An international team of scientists said the production of organic and conventional meat is equally harmful to the planet’s atmosphere. At the same time, prices for these products will rise in the future.
Researchers at the Technical University of Munich, Ernst Moritz Arndt University, and the Augsburg Institute have found that the production of organic and conventional meat produces just as many atmospheric hazardous things. In their paper, published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists describe the impact of global food production on climate change.
When studying food production, the researchers divided them into three main categories: production of regular meat, organic meat, and plant-based foods. They also took into account emissions from various stages of the production process – from growing and processing feed and fertilizers, methane, which is emitted by animals and their manure.
Scientists’ data revealed a slight difference in greenhouse gas emissions from the production of regular and organic meat. They found that reductions in emissions from organically raised animals (which do not use fertilizers) are often offset by increased methane emissions due to slower growth rates and the need to raise more animals.
The researchers suggest that a tax should be introduced for meat production. They calculated that such a tax on regular beef would raise its price by about 40%, while organic beef would rise in price by only 25%. Prices for animal products such as cheese or milk will also rise. Food plant prices will remain at almost the same level.