Animal feed makes up the largest part of the livestock footprint

According to a recent study, most carbon emissions come from food consumed by domestic animals. Fodder makes up 78% Carbon footprint chickens and 69% of the salmon industry footprint.

Chicken is labeled as a “greener” protein than salmon. The world production of chicken is 55 times higher, but the result is 38 times higher emission of gases the greenhouse effect and uses ten times more space, research shows.

Industrial production of broilers and farmed salmon represent the two largest animal food sectors in their respective domains, offering a compelling case study of production trajectories and environmental impacts, according to the study’s authors.

The researchers note that chicken and salmon are of similar lean protein quality and are relatively environmentally efficient with low feed conversion rates due to:

  • intensive selective breeding
  • food specialization
  • improved production technologies

Footprint reduction solutions

The authors point out that diet is one of the biggest environmental pressures on the planet and that previous studies show that vegetarianism or veganism are options for reducing dietary emissions.

Other dietary options, such as eating insects for food, can also reduce carbon emissions.

Insects also reduce the burden of food waste by feeding on underutilized agri-food by-products, such as vegetables, fruits and starches, or on food that is no longer intended for human consumption.

In addition, agriculture It can be made more efficient by concentrating production in “high pressure” areas to focus all efforts on specific areas.

Further changes may be driven by a change in salmon feed, and the study highlights that chick feed is unlikely to change dramatically in the coming years.

In this sense, the study highlights the importance that the integration of food policy across all areas and sectors will be key to optimizing and achieving sustainability throughout the global food system now and in the future.

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carbon footprint of salmon
Atlantic salmon production increased from 0.9 million metric tons of live weight in 2000 to 2.7.6 million in 2020.

This is how the carbon footprint of livestock farming is measured

FAO’s interactive tool allows farmers, policymakers and scientists to calculate meat, milk and egg production, along with greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming. The goal is to make this sector more productive and more climate-friendly.

An interactive ecological accounting model for global livestock farming, called an acronym in English GLEAMs (Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model) offers answers to a wide range of questions.

GLEAM’s goal is to help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and guarantee that animal husbandry activities are as efficient as possible. So that they can continue to meet human needs for food, nutrition and livelihoods while using fewer natural resources.

AND FAO research based on GLEAM, he found that with feasible and affordable changes, farmers can increase production and reduce emissions by almost a third.

Finally, having accurate information about the environmental impact of livestock supply chains will help stakeholders make better informed decisions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Must watch: Here’s how the poultry industry is trying to move towards sustainability

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