A Breakfast Story

Yes, we finally did it! We are super excited to publish our first post (of hopefully many) on “A Breakfast Story” blog. In this first post we will give you some detailed information on how the idea of this blog started and the motivation that fuels us to share it with you.

Since we met each other in 2013 in Portugal, we very soon realized that we were both crazy about breakfast especially on weekends aka. BRUUUUNCHES! At that time they weren’t very healthy to be honest but we sure always had a great time preparing and eating them. Probably most of you relate to the feeling of sharing food with people you love on lazy Sunday mornings. Our ambition is to take that feeling and lift it to next level. We want to achieve that by sharing delicious healthy and easy recipes combined with the latest scientific research in the field of nutrition and health.

Changing our food habits didn’t happen overnight. The combination of the three following topics provided us with the actually convincing arguments that our brain demanded.

Animal Welfare

As a doctor of veterinary medicine, I was already was confronted as a student with slaughter houses, industrial animal production and non-communicable diseases which made me question our 21st century eating habits.

Anita

I unfortunately only realized way later that something was wrong in our food chain. A litter bit after I graduated from the university I started out of interest to do some research about meat production in Germany. I was always wondering… where do all these chickens come from? What I found out still shocks me. But see for yourself.

Volker

Poultry production in Germany:

  • 701 million slaughtered animals per year -> Almost 2 million per day!
  • 5 million tons of meat per year -> Only 1% comes from ecological production!

Poultry production Worldwide:

  • 3 billion (yup, that’s 9 zeros) animals per year -> 120 million per day
  • 5 million tons of meat per year (no information found about ecological production, but yeah I guess it’s fair to assume it basically doesn’t exist)

Pork production in Germany:

  • 60 million slaughtered animals per year -> 160.000 per day
  • 6 million tons of meat per year -> Only 0.5% comes from ecological production!

Pork production Worldwide:

  • 2 billion slaughtered animals per year -> 3.3 million per day
  • 5 million tons of meat per year

Cattle production in Germany:

  • 7 million slaughtered animals per year -> 10.000 per day
  • 2 million tons of meat per year -> Only 4% comes from ecological production!
  • 30 million tons of milk per year -> Only 2% comes from ecological production!

Cattle production Worldwide:

  • 194 million slaughtered animals per year -> 500.000 per day
  • 63 million tons of meat per year

For more information please visit BMEL and USDA websites.

Environment

The true eye opener here was clearly the documentation called “Cowspiracy”. If you haven’t seen it yet we definitely recommend it. The story of this documentation is basically how livestock production affects our planet. As you may imagine it is not in a good way. Here are some facts that many people don’t know because nobody talks about it.

Greenhouse gases

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
“Livestock’s Long Shadow: environmental issues and options”. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome 2006
  • Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
Hyner, Christopher. “A Leading Cause of Everything: One Industry That Is Destroying Our Planet and Our Ability to Thrive on It”. Georgetown Environmental Law Review. October 23, 2015.
  • Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day.
Miller, Scot M, et al. “Anthropegnic emissions of methane in the United States”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 110. No. 50. 18 October 2013
  • Methane has a global warming potential 86 times that of CO2 on a 20 year time frame.
“IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007. 2.10.2. Direct Global Warming Potentials”. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Water

  • Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption.
“How Important is Irrigation to U.S. Agriculture?” USDA: Economic Research Service. 12 October, 2016
  • Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
Jacobson, Michael F. “Six Arguments For a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-based Diet Could Save Your Health and the Environment. Chapter 4: More and Cleaner Water”. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2006.
  • 10.000 liter of water are needed to produce 500 gram of beef.
“Water footprint of crop and animal products: a comparison”. Water Footprint Network.
  • Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.
Mekonnen, Mesfin M. & Hoekstra, Arjen Y. “A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products”. Ecosystems (2012) 15: 401-415

Land

  • Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land.
Walsh, Bryan. “The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production”. Time. Dec. 16, 2013
  • Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
“Risk Management Evaluation for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations”. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2004Hance, Jeremy. “How humans are driving the sixth mass extinction”. The Guardian. 20 October 2015

Rainforest

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.
Tabuchi, Hiroko, Rigny, Claire & White, Jeremy. “Amazon Deforestation, Once Tames, Comes Roaring Back”. New York Times. February 2017
  • 1-2 acres (4.000 – 8.000 m^2) of rainforest are cleared every second.
“Measuring the Daily Destruction of the World’s Rainforests”. Scientific American

Diseases

Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors are the root of the global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and account for about 63% of all deaths. The four main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma), obesity and diabetes.

 Kushner und Sorensen, „Lifestyle Medicine“

We could go on like this for hours but we don’t want to scare you too much already on our first post. 🙂 We know you won’t change your eating habits from one day to the other. We also didn’t. It takes small steps at a time which will add up as a big jump towards a conscious and healthier life.

Written by A&V


P.S. If you liked what you just read and you’re interested in receiving some more of this, we would be very happy to welcome you to our newsletter.

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