Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Ruminants

28 November 2017

The top five mega-corporations responsible for factory-farmed meat and dairy are responsible for emitting more combined greenhouse gases (GHGs) than Exxon, or Shell, or BP. That is according to findings released in a joint study undertaken by IATP and GRAIN.

Photo: Stanze, Young male Charolais cattle, Flickr, CC by 2.0
14 November 2017

A new paper titled Distributions of emissions intensity for individual beef cattle reared on pasture-production systems details a new method, developed at the North Wyke Farm Platform, of assessing grazing livestock impacts and benefits at the level of individual animals.

Photo: Sarah, A Tasty Snack, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
26 May 2017

This paper compares stylised, hypothetical dietary scenarios to assess the potential for reducing agricultural land requirements. It suggests that a combination of smaller shifts in consumer diet behaviour – such as reducing beef consumption by replacing with chicken, introducing insects into mainstream diets and reducing consumer waste – could reduce agricultural land requirements.

Photo: Erik Edgren, taro burger, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
12 April 2017

In this paper, using three scenarios for food demand, the researchers model and highlight the indirect relationship between greenhouse gas (GHG) emission abatement within the food supply system and the energy system, globally.

Photo © Dave Smith via Flickr
24 March 2017

This research article provides a new quantitative analysis of data on global feed use and feed use efficiency by livestock, in order to help shed light on livestock’s role in food security.

8 February 2017

This report by Compassion for World Farming discusses the potential effects of a reduction in meat consumption in relation to the difference between ruminants such as cows and monogastrics such as pigs and poultry.

Photo: Flickr, Juan Salmoral, Creative Commons License 2.0
16 September 2016

In a 2013 TED talk entitled ‘How to fight desertification and reverse climate change’ the Zimbabwean ecologist, Allan Savory, claimed that the ‘holistic management’ grazing management method that he has developed and promoted over 40 years, could stop global desertification and reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide to preindustrial levels, within a few decades.

Photo: KeWynn Lee, Before, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
6 September 2016


This review article provides a summary of the multiple environmental and societal costs and benefits of livestock production. Homing in on climate change, it reviews the range of GHG mitigation options that have been proposed both on the supply side (actions that potentially reduce emissions per unit of production, or absolute emissions, considering both changes in practice and in policy) and those on the demand side (e.g. reductions in meat consumption, waste reduction).

Photo: Holistic Management, Mob grazing, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
6 September 2016

As methane produced by ruminants is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), many researchers and organisations have pointed to the necessity of reducing ruminant stocks around the world. In this study, the authors argue that with the right crop and grazing management, ruminants might not only reduce overall GHG emissions, but could, in fact, facilitate increases in soil carbon, and reduce environmental damage related to current cropping practices.

Photo: Peter O’Connor, Cattle Herd, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
31 August 2016

This report commissioned by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and written by its High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) focuses on sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, specifically in relation to livestock.

5 September 2014

The International Dairy Federation (IDF), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the IFCN Dairy Research Network (IFCN) have collaborated on an extensive study on international dairy feeding systems to explore how differences within these systems for dairy cows, water buffaloes, sheep, and goats and between large and smallholders can affect a range of issues - from the nutritional content of the milk to the level of GHG emissions involved in the production process. Each of the three organizations had differing stakes in the research.