Expert calls for less meat intake amid climate change
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - February 8, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Lesser meat consumption coupled with the practice of organic farming could help mitigate the effects of climate change, an agriculture expert has said.

Teodoro Mendoza, professor at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, explained that decreasing meat consumption contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“The increase in population leads to increase in consumption of energy and the industrialized food systems. As a result, food production has become a major source of GHG emission,” said Mendoza, a member of the Philippine Rice Research Institute board of trustees.

“Reduction of animal-based food products would help decrease GHG emissions because processes like animal feeds production and logistics done in animal or meat production from farm to consumer-table emit significant amount of GHG,” he added.

The Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change as a consequence of its growth trajectory.

Around 44 to 57 percent of greenhouse emissions come from agriculture and food-related production while only around 18 percent come from vehicles and the transport industry.

“This enormous amount of GHG emissions is very relevant to rice farming because they aggravate climate change, which has been affecting the practices of farmers for years now,” Mendoza said.

In order to reduce greenhouse emissions in the agriculture sector, one option is to shift to organic agriculture that has a lower energy output compared to the conventional method of farming.

The Department of Agriculture is also urging local farmers to use renewable energy for rice production following the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.

The agency said farmers and consumers should shift to alternative sources of fuel aside from fossil energy, such as biomass, wind power, and the production of ethanol through fermentation.

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