It’s not the red meat that’s bad for the planet, it’s us – Joe Bennett:
I used the article to light the log-burner, but I remember the first sentence: “We all know that red meat is bad for the planet.”
Well now, let’s start at the start. We don’t all know this. We may have been told it, and told it repeatedly, but that is not the same as knowing it and neither does it make it true. As a boy I was told many things, including that if you played with it, it fell off, and that god was in heaven. These two in particular seemed antithetical. Luckily neither proved true.
Now, it is possible to take a moral stance against red meat, to argue that it is wrong to end the lives of other creatures to sustain our own. To do so, however, is to condemn every living thing. From bacteria to whales, life on earth consists of things eating each other. The pretty little swallows that nest in my garage murder insects by the million.
But the author doesn’t seem to be taking this moral stance. He or she asserts only that red meat is “bad for the planet”, and presents this notion as if it were scientific fact. But red meat isn’t bad for the planet. The planet is a durable beastie that will continue to orbit the sun regardless of how many pork chops you and I may eat. . .
The latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) report shows New Zealand’s food and fibre sector export revenue is expected to reach a record $52.2 billion in the year to 30 June 2022.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says the report showed an increase of close to 10% on the previous year. “This is a tremendous result for the sector as farmers, growers and others in the supply chains who play such a critical role in our economy.
They have continued to deliver quality products for Kiwis and overseas consumers while navigating global disruption and uncertainty,” he says.
O’Connor says New Zealand’s overseas markets demand high quality products made with care and the SOPI report indicates exporters are responding to that. . .
While the latest draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB) is a significant improvement its success is undermined by woeful funding in Budget 2022 to assist private landowners, Federated Farmers says. Only $20 million of the $150m needed over the next four years was allocated.
Keys to Federated Farmers’ support of the new biodiversity policies will be sound criteria on what are truly ‘significant’ natural areas, and protection of existing land use rights where they are not degrading native biodiversity.
“Implementation of the new rules also needs to be accompanied by a comprehensive and well-resourced financial support package,” said Chris Allen, the Feds national board member who was part of the cross-sector Biodiversity Collaborative Group (BCG) that made recommendations to the government.
An exposure draft of the long-delayed NSP-IB has just been released, another step in the long journey of this policy. . .
A Hawke’s Bay farmer says reducing stress levels among cattle is resulting in higher quality Angus beef.
Matangi Farm’s beef cattle is raised just behind Havelock North’s Te Mata Peak.
Farm manager Jamie Gaddum said they try to reduce stressors on the cattle as much as possible.
“We’ve tried to keep trucking to a minimum. We’ve got two farms, but they’re only on a truck once in the lifetime,” he said. . .
Proposed changes to how pigs are cared for could come with a hefty price tag, a new economic report warns.
The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee has proposed a raft of changes to the code for pigs, including banning or reducing the use of farrowing crates, weaning piglets no earlier than 28 days old and increasing the amount of space where young pigs live.
But a new report by consultancy group Sapere warns if the proposed changes are adopted, farmers could be out of pocket by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And it could drive the cost of New Zealand pork up by 18.8 percent for consumers, as farmers try to cover the costs. . .
Newly published research by Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service into tree planting will provide some welcome solutions to problems foresters and planters are all too familiar with.
“The research has enabled us to come up with strategies to successfully plant trees outside of the normal planting season, and also have a better understanding of how to safely hold back trees in nurseries without impacting the quality,” says Emily Telfer, Programme Delivery Manager, Forest Science at Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service.
Tree planting is normally carried out in the middle of the year, with significant work required in nurseries leading up to winter to prepare a crop of trees and by landowners to prepare sites for planting.
“The yearly forestry planting cycle follows a sequential series of steps and is driven by biology, so the research set out to look at what mitigations can be utilised when the sequence is disrupted.”. . .