sensationalism seems to take priority over journalism, and in this instance, CNN thought it appropriate to disparage an entire industry.


Dr. Nevil Speer, Feedstuffs

Jan 05, 2019


“An Overlooked Cause of Global Warming: Beef” Sorry @cnn – have to call BS (pun intended) on that fake news story. Maybe you can check facts with experts @GHGGuru @drsplace and run a real story.


That was my response on twitter to a CNN story running on the Jacksonville airport TV screens. The experts I referenced are Drs. Frank Mitloehner (University of California-Davis) and Sara Place (National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn). Thankfully, my daughter caught the story and drew my attention to it, otherwise I would have missed it: “Dad, you have to see this!”


Because of time constraints, I didn’t get to watch the entire story. But I didn’t need to - the footer I quoted in my tweet was all I needed to understand what’s going on. That premise is just plain wrong.


Once we got home, I decided to dig a little and found the transcript online. CNN’s teaser for the story goes like this: “…a popular American TV ad once touted beef as the phrase, "It's what's for dinner"; but now the beef industry is facing new pressures around climate change, which seems to be accelerating. We explore that ahead.”


The segment features CNN journalist Nick Paton Walsh who, “traveled to Texas, the world’s beef capital, to investigate a major and often overlooked cause of greenhouse gases.” None of us are privy to the decision-making process around how these stories are developed, but that doesn’t matter. It’s the end-product that matters and the transcript only served to confirm my suspicion. The story is full of misinformation.


First, as noted earlier, the very premise of the story is flawed. The U.S. produces about 15% of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Meanwhile, EPA accounting designates agriculture as 9% of U.S. GHG emissions and notes that livestock are responsible for “almost one-third” of agriculture’s total GHG output. CNN couldn’t even do the basic math.


Based on those percentages, animal agriculture in the U.S. is responsible for about 3% of 15% of the world’s total GHG emissions. In other words, that means U.S. livestock are contributing less than one-half-of-one-percent to the world total. Clearly, CNN didn’t want to grapple with facts or perspective – it would negate their tagline that beef is a “cause of global warming.”


CNN’s distortions didn’t end there. For example, Walsh adds some drama: “…the endless acres here seem haunted by the corn that went before.” The story then claims, “Nearly 100 million acres of corn are planted, grown, fertilized, processed and transported around America, the biggest producer in the world.” Apparently, he wants us to believe that nearly 100-million acres are unnecessarily and wastefully committed to just feeding cattle.


He gets it wrong. The 10-year planted corn acreage average hovers around 91 million acres. Moreover, roughly 45% of that acreage is utilized to produce ethanol (the 10-year average) – compared to just 43.5% being committed to the feed/residual category (which includes feed for ALL livestock AND companion animals). Once again, lazy journalism.


What really bothers me, though, are the broader issues revolving around this story. Most notably, it’s ironic a story about beef and climate change is headlining in the airport. Airports are bustling places that epitomize mobility. Transportation as a whole accounts for 28% of U.S. GHG output – over nine times bigger than the livestock industry.


All that aside, this is now the third consecutive column I’ve written about climate change as it relates to mainstream media. Sensationalism seems to take priority over journalism, and in this instance, CNN thought it appropriate to disparage an entire industry...





Saving Lives and the Planet: Balancing Diet with Alternative Proteins Can Cut Deaths by 5% and Emissions by 25%


Oxford Martin School for the World Economic Forum

WEBWIRE - January 4, 2019


Geneva, Switzerland –


·  New research by the Oxford Martin School for the World Economic Forum finds that balancing meat consumption with alternative sources of protein can lead to significant health and environmental benefits


· A sustainable food industry and healthier human life can be achieved through further innovation in the development of alternative proteins, livestock production and consumer behaviour


· Commitment exists across business, government and civil society to ensure transformation of the food system while preserving the livelihood of hundreds of millions of livestock farmers around the world


· Read the full report here.


 Meeting the world’s growing demand for protein nutrition through sources of protein other than meat could prevent millions of unnecessary deaths per year and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research conducted by the Oxford Martin School for the World Economic Forum. The research, published today in the report Alternative Proteins also finds that the nutritional needs for a future world population of 10 billion can be met sustainably, and with positive health consequences, through a combination of innovative protein sources, improved production systems and changed consumer behaviour.


The report is unique in its focus on both the human health and environmental impacts of meat consumption. For human health, the research finds that switching from beef – the base case of the analysis – to other protein sources could reduce the overall global burden of diet-related deaths by 2.4%, with that number climbing to 5% in high- and upper-middle-income countries. This will be increasingly important given the projected demand for meat from emerging middle classes.


At the same time, in terms of environmental impact, 2010 data shows that production of beef alone[NV1] was responsible for 25% of all food-related greenhouse gas emissions. With demand for protein set to soar, such[YZ2]demand will place huge pressure on the environment. The report finds a striking difference between the greenhouse gas emissions of beef production and other sources of protein. While beef, for example, has an emissions intensity of 23.9 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per 200kcal, beans, insects, wheat and nuts emit 1 kilogram or less CO2 equivalent for the same nutritional value. Other sources such as tofu, pork, alga and chicken produce only 3-6 kilograms CO2 equivalent.


The 13 sources of protein analysed in the report include beef, pork and chicken; fruits and vegetables that can be eaten naturally or processed, such as beans and peas; processed non-animal substitutes such as tofu, wheat-gluten products or mycoprotein; and novel products such as culture meat, insects and alga spirulina.


