(SNews) – New York City has announced disturbing new measures to tackle so-called “carbon emissions” by monitoring the food consumption of the city’s households.
The city is introducing new limits on meat and dairy products while tracking public purchases and consumption.
As Slay News previously reported, NYC’s Democrat Mayor Eric Adams announced last month that he plans to slash the city’s carbon emissions from food by a staggering 33 percent by 2030.
Adams, who is vegan, vowed to limit public consumption of meat and dairy in an effort to fight so-called “climate change.”
According to Adams, reducing meat consumption will help NYC’s “greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Food is the third-biggest source of cities’ emissions right after buildings and transportation,” Adams said during an April press conference.
“But all food is not created equal.
“The vast majority of food that is contributing to our emission crises lies in meat and dairy products.”
However, while announcing his plans last month, Adams didn’t reveal how he planned to reduce the public’s meat and dairy consumption.
In an update this week, city officials have announced they will monitor the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from households’ food consumption and set limits on the amount of red meat served in public institutions.
Mayor Adams has credited his recovery from diabetes to his plant-based diet and has been promoting veganism for New Yorkers.
He believes that eating more plant-based foods produced by biotech companies will yield health benefits and positive climate outcomes.
“We already know that a plant-powered diet is better for your physical and mental health, and I am living proof of that,” he said.
“But the reality is that thanks to this new inventory, we’re finding out it is better for the planet.”
But Melissa McKendree, an agricultural economist at Michigan State University, argued that the situation is more complex.
The greenhouse gas footprints of different meats differ due to variations in production systems.
Additionally, different types of land support different forms of agriculture, such as cattle production in rangelands and pastures. When functioning properly, these diverse ecosystems contribute to a healthy overall ecosystem.
Regenerative agricultural systems offer an alternative approach.
They enable pasture-raised beef to sequester carbon and act as a carbon sink, thereby reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production.
Will Harris, a regenerative livestock farmer, noted that land regeneration necessitates reestablishing the natural cycles disrupted by industrial farming.
“As a practitioner who has been regenerating depleted land for over 30 years, I can tell you that regenerating land is about restarting the cycles of nature that have been broken by industrial farming – and restarting those cycles cannot be done cost-effectively without animal impact,” Harris said.
“All ecosystems evolved with certain kinds of animal impact and to say we’ve misused technologies to break these cycles of nature and we are going to start them back by leaving out this essential ingredient that has been around for millennia is wrong.
“Sadly, there is a percentage of the populace that, for whatever reason, has decided that animals in the ecosystem are bad and the way to have a healthier planet is to give up that animal impact.”
In a bid to “save the planet,” New York City officials are not only planning to track food purchases but will also limit the consumption of certain foods in public institutions such as schools and prisons.
For instance, NYC is planning to reduce meat consumption to achieve its goals by 2030.
While specific targets and standards have not been disclosed, city officials mentioned implementing “caps on meat” as part of their efforts.
NYC spends around $300 million annually on food for various institutions.
The city allocates only about one percent of the budget to “ruminate meats,” according to the NYC Food Policy Dashboard.
This move aligns with global efforts to address the environmental impact of meat production, with proposals ranging from outright meat bans to incentivizing reduced consumption or alternative meat production.
However, some experts argue that meat bans are an extreme policy response and suggest exploring other options.
These alternatives could include supporting farmers in adopting regenerative practices through certified products, subsidies, taxes, and educational programs.
Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration has also emphasized climate-centric agriculture and biotechnology to reduce emissions from agriculture.
The Biden admin is also pushing to explore bioengineered plant foods and the lab-grown “meats” promoted by Bill Gates.
While meat alternatives such as lab-grown meat and insect protein are gaining popularity, it is essential to consider the potential environmental and health impacts associated with their production.
Many meat substitutes require significant energy inputs and undergo extensive processing, which can have adverse effects.
As Slay News previously reported, a recent study found that lab-grown “meat” is actually 25 times worse for the environment than real beef.
Processed food diets have also been linked to various health issues like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression.
Critics argue that removing meat from meals may include less healthy and environmentally unfriendly processed foods.
The move could also negatively impact both individuals and rural economies that rely on sustainable food production.