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Thread: Paleo and the environment page 2

  1. #11
    zoebird's Avatar
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    There are a few areas where I think people could do quite well.

    Since going primal/paleo, my husband and I have noted that we are eating far few calories because of the satiety business from fat. DH used to consume A LOT of food, but now he's consuming about 1/2 than he was before. And, he's just as strong, lean, able to build muscle, etc. I dropped my calories down by about 1/4, which is still great.

    We also started consuming more bone broth, which increases protein uptake, which means that you actually require less protein per lb lean muscle mass (ie, we're moving down to the .8 per lb lean muscle mass right now as an experiment), which could mean consuming less meat, and if you're eating the whole animal, then it's really consuming fewer animals.

    We're also keeping track of how much produce we need and how much our community garden provides, as well as local farms. Eating seasonally makes a huge difference.

    I do believe it's possible to live well as a primal person.

  2. #12
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    OK then maybe in a perfect world, full of intelligent primal people, with no interference from multinationals and governments, it wouldn't be that bad for the environment. But I just don't see this happening if it went mainstream and huge profits became invloved. You'd get the food industry version of Paleo sold to the masses and I dread to think what that would involve at the farm level and environment level.

    I just see a vast expansion of super farms filling the rapidly heating up planet with even more cow and pig farts. Big industry and Paleo won't go well together in my opinion and that's what you'd have if it went mainstream.

  3. #13
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    Perfect, imperfect. . . only thing I can really worry about or control is myself, right?

  4. #14
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    There's too many people on the planet to support paleo, this is why there was a population explosion once humanity started agriculture. That said certain steps could be taken to maximise food production like people eating liver and heart, which are commonly thrown away. Anyway I really don't care about the environment, our contribution as individuals is utterly insignificant and I'll be dead before the climate gets significantly worse (if it does).

  5. #15
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    You're right, there are too many people on the planet and they'll be even more when the Great Fill Up is over. 10 billion being inevitable by 2040 or 50, as the parent of child 10 billion is already alive now. But you are right, as an individual, there's nothing you can do to really make a difference. Change will only happen once population size effects the economy on a really significant scale.

    Thing is, I do care about my kids but all I can do is educate them. Maybe get them to think about some kind of Paleo career or one in saving the environment. Both of which are going to be huge when everything else economically goes to sh*t.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    I don't know how many grazing animals and how much permaculture-based plant food the world could support if we converted the monocropped corn, soy and wheat fields to pasture, but it almost certainly wouldn't be enough to feed everyone.
    It's always those that don't know that shout the most.

    If current practice carries on it will simply destroy soil structure, besides causing even more soil-erosion and poluution of waterways. That will not feed anyone.

    To the OP. Try the links I gave.
    Did you read my whole post? Doesn't look like it. Did I give any indication I thought our current course was in any way sustainable? Certainly not. I was pointing out that the world increasing its meat consumption would hasten the ecological destruction that is already happening, and I thought I made it very obvious that I don't think there is any sustainable way to feed the number of people we already have, much less the number we are adding each year:

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    Overpopulation (despite the protestations of a few around here) is a major, major problem affecting nearly every aspect of human life, and the dependence of our food supply on unsustainable energy production (and the attendant environmental degradation inherent to this agricultural technology) is only one of the many symptoms. The population simply cannot continue to increase or even remain steady if we want to solve the problems it's causing right now.
    You pretend as if this passage, which makes the same point you accuse me of ignoring, somehow escaped your notice. You seem to enjoy quoting me selectively and responding only to those portions of my posts that you can easily construe negatively when taken out of their context, while insulting my intelligence and/or tone. I would appreciate it if you would endeavor to correct this uncharitable habit in future.

    Quote Originally Posted by iniQuity View Post
    Wait, there are people here that don't think this is an issue? Holy shit.
    Yes, and there is a not-insignificant contingent of them on this forum. I've noticed a trend here that ignorance or dismissal of the overpopulation problem seems to be related to both the tendency toward the libertarian/unregulated free-market and conservative Christian ideologies, both of which have strong phsychological motivations to ignore or downplay the problem to avoid serious cognitive dissonance IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfreaksho View Post
    Infographic: How big a backyard would you need to live off the land? | MNN - Mother Nature Network

    Someone did the math for you. About half an acre per person, give or take, depending on location and soil and weather, etc.

