Turkey Trots

November 24, 2012

Here it is, day three of the infamous Thanksgiving holiday blow-bust, and the crowning glory of the bird is yet to show.
Landfill we come: The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans throw away 35 percent of the turkey they buy, and that does not include bones. That’s compared to only 15 percent waste for chicken. What’s worse, throwing away turkey isn’t just bad manners or a big waste of money ($282 million), it’s also bad for the environment…

And before the sickness from over-bird inhalation, just be careful one doesn’t get it in the neck with a serving fork, or be caught in a freak photo that should have been tender, but in reality is real-creepy.

(Illustration found here).

Not only are US peoples obese, but we’re also way-wasteful — along with more than a third of the bird, we junk 253 pounds of food each year, ‘per person,’ while those lessor souls in places like Asia and Africa, it’s only 13 pounds for each.
And that turkey is eventually killing us:

Growing a pound of turkey meat uses 468 gallons of water and releases 12 pounds of CO2 emissions according to a report by the Environmental Working Group — equivalent to driving your car 11 miles and taking a 94-minute shower.
Gunder (Dana Gunder, food and agriculture scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council) says that nationwide, consumers will purchase around 736 million pounds of turkey this Thanksgiving, of which about 581 million pounds will be actual meat.
Unless Americans change their ways this Thanksgiving, about 204 million pounds will be tossed, along with about 1 million tons of CO2 and 95 billion gallons of water.
“We can do a lot better,” said Dawn Undurraga, nutritionist and registered dietitian at the Environmental Working Group.
“Especially when we have doomsday predictions about the future of food.”

No turkey shit, lady.

A couple of weeks ago, Jeremy Grantham, a British investor who is co-founder and chief strategist of GMO, a Boston-based asset management firm managing more than $97 billion, penned a piece in Nature, the weekly journal of science, about the real horrors of climate change.
I reviewed the article here.
In that post, Grantham also discussed this about the luxury of eating:

Then there is the impending shortage of two fertilizers: phosphorus (phosphate) and potassium (potash).
These two elements cannot be made, cannot be substituted, are necessary to grow all life forms, and are mined and depleted.
It’s a scary set of statements.
Soviet states and Canada have more than 70 percent of the potash.
Morocco has 85 percent of all high-grade phosphates.
It is the most important quasi-monopoly in economic history.
What happens when these fertilizers run out is a question I can’t get satisfactorily answered and, believe me, I have tried.
There seems to be only one conclusion: their use must be drastically reduced in the next 20–40 years or we will begin to starve.
The world’s blind spot when it comes to the fertilizer problem is seen also in the shocking lack of awareness on the part of governments and the public of the increasing damage to agriculture by climate change; for example, runs of extreme weather that have slashed grain harvests in the past few years.
Recognition of the facts is delayed by the frankly brilliant propaganda and obfuscation delivered by energy interests that virtually own the US Congress.
(It is not unlike the part played by the financial industry when investment bubbles start to form … but that, at least, is only money.)
We need oil producers to leave 80 percent of proven reserves untapped to achieve a stable climate.
As a former oil analyst, I can easily calculate oil companies’ enthusiasm to leave 80 percent of their value in the ground — absolutely nil.

On Monday another big, bullshit climate fest, this time in Doha, Qatar, but from all indications the affair will be another bust — this despite the recent World Bank-commissioned report that we’re pretty-well f*cked.
Apparently, humanity just ain’t scared enough:

Judging by previous conferences, the negotiations in Doha will ebb and flow, with progress one day being replaced by bitter discord the next.
And in the end, after an all-night session, bleary-eyed delegates will emerge with some kind of face-saving “accord” or “action plan” that keeps the talks alive another year, but does little to address the core problem.
“It shows that leaders and also the public in these countries — the U.S. certainly is one of them — don’t yet understand the full implications of the costs associated with the path that we’re on,” said Alden Meyer, of the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists.

Now, how about some turkey-flavored ice cream?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.