Diane Trout (alienghic) wrote,
Diane Trout
alienghic

  • Mood:

So different

When people talk about things where I have a minority opinion and am emotionally committed to my point of view, instead of trying to convince people of my point of view I just sit and stew in my silence.

One common frustration I have had is with religion–many seemed to find it helps them somehow where I tend to see religion and as a yoke that has shackled humanity.

But the issue I actually want to complain about is the Atkins diet. Considering the British Food Standards Agency felt the need to criticize the diet I can safely assume that many people are following it.



After an entire collective of friends converted to it, I started wondering about the environmental costs of the Atkins diet. Since it encourages eating more meat and cheese, both of which are require more land per delivered calorie than vegetarian diets, I wondered how many more people are going to be starving to death from grain shortages. How many more hectares are going to be plowed under to provide the additional grain to feed the cattle. How much biodiversity will be lost in those monoculture fields?

And if you think I'm exaggerating about people dying because of eating habits, consider World Facing Fourth Consecutive Grain Harvest Shortfall. The 2003 grain harvest fell short of consumption by 93 million tons. (out of approximately 1800 million tons)

From this site I found a chart showing that the affluent AKA "typical american" takes about 1500 kg /year of grain equivalent while the vegetarian diet only takes a little under 500 kg. (It seems to me like the Atkins diet is even worse than the "typical american diet". (Though for the individual it is somewhat better as it forbids several classes of exceptionally bad for you foods).

Switching to a vegetarian diet is an important part of getting our consumption under our supply. (Alternative solutions include things like hoping HIV/AIDS manages to wipe out enough of humanity to drop us back under the current carrying capacity).

One of the recent estimates for the carrying capacity for Earth would be about 2 billion or one-thirds of the current population, if everyone ate like the "typical american". Which would mean that out of every group of 3 people, 2 of them would need to die to push demand back below the available supply.

Also vegetarianism can be much healthier than meat eating.

Even excluding the problem of how persistent organic pollutants move up the food chain (and thus collect in the tissues of meat, allowing meat eaters to enjoy a more concentrated supply of dioxin, etc). Vegetarians have health advantages with respect to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

And I just found a reference that suggests Rhumatoid arthritis treated with vegetarian diets
Subscribe

  • Guild Wars 2

    I started playing Guild Wars 2, and am happy their questing system has broken with WoW's current quest design. As WoW grew they "simplified" and…

  • calendar.

    Its been a really long time since I tried to write. I keep meaning to roll my own blog software, but there's so many other things I should be doing.…

  • Building debian packages for mozilla's sync server

    I'm surprised this seems to have gotten valid debian packages with a minimum of fuss for a package where I couldn't find a recommended release…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 16 comments

  • Guild Wars 2

    I started playing Guild Wars 2, and am happy their questing system has broken with WoW's current quest design. As WoW grew they "simplified" and…

  • calendar.

    Its been a really long time since I tried to write. I keep meaning to roll my own blog software, but there's so many other things I should be doing.…

  • Building debian packages for mozilla's sync server

    I'm surprised this seems to have gotten valid debian packages with a minimum of fuss for a package where I couldn't find a recommended release…