a landscape with cattle

牛のいる風景

1 July 1942, Canada
Canadian Farm Scene
designers: Douglas and Mary Patrick

It is a familiar landscape of farming – but those cattle were not indigenous. They were brought to the continent by farmers who emigrated from Europe. Where the climate is humid enough for the field to grow wild grass to feed cattle, the carbon footprint is not too high. But when the wild grass does not catch up to recover after being eaten, you have to grow vegetables to feed cattle – that is when sustainable efficiency goes down.

“Feast to Save the Planet” is BBC Horizon program, to check and compare the carbon footprint facts and scored on the environmental impact of each dish on the menu. These researches show us not only that the distance of transport is significant, but also efficiency of food production and the nature of animals and plants we grow.

きっとカナダでは何の変哲もない、牛のいる風景。ですが、この牛たちは北米にいた動物ではなく、ヨーロッパからの移民が持ち込んだ家畜です。気候が湿潤で、牛が食べた草もすぐに元に戻る場所では問題はなかったけれど、乾燥や寒冷で草が育たない場所でまず野菜を育て牛の飼料にすることが、牛肉と環境問題の根っこです。

BBCの環境問題の番組『地球を救う晩餐』では、メニューに載った料理に使われる素材それぞれの二酸化炭素排出量を計算し、どの料理を頼むとどれくらい地球に良い/悪いかを詳細に説明します。単に食材の届く距離だけが問題ではなく、食材が生産される効率や、家畜や野菜が育つ傾向さえも考慮に入れないと、間違った選択をしてしまうのですね。