Why Eat Chili?
hili is basically a red stew that traditionally contains meat (usually beef) along with spices, tomatoes, and sometimes beans and vegetables. But as we are learning, there are serious health and environmental problems with consuming beef. It’s associated with many cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, and livestock are a primary contributor to environmental destruction and to climate change.
If you wanted to design an inefficient way to produce protein, you’d be hard-pressed to outdo cattle feedlots. They’re basically protein factories in reverse, turning vast quantities of soy, corn, and other feeds into relatively small outputs of meat. In fact, a 2016 Environmental Research Letter found that only 3% of the protein and calories that go into raising cattle make it onto consumers’ plates. The remaining 97% turns into hoof, hide, bone, manure, body heat, and the energy that the animals expend just by being alive.
A 2017 study found that if Americans traded their beef for beans, 42% of US cropland currently under cultivation for feed crops would be freed up for other uses, including growing crops directly for human consumption, rewilding, reforesting, and replanting of meadows and prairies.
Even if nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changed — and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese — swapping beans for beef could get us a major chunk of the way to meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets.
( Excerpt taken from the Food Revolution Network)