    Even with just the "prime" farmland (~7million acres), by these methods the state of Wisconsin could support double its current population (just shy of 6 million), leaving all the non-prime farmland (another 7 million acres) for money crops. This doesn't include the 30 million acres of rural non-agricultural land, as a good portion of that is likely to be heavily wooded. Not all states are as fortunate in farming conditions as Wisconsin is, though- lots of rivers and pretty good soil all around.
    Interesting. A little searching around reveals there is somewhere between 7B and 8B acres of arable land on the planet. Assuming that all arable land is as productive as Wisconsin's (which it's probably not), that leaves enough farmland for around 15B people, if we develop every square foot. That's just to feed us; water, living space, pollution and so on of course don't even factor in here. And of course it's not desirable to till every fertile nook and cranny on the planet, or to live packed in like sardines around the entire globe, so even if we can, I'd really rather we didn't.

    Sigh.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

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  7. #17
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    Does anyone else wonder what would happen to the world if Paleo became mainstream?

    I think this Paleo malarky needs to stay underground. At least for the sake of the planet.
    Please go search for Joel Salatin and read what he has to say. Here is one article I read yesterday. Most of his other articles and speeches are way better than this one, but this one answers some of the myths you are currently holding.

    Sustainable Meat: No Myth - Weston A Price Foundation
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  8. #18
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    You do not need arable land for "making" meat. Honest to God.

    I've lived (not very long, but still) with Bedouin in south Jordan. They have huge flocks of goats and camels and they live in the frikkin desert. No way in hell can they grow much of a crop there, but the goats and camels absolutely thrive on the small amounts of shrub and lichen. Sure, they think keeping goats on lands were green grass grows would be a whole lot easier, but it isn't necessary.

    The whole interior of China and Africa are prime places for this type of meat production, and between the two there are billions of acres. As long as you think beyond the picture of a cow munching on the bright green grass of Switzerland you see that there is absolutely no problem with the world eating a lot of meat.

    I was told by my brother who heard from a friend who grew up in Africa (yeah, so third-hand information) that the reason malnutrition is so rampant in Africa right now is that warring tribes would engage in "biological warfare" by killing off all the animals in other tribe's hunting lands. After this is done enough the ecosystem starts to collapse and there's no more meat, and then everyone gets sick and dies. Rather than sending these people bags of rice we should be teaching them how to keep herds of milk and meat producing native animals.

    Moral of the story? If someone buys a cows for an African village as your "Christmas present" this year that won't actually overpopulate the earth with cattle or cause starvation.

  9. #19
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    Mark actually had a series of posts on this topic. I wish I could find them for you... but I remember a few key points. The one that made me laugh the most was when he pointed out that America's number one crop is lawn grass. If everyone went paleo, we could all rip out that grass, grow vegetables and save a LOT of cropland. Of course, first we'd have to get around the city bylaws.

    The second point he made is that in terms of calories per acre, grains kinda suck. Potatoes are a hands down winner, with sweet potatoes coming in behind white, but still excellent. So we'd probably have to compromise and eat more potatoes. It would still be a lot healthier than SAD, and imagine how much energy would be freed up by the lessened need for packaging! Anyway, there were more points he made but I can't remember, sorry.

  10. #20
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    I've lived (not very long, but still) with Bedouin in south Jordan. They have huge flocks of goats and camels and they live in the frikkin desert. No way in hell can they grow much of a crop there, but the goats and camels absolutely thrive on the small amounts of shrub and lichen. Sure, they think keeping goats on lands were green grass grows would be a whole lot easier, but it isn't necessary.
    That is very true too. I live in Alberta, and I was talking to mom about the environment and stuff... she lived on a farm as a child. She pointed out that a lot of Alberta cattle are grazing on land that can't be used for crops. It's just not feasible.

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