Meat does more for climate change than food miles

With all the recent concern about fuel miles affecting New Zealand's meat exports to Europe by causing people to avoid buying it I was fascinated when I found this interesting report in the environment area of New Scientist magazine.

"That locally-produced, free-range, organic hamburger might not be as green as you think.

"An analysis of the environmental toll of food production concludes that transportation is a mere drop in the carbon bucket. Foods such as beef and dairy make a far deeper impression on a consumer's carbon footprint.

"If you have a certain type of diet that’s indicative of the American average, you're not going to do that much for climate while eating locally,"

Unfortunately as we still want to export meat, this doesn't directly help New Zealand's case very much, but when you add this to the way we grow our beef and lamb: free-range, in large paddocks, eating fresh grass and not grain, its' obvious that our cattle are a lot closer to being carbon neutral than the grain fed, factory farmed, critters in the northern hemisphere.

I just hope hope someone with a large media presence can get this message out to the world. Remember "Red meat isn't bad for you, green fuzzy meat is bad for you".

Bruce Clement is a keen domain name investor and commentator. You are free to copy this article under the licence as long as you publish it unchanged and link either to Bruce's blog ¿Que? at or to his hub site at

Tags: environment