[permaculture] beef consumption

florar florar at terra.com.br
Wed Apr 28 16:03:30 EDT 2004

Just to add a little information to the beef consumption debate.

Brasil is a major exporter of beef, a large proportion of which is produced
in areas of Cerrado or more recently Amazonia.

In terms of Cerrado, the second largest biome in Brasil and a tropical
savanna that is incredibably rich in medicinal plants, we are now down to 7%
of the original cover - and dropping fast, thanks mainly to beef ranchers
and now soja monocultures - most of which is exported to USA.

The story in Amazonia is even worse - although as yet more than 7% of
Amazonia exists - so far!!!!

The combination of tropical climate, poor soils and poor/non-existant
pasture management means that areas cleared for cattle ranching generally
have a useful, productive life of 6 to 8 years. At which time the area is
abandoned and a new area "cleaned". Obviously modern beef ranching here is
really just a large scale, predatory version of the ancient slash and burn
process. A few years back, locally known amazonian ecologist, Christopher
Uhl  made a simple calculation based on local producation rates and life
expectancy of the pastures in this extensive grazing system - the result is
that every 120 gm of Amazonian beef costs 6 square meters of Amazonian

And the locals wonder why I am vegetarian - or at least don't eat beef!!!


Instituto de Permacultura Cerrado-Pantanal
Campo Grande
Mato Grosso de Sul

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