Unfair trade: US beef has a climate problem – Mongabay

Go to any US city and you’ll spot Americans gorging on Big Macs and Whoppers at McDonald’s and Burger King. Visit Japan, and you’ll see folks slurping down gyudonbeef bowls, an incredibly popular dish featuring rice, onion and fatty strips of beef simmered in sweet soy sauce. Culture, tradition and geography might divide us, but a love for fast, cheap food that’s rich in beef definitely unites us.

But that growing demand for beef has immense environmental repercussions, especially regarding a stable climate – a fact not addressed by global trade agreements.

Back in January, one of Donald Trump’s first actions as president was to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), a multi-country trade deal that would have ramped up commerce with Asian countries — and opened Japan to a flood of US beef.

But Trump’s move slammed the door on the US beef industry’s designs for the lucrative Japanese market, the top export market for American ranchers, thanks partly to dishes like gyudon.

What lies ahead for the industry now that TPP is off the table is unclear. But no matter what transpires, environmentalists fear for the planet’s future if trade deals like TPP don’t start taking climate change into account, instead of encouraging more consumption, production and harm to the Earth.

Read the full story at mongabay.com.

 

 

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