back to article Lettuce-nibbling veggies menace Mother Earth

In most agreeable news for those of us who prefer wrapping our laughing gear round a solid bacon sarnie to nibbling a light salad, US boffins have concluded that switching to a vegetarian diet might actually increase "energy use, water use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions". That's according to a team from Carnegie Mellon …

  1. rdhood

    Some Vegetables are more equal than others...

    So now the vegans and eco-freaks will be telling us WHICH vegetables we can eat. They will not give up their war-on-meat over lettuce and cucumbers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

      "So now the vegans and eco-freaks will be telling us WHICH vegetables we can eat."

      Calm down dear. It's only a clickbait article and the strawman vegans you're frightened will steal your guns (even if you're not American) and take over the world will surely be too weak from eating nothing but lettuce and celery anyway! (#)

      "Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions [per calorie] than eating bacon."

      Seriously, that's like pointing out that "energy efficient" lightbulbs actually require *more* electricity to heat your house than the old tungsten ones. True, and intentionally missing the point.

      No-one in their right mind- not even actual, real-world, eco-freak commie vegetarian vegans- eats lettuce for the sodding calories. If it has a selling point, it's the lack of them.

      Mostly it's used for filler, texture and/or vitamins. Not calories.

      Disclaimer: Not even a vegetarian, let alone a vegan.

      (#) In all seriousness, I'm actually curious if you could get enough energy to survive on solely by eating an unlimited supply of lettuce, accounting for the energy you'd have to put in to that activity and any other minimal requirements necessary for life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

        "I'm actually curious if you could get enough energy to survive on solely by eating an unlimited supply of lettuce"

        The answer is no. Not even raw meat is enough to sustain us. We're too dependent on cooking and the way it liberates calories in food. Check out Catching Fire. Aside from the main hypothesis, the author cites a few controlled environment experiments on people that proved all people will eventually starve to death on a completely raw diet of anything. That's the gist, anyway.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

          IIRC one person did do a fully natural "fresh fruit and veg" diet. They were required to eat large portions 3 times a day, graze as well, supplement with nuts and mushrooms, and wear jumpers.

          But theoretically, should global warming turn out planet into a wonderful tropics where food grows plentifully, as long as we graze like Gelada ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelada ) all day long, we will do pretty well.

          Beer, because it's better use of the hops, and goes well with the meat! ;)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

            @TechnicalBen; True, but I was specifically talking about lettuce, and only really whether it even had enough calories to keep you alive, since it's so marginal in that sense.

            I've absolutely no doubt it would be possible to get sufficient calories- regardless of anything else- from fruit and veg alone if you were allowed the likes of (e.g.) bananas. Just by eating one you can tell that they're full of sugar and starch, albeit in a way that's probably better for you than a Mars bar.

            Lettuce, though? Different kettle of fish.

          2. Spanners Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

            My father in law was be head science teacher where he used to work.

            He has a story about a biology teacher who, every year, went on an all fruit diet.

            She could not explain why she always used to get diarrhoea...

        2. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

          Check out Catching Fire. Aside from the main hypothesis, the author cites a few controlled environment experiments on people that proved all people will eventually starve to death on a completely raw diet of anything.

          More pointedly raw foodies become infertile; the women stop menstruating and the men stop producing sperm. Good thing, too!

          Heartily recommend Catching Fire BTW. It's a great read.

        3. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

          all people will eventually starve to death on a completely raw diet of anything

          Even a raw diet of ciggies and beer? Oh shit...

        4. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

          Was a crazy research result expected? Check out the funding source, The Coleman Foundation.

          Why yes, yes it was.

          The first item on their "Funding Interests" page: http://colcomfdn.org/funding-interests/

          ---

          The Foundation supports efforts to significantly reduce immigration levels in the U.S., recognizing that population growth in America is fueled primarily by mass immigration.*

          * Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, immigrants and their children account for 75% of the nation’s population growth.

          ---

          The Coleman foundation, working hard to erase the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, since 1996.

        5. Jack Faust meets Mephistopheles

          Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

          Excellent read that Catching Fire, thanks very much for sharing, it will be great to share with some raw foody evangelists I know.

