At Food Service Warehouse, we're trying to be as green conscious as possible. We launched our certified green kitchen program a few years ago to reward our buyers that choose more environmentally friendly food service equipment. While doing some research on our industry's impact on the environment we came across a really interesting study that suggests that the farming of insects would be a more sustainable and affordable form of meat production! Crazy right?
Of course, Food Service Warehouse is a restaurant equipment and supplies web store, so we have plenty of stock in the food production industry. To go along with some of the findings of the insects study, we took a look at the current and future state of cattle and hog farming in the United States.
Take a look at this graphic we came up with that we think tells the story:
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With some of the empirical studies on green house gases, hog and cattle farming, and our insect study in hand, we set out to present the most important data.
Animal Farming Contribution to Global Warming
According to a study from the Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock contribution to anthropogenic green house gas emissions is significant. As our infographic above covers, livestock contributes 9% of the Earth's carbon dioxide, 35-40% of the Earth's methane, and 65% of the Earth's nitrous oxide. To delve further into the matter:
How Are These GHGs Produced?
Carbon dioxide emissions come from:
- fertilizer production for feed crops
- on-farm energy expenditures
- feed transport
- animal product processing
- animal transport
- land use changes
Methane is emitted from enteric fermentation in ruminants and from farm animal manure, while nitrous oxide comes from farm manure and urine.
Hog and Cattle Numbers
Our hog and cattle numbers came from the US Department of Agriculture's most recent census figures. To compare with US population we made use of the US Census Bureau's most recent figures, as presented by Google's Public Data Explorer.
By presenting this data together we hope we've at least raised some awareness to the effect that livestock production has on our environment. Are we going to drop everything and start selling cricket fryers and beetle grillers? Not likely. But we do provide as much eco-friendly restaurant equipment as we can, and will continue to keep our ear to the ground on our industry's green efforts.