Monday, January 11, 2010

Growing Demand For Soybeans Threatens Amazon, Climate

A new piece from Lester Brown's Earth Policy Institute points to the global need to reduce demand for soybean production, which is a primary driver of Amazon deforestation (and thus a key driver of climate disruption).

Although the deforestation is occurring within Brazil, it is the worldwide growth in demand for meat, milk, and eggs that is driving it. Put simply, saving the Amazon rainforest now depends on curbing the growth in demand for soybeans by stabilizing population worldwide as soon as possible. And for the world’s affluent population, it means moving down the food chain, eating less meat and thus lessening the growth in demand for soybeans. With food, as with energy, achieving an acceptable balance between supply and demand now means curbing growth in demand rather than just expanding supply.

Of course, reducing food demand is healthier too...  Full disclosure: I am currently working to reduce my own personal food demand.  It's not only to keep healthy at age 37, but to keep my clothing fitting me.  The last thing I need in this economy is to have to go out and purchase new clothing for all the wrong reasons...

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