          Like anything though I wanted to see a few anaylsis of the book and they all mostly agree that his conclusions seem both plausible and the studies doen statistically significant. If anyones interested here is one I had a good old skim through! http://soar.wichita.edu/bitstream/handle/10057/3896/LAJ_2010_21-26.pdf?sequence=1

      2. myhandler

        Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

        RE:"In all seriousness, I'm actually curious if you could get enough energy to survive on solely by eating an unlimited supply of lettuce"

        Some lettuce species contain a soporific, so everyone would be dozing off with no need for energy : perfect solution.

      3. maros

        Re: Strawy man, strawy man, does whatever a straw, er, can...

        The research include nuts, fish and cheese. These doesn't sound vegan to me.

    2. maros

      Re: Some Vegetables are more equal than others...

      This is the most ridiculous research I have ever heard of. In the third world, poor people can't afford meat. They eat grains. For protein, beans. 4 kg per capita of meat in Congo, against 130 kg of USA a year. Oh and this research include cheese and fish. Doesn't sound vegan to me.

    3. Robert Moore

      Re: Some Vegetables are more equal than others...

      Save the world. Eat a vegetarian. :)

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Some Vegetables are more equal than others...

        Save the world. Eat a vegetarian. :)

        Oh indeedy I do! Cows and sheep especially :-)

        Sadly, my sister has placed her vegan son and his wife off-limits ;-)

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'd have thought the T of the BLT would have been as bad as cucumbers. Both are predominantly greenhouse crops, at least in the UK.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      The threat to humanity posed by the T is yet to be determined. Got be up there with celery, though.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        The threat to humanity posed by the T is yet to be determined. Got be up there with celery, though.

        Most modern celery varieties have been bred to be high in psoralens, a chemical manufactured by celery to deter insect pests. This results in a very nasty rash for many farm workers harvesting the crop. To date I have never heard of occupational exposure to tomatoes being a concern.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          re: Celery

          Pretty good for detecting Praxis gas, though.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Are there any long term studies regarding growing, harvesting, and consumption of tomatoes, given they are related to nightshade ?

          1. Fibbles

            Are there any long term studies regarding growing, harvesting, and consumption of tomatoes, given they are related to nightshade ?

            As are chilli peppers and potatoes. I'll be damned if I'm cutting curry and chips out of my diet.

          2. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Are there any long term studies regarding growing, harvesting, and consumption of tomatoes, given they are related to nightshade ?

            Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a carotenoid known to play an important role in human health. The Git's ageing prostate gland benefits greatly from lycopene and saw palmetto. Tomatoes, eggplants, capsicums, chili peppers and potatoes are also members of the nightshade family. They have been grown for hundreds of years in the West and thousands in their native habitat. Apart from capsicain burns from careless ahndling of chilies, internal haemorraging from eating raw potatoes and solanine poisoning from eating greened potatoes I've never heard of any problems. They all contain nicotinic acid since tobacco is also a close relative, but don't tell the do-gooderesses or they will be calling for an immediate ban on them.

            1. Bilious

              Nicotine

              If you eat eggplant, you may have a weakly positive urine test for cotinine, the nicotine metabolite. But little compared to smoking tobacco.

              But why would anyone do a cotinine test in urine?

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "Are there any long term studies regarding growing, harvesting, and consumption of tomatoes, given they are related to nightshade ?"

            As are spuds. The fruit of spuds look rather like tomatoes but are poisonous as they contain alkaloids similar to those of nightshade. Spuds also develop alkaloids if they're exposed to sunlight & turn green. The vegetative parts of tomatoes also contain alkaloids. OTOH many commercially produced tomatoes seem to contain little but water.

            1. x 7

              "Are there any long term studies regarding growing, harvesting, and consumption of tomatoes"

              Yes. Its called Ireland

          4. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Nightshade and spuds..

            Deadly Nightshade has high levels of Atropine that can kill you in large quantities. Its also called belladonna because taken in small quantities it widens the pupils making you more attractive.

            Its the same family of plants as spuds and tomatoes both of which contain some of the same type of chemicals but in low quantities. If you eat green spuds they contain more and may give you stomach cramps and the shits.

