June 8, 2018
Aquaculture, a potential bigger emitter of greenhouse gases than cattle rearing
Aquaculture, when carried out in certain ways, could produce more methane and other greenhouse gases than rearing cattle, according to findings by researchers at Oxford University and Swiss agricultural research institute, Agroscope.
The findings are developed with help of the most comprehensive database yet on environmental impacts of close to 40,000 farms, and 1,600 processors, packaging types, and retailers. This information allows the researchers to determine how various production practices and geographies lead to different environmental impacts for 40 major foods.
This discovery of various environmental impacts is based on an assessment which takes into account relevant factors including water use, eutrophication, and acidification.
"Two things that look the same in the shops can have very different impacts on the planet. This variability isn't fully recognised in strategies and policy aimed at reducing the impacts of farmers," said Joseph Poore from the Department of Zoology and the School of Geography and Environment.
"Food production creates immense environmental burdens, but these are not a necessary consequence of our needs. They can be significantly reduced by changing how we produce and what we consume."