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Old 06-08-2008, 11:02 AM   #1
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Ethical consumerism

I'm just wondering if anyone else here is abstaining from, or at least reducing their consumption of things that have a significant impact on the climate, and perhaps more immediately pressing, the global food shortage? Has anyone thought about it?

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Old 06-08-2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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Things like what?
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:02 PM   #3
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this is a concern of mine, but I approach it from a different angle. I try to raise as much of the food we eat as possible. That way no fossil fuels are used in the transporting of the foods to market and then my table. We are raising more garlic and potatoes this year than we have in the past.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:06 PM   #4
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Things like what?
Well apart from reducing usage of oil (oil is used to make agrochemicals to grow food and also to power food processing systems and is linked to biofuels which take farm-land away from use in food-production), you can also reduce meat consumption. The way that works is, it takes about five-six times as much grain to feed a person meat because the energy has to go through another animal first and of course the animal wastes a great deal though the inefficient digestion process and losses in heat and movement. Thus, people driving to a restaurant to dig into their stake reduces grain production and increases demand at the same time.

People don't realise that in the Western world, only about 10% of income is spent on food whereas in the less developed world, that figure is 70-80%.

Part of the reason we're facing this problem now, is that the growing wealth in China is enabling a 'Westernization' of their diet. They're eating more meat than they used to.

You can if you like, read all about it on various news websites. Thanks for expressing an interest!
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by seans potato business
People don't realise that in the Western world, only about 10% of income is spent on food whereas in the less developed world, that figure is 70-80%.
Sean...Do you have any numbers on how much food and aid (dollars or percentage) the Western World providess to the less developed world??
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:16 PM   #6
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Alas, I have none (and my short-lived search was fruitless), but according to this site: Global food supply is a growing problem - Telegraph the director-general of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation says that $30bn per year is needed to "relaunch" agriculture in the developing world. That's something for the big boys to organise. This issue I wanted to raise, was what we as average Joe's could do to affect food prices.

I don't know the situation in the US but even in the UK, Netto and ALDI have apparently been rationing rice! I find the lack of alarm among some to be alarming!
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:32 PM   #7
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There is no outcry over rice rationing in the US because it's not a hugely popular item. Rationing beef would cause riots.
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by seans_potato_business View Post
Well apart from reducing usage of oil (oil is used to make agrochemicals to grow food and also to power food processing systems and is linked to biofuels which take farm-land away from use in food-production), you can also reduce meat consumption. The way that works is, it takes about five-six times as much grain to feed a person meat because the energy has to go through another animal first and of course the animal wastes a great deal though the inefficient digestion process and losses in heat and movement. Thus, people driving to a restaurant to dig into their stake reduces grain production and increases demand at the same time.

People don't realise that in the Western world, only about 10% of income is spent on food whereas in the less developed world, that figure is 70-80%.

Part of the reason we're facing this problem now, is that the growing wealth in China is enabling a 'Westernization' of their diet. They're eating more meat than they used to.

You can if you like, read all about it on various news websites. Thanks for expressing an interest!

Are you proposing vegetarianism as a way to reduce our carbon footprints?

If the Chinese are actually consuming more meat in a attempt to Westernize, that is an increase in demand and creates competition and the financial incentive to produce more. It also tends to drive up prices. It's part of a free market system. I'm sure the Chinese have figured out it's cheaper for them to raise their own meats and other foods.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:01 PM   #9
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There is no outcry over rice rationing in the US because it's not a hugely popular item. Rationing beef would cause riots.
You think that would cause riots, imagine if rationing coffee happened. There would be a lot of tired, grumpy people trying to kill each other!
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:04 PM   #10
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You think that would cause riots, imagine if rationing coffee happened. There would be a lot of tired, grumpy people trying to kill each other!
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cigarettes and beer too!! LOL
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