            One plant we have here in the SW is black nightshade with produces vast amounts of berries and many people abroad swear makes a lovely jam and no problems, Others run around saying poison poison and I haven't had the courage to try it and the price of a chemical assay is beyond my willing means. It may be one of these things that people no longer eat because it was really easy to grow and so 'working class' as many of our lost foods were.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Nightshade and spuds..

              Solanine (the toxin in greened spuds) in sufficient quantities can cause paralysis of the central nervous system. That would give anyone the shits!

        3. Ilmarinen
          Holmes

          @Pompous Git

          "To date I have never heard of occupational exposure to tomatoes being a concern."

          From which I deduce that you are no thespian Sir !

          1. moiety

            Re: @Pompous Git

            "To date I have never heard of occupational exposure to tomatoes being a concern."

            FWIW, I did some tomato-picking as a yoof and the plants en-masse produce pollen which turns black on contact; makes you smell of essence of tomato for quite some time; ensures that you have to throw your picking clothes out and (in my case at least) left me with a loathing of tomatoes that lasted the best part of a decade.

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: @Pompous Git

              Its not the pollen that turns you black - healthy tomatoes produce lots of nearly microscopic yellow beads of sticky fluid along their stalks. This is to deter and actually trap and eat insects a la sundew!!

              Its this liquid rubbing off on you that goes black and smelly.

              The pollen is quite hard to get out of the flowers - they actually resonate at the frequency of the wing beat of the bee that natively pollinates them so when they land they effectively violently shake the pollen out of the flower.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: @Pompous Git

                The pollen is quite hard to get out of the flowers- they actually resonate at the frequency of the wing beat of the bee that natively pollinates them so when they land they effectively violently shake the pollen out of the flower.

                There ya go. Who'da thunkit? Most tomato growers find that gentle shaking of greenhouse tomatoes mid-morning works. The flowers are complete (have both male and female parts) so the pollen doesn't need to leave the flower. Outdoors, the plants are shaken by what many of us call "wind". Commercial growers who beleive we don't get enough extra hormones in our diet from chicken, milk, soya products etc use a spray of Tomset.

          2. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: @Pompous Git

            From which I deduce that you are no thespian Sir !

            You are indeed correct. Mind you, the locals in Rotorua threw hot mud at me. At least I think it was hot mud...

        4. Sherrie Ludwig

          To date I have never heard of occupational exposure to tomatoes being a concern

          Tomato plants (stems and leaves) are covered with little spikey hairs that can raise a pretty ugly rash on exposed skin. As a gardener, I have to use gloves to pick tomatoes, but I don't react to poison ivy. (At least, not yet).

          1. nijam

            Re: To date I have never heard of occupational exposure to tomatoes being a concern

            > ... but I don't react to poison ivy

            Is that just because you aren't growing so much of it?

        5. Rich 11 Silver badge

          This results in a very nasty rash for many farm workers harvesting the crop.

          And parsnips are phototoxic, so are best harvested in the dark. ;-)

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            And parsnips are phototoxic, so are best harvested in the dark.

            Photosensitivity can result from touching or eating other plants, including celery, dill, fennel, fig, lime, parsley, arnica, artichoke, chrysanthemum, dandelion, lettuce, endive, marigold, and sunflower. Oh nose; the truth has finally been exposed! Nothing's safe any more!!!!

        6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "To date I have never heard of occupational exposure to tomatoes being a concern."

          That's because the huge tasteless GM oines ahven't been around long enough yet. Or they need more time to properly mutate ;-)

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            That's because the huge tasteless GM oines ahven't been around long enough yet. Or they need more time to properly mutate ;-)

            They already mutated:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD1UyQHXaO4

      2. chivo243 Silver badge

        Celery!

        IF, I say if you only ate celery, I think you would shrink into nothingness. Doesn't it take more calories to digest celery than it contains?

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Celery!

          Nearly, A stick of celery contains about 6 calories, and you expend about 0.6 calories to eat and digest it. However, it's fairly bulky per calorie contained so if you fill your stomach with it you would only be able to physically fit in a very small calorie amount. If you really want to go that way, eat grass as the human stomach can't digest it at all.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Celery!

            Or eat lettuce, which is similar to grass in that it is mostly cellulose, which the human body can't digest.

        2. nijam

          Re: Celery!

          > Doesn't it take more calories to digest celery than it contains?

