(1/23/09 – UK Guardian) Germany’s environment agency has recommended to German citizens that they should lower meat consumption, if they want to lower their carbon footprint and stop global warming.
Speaking at Berlin’s Grüne Woche (Green Week), Andreas Troge, president of the UBA (Germany’s environment agency) said:
“We must rethink our high meat consumption. I recommend people return to the Sunday roast and to an orientation of their eating habits around those of Mediterranean countries.”
Troge explained that agriculture was responsible for 15% of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and that meat production was the most energy-intensive form of farming. I have to admit it is surprising to hear, considering that Germany is a world leader in terms of meat consumption (39% of Germany’s total calorie intake derives from meat and meat products, compared with 25% in Italy). It’ll be interesting to see how citizens react.
Edmund Geisen, agricultural adviser to the liberal Free Democrats, was not pleased with Troge’s message.
“Andreas Troge should stop trying to damage the nation’s appetite by discrediting agricultural production,” he said, calling his attack on meat “populist and one-dimensional”. “Our enlightened consumers should decide for themselves what they want to eat.”
Enlightened consumers deciding for themselves? It is an argument we hear often. But how many consumers are aware that the price of meat does not reflect it’s environmental costs? I bet not many. Troge’s message will help consumers make more educated and enlightened decisions about their carbon footprint, rather than dwell in ignorance.