It seems like articles like this one are getting to be a dime a dozen these days. Forbes Magazine recently published an article titled, "Drop That Burger," written by Matthew Herper. The article is about a Stanford University biochemist, Patrick Brown, who is tired of studying DNA molecules in his lab and is ready to tackle the problems in animal agriculture. His solution: "Eliminate animal farming on planet Earth." Food producers, get ready. This man has found his target, and it is you.
Here is an excerpt from the article that wrongly pins beef and dairy production to most of the world's problems...
Over the next 18 months Brown, 55, will take a break from his normal scientific work (finding out how a small number of genes are translated into a much larger number of proteins) in order to change the way the world farms and eats. He wants to put an end to animal farming, or at least put a significant dent in our global hunger for cows, pigs and chickens.
Diets are malleable. Thirty years ago nobody drank high fructose corn syrup. Now it's a dominant part of the American diet. As Western diets move into China, people there are eating more beef. Brown argues that the key to removing meat from diets is to give foodmakers an incentive to make yummy vegetable-based fare. If vendors push the new foods, palates will follow.
"If you're a big food producer now, this is absolutely inevitable," he says. "You'd better start thinking ahead. You'd better seriously start investing and trying to find alternatives in order to stay alive."
We hear you loud and clear, Patrick. However, what you're saying is completely off-base. After reading the entire article, I have found several points worth correcting. The good folks at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association have done a great job over the years of tackling myths about beef and dairy production, and it's interesting that many of those myths were repeated in this article including: land usage, water waste, global warming, pollution, etc. Link here to read the real facts about beef production instead of the errors mentioned by a biochemist in Forbes.
BEEF Daily Quick Fact: According to USDA’s Agricultural Statistics 2005, of the 2.3 billion acres of land in the United States, 455 million acres are classified as cropland and only about 18 percent of U.S. cropland is used for feed grain production. There is not a large displacement of human food production for livestock feed. (Source: Beef From Pasture to Plate)