Monday, April 24, 2017

Ecological and organic - but not quite.......

I watched a fairly in-depth documentary on French television last night, featuring two groups of citizens who had decided 'to go ecological'. The first concerned a largish family who had built their own house, using the latest materials, to ensure that it was self-sufficient in terms of heating, cooling and maitenance. They had installed a series of solar panels in the garden (fairly ugly and I am surprised they got planning permission!), had built a water wheel in a fast running nearby stream (unclear who it belonged to or again whether planning permission was sought or given), and were in the process of improving the drain pipes and guttering on their roof to collect rain water in an underground tank.

What I found most disappointing is that their whole set-up was built around producing and consuming meat - chickens were reared for their eggs and their meat, along with several sheep and cows whose destiny was not explained.

The second case study appeared to revolve around hydroponics (growing plants in water rather than in the soild) and again seemed to be centered on producing feed for animals, which were reared for their meat.

What the documentary failed to tell viewers is the high cost of feeding (vegetable) protein - 50% of which goes to feed animals - in order to produce meat (10 grams produce only 1 gram of meat) when it is clearly cheaper and ecologically sound for humans to eat the vegetable proteins direct and reduce the production and consumption of meat, currently estimated at 100kg per person per year in France!

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