“It will be impossible to sustainably satisfy the world’s future demand for meat. What this report shows is that it can be possible to produce enough nutrition for 10 billion people and improve people’s health without necessarily giving up meat – even red meat – altogether, through innovation in products, improvements in how we produce beef, pork and chicken, and an effort on the part of the consumer to embrace a more diverse diet,” said Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.


While the data highlights the positive joint health and environmental benefits of alternative proteins, it also details the scale of the challenge in building a more sustainable food system. On the technical side, for example, while lab-grown beef is seen by many as a much more environmentally friendly alternative to traditionally-reared beef, the report finds that current production methods are energy intensive. The report notes the possibility of changing this trajectory: as production processes mature and production is scaled up, leveraging renewable energy sourcing and localizing production in cities (much like craft beer is today), the environmental benefits of lab-grown meat could be enhanced significantly.


As important as the technical (and corresponding financial) side of innovation is, a positive story around alternative proteins is also needed to change political thinking. With each of these elements in place, we could be in line for a true transformation. The report calls for transformation in four sectors:


· The food industry, which is called on to invest in new alternative proteins to help scale up production and offer consumers a wider range of options


· The livestock industry, which must work with others (including government) to develop incentives for farmers to adopt more sustainable production processes


· The feedstock industry, where production must shift towards creating inputs for alternative proteins (alongside creating more sustainable feedstock)


· Government and regulators, which must design rules to govern a wave of new alternative proteins to protect the public from health risks and unsubstantiated claims, and to support the various sectors in their transformations


Supporting farmers


Another important message in the report is that alternative protein is only one part of the solution to make food production more sustainable and human lives healthier. For instance, the report also calls for animal feed innovation, such as insects, which present a critical opportunity, particularly for farmers in Europe and North America.


According to a sister analysis prepared by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019, Options for the Livestock Sector in Developing and Emerging Economies to 2030 and Beyond, another key part of the protein story is smallholder farmers. This report highlights that 75% of all livestock-derived foods in Asia and 72% in Africa in 2010 were produced by small farms. These farmers live and work in very different circumstances. For instance, there were approximately 750 million rural poor livestock keepers living on less than $2 income per day in South Asia, East Asia and Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa. With 70% or more of their total production costs going to labour and input costs, unique methods of sustainable intensification will be required. Ensuring that farmers can improve their livelihood and better manage their environmental impact of the livestock they keep will be a key factor in achieving a sustainable food system.


Total household demand by continent/region for selected products (2030 projected)


The View from Executives


Total household demand by continent/region for selected products (2030 projected)


“Today, we have a unique opportunity to build the right food system for generations to come. The path towards this goal is at the crossroads between an ambitious transformation of traditional production to achieve sustainable growth, and strong support for alternatives and disruptive solutions. As a 167-year-old company with entrepreneurship at the heart of our values, our Group is committed to play an active role in this challenge, leading and supporting initiatives to collectively ensure that we can sustainably feed a growing world population.” Ian McIntosh, Chief Executive Officer, Louis Dreyfus Company


“Meat production as currently practiced globally is unsustainable at the projected levels of growth, and as such will require new approaches to reduce environmental impact and will require a shift to more sustainable diets. Maple Leaf is committed to supporting consumer desire for more choices in their protein diet with plant protein-based foods providing an exciting path to both business and environmental value creation. In addition, we are equally committed to addressing the reconstruction of current meat production systems to ensure they fall in line with a sustainable future. We are moving at tremendous speed to bring innovation, scale and accessibility to provide consumers with a range of sustainable protein options.” Michael McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer, Maple Leaf Foods


“The evidence is clear, our food system needs to be transformed for the sake of our planet and the future of humankind. And it’s urgent - we are the last generation that can do something about this before the system collapses. Finding alternative sources of protein that are healthy, nutritious and respectful of the planetary boundaries is a must. WWF supports this and all other endeavours to set the compass in the right direction.” Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International


“To ensure people today and generations to come continue to have access to food that meets their nutritional needs, produced within planetary boundaries, it is essential that we take a holistic and inclusive view on food systems. For proteins in particular, a critical component of our daily diet, diversified sources are needed. At DSM we combine our competencies in nutrition, fermentation and food applications to provide solutions for diets of the future. We believe that all protein sources, animal, plant and alternatives, will play a role as we continue to innovate to feed a growing population healthily.” Feike Sybesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM NV


“A major transformation of the global food system, including a radical shift towards more plant-based and alternative protein diets, is a prerequisite to deliver on both the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. This report is important and timely, as understanding the costs and benefits of various alternative proteins, as well as its determinants of adoption, is crucial to guide multistakeholder action to make healthy sustainable food accessible, affordable and attractive for everyone, everywhere.” Gunhild Anker Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chair, EAT Foundation


The Forum’s Meat: the Future Initiative


The provision of universally accessible, safe, healthy and sustainable protein in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals is a pressing issue that cuts across systemic challenges, such as consumption, the environment, food security, health and trade issues. It also offers a great opportunity to harness innovations in technology and science that the World Economic Forum has termed the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


Meat: the Future was launched in early 2018 by the World Economic Forum to help accelerate the agenda for change – and to stimulate new ideas and collaborations – working with leading economic policy, environment and food security experts, business leaders, civil society, investors and technology innovators from around the world. The initiative focuses on three pathways for change to the protein system: accelerating alternative proteins, advancing current production systems and driving consumer behaviour change.


document, plus links, chart