          I recall once hearing that about eggs as well. Probably in relation to hard-boiled eggs, I expect.

      3. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Joke

        I remember some places now use power plant generated waste carbon dioxide and warm excess water from cooling towers to feed green houses worth of Tomatoes.

        So the T is the perfect vegetable*.

        * Yes, I know. ;)

      4. channel extended

        Ead Mark Clifton's story about tomatos.

        Also when I eat a large amount of veggies I give off my own kind of greenhouse gas!

      5. Tom 13
        Devil

        @Lester Haines

        That's not entirely true. Over 200 years ago you Brits knew EXACTLY how bad those things are:

        http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/why-the-tomato-was-feared-in-europe-for-more-than-200-years-863735/?no-ist

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      I'd have thought the T of the BLT would have been as bad as cucumbers.

      Tomatoes are considerably higher in solids than cucumbers. Last summer I grew a modern commercial hybrid cucumber for the first time. It was producing 2 to 3 300 mm long cukes per day for many weeks, far more than SWMBO and I could eat and at least twice the weight of fruit than the tomato plants. So I traded the excess with the local cafe for what are called "Big Breakfasts": bacon, eggs, toast, sausages, mushrooms and a slice of tomato.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        how did they taste then?

        I've stopped growing those hybrids/fast growing types in my garden. They tasted awful when compared to slow growing varieties that were grown alongside the new ones.

        my veggis plot is totally organic. Nettles produce a mean liquid fertilizer as does my worm farm. Three big compost bins (soon to be a 4th) take care of all that side of things.

        Bacon? yummy. As is the half leg of mutton that I cooked yesterday. Shop bought lamb is tasteless compared to that.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: how did they taste then?

          Oddly enough those cukes tasted just fine. Mostly I grow old fashioned varieties for the very reasons you cite. My favourite tomatoes are Amish Paste for example. But, it's not necessarily the case that modern varieties are relatively tasteless. The tomato breeders assure me that they will shortly have tomato varieties that are as tough as buggery so they will transport well, but also have all the flavour of Grosse Lisse, or Rouge de Marmande. I'm not holding my breath though...

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: how did they taste then?

            Also try comfrey. A bit smelly though.

            Curiously similar to the smell of liquid fertiliser made from pig shit.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "It was producing 2 to 3 300 mm long cukes per day for many weeks"

        SWMBO here only grows the dwarf variety & gets to eat the lot. Horrible fruit although the cuco-melons she tried one year were worse.

    3. Dwarf Silver badge
      Joke

      Greenhouses

      So that's where the house gasses come from.

      I've never seen pigs farmed in greenhouses

      The solution is so simple, just do away with vegetables and eat meat.

      There, fixed that.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Greenhouses

        just do away with vegetables and eat meat

        Who else remembers Maggie Thatcher's Cabinet of Vegetables?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPzzgE34YQY

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Just have a B rather than BLT - it's going to save the planet. Possibly add an egg if your culinary expectations are high first thing in the morning !!!

    1. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Possibly add an egg

      I'm pretty sure it's been scientifically proven by no less an authority than Reg Commentards that the only acceptable addition to your bacon sanger is brown sauce.

      Egg in a sausage* sarnie, however, is sublime.

      *Cumberland for preference

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Possibly add an egg

        Sausage Inna Bun, possibly with the sausages made with named meat.

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Possibly add an egg

          Named meat? As in Tiddles?

          1. MrDamage

            Re: Possibly add an egg

            If the "named meat" is in lasagna, then i dare say it would answer to "Mr Ed".

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Possibly add an egg

        I'm pretty sure it's been scientifically proven by no less an authority than Reg Commentards

        There's no such thing as "scientific proof", only falsification. Mathematics and logic is where you find proofs.

        Frankly there's nothing quite so satisfying as the Italian version of bacon and eggs: bacon, eggs, pasta and cream (Carbonara). What the Git and Mrs Git had for dinner yesterday in fact.

      3. Fibbles

        Re: Possibly add an egg

        I'm pretty sure it's been scientifically proven by no less an authority than Reg Commentards that the only acceptable addition to your bacon sanger is brown sauce.

        Egg in a sausage* sarnie, however, is sublime.

        *Cumberland for preference

        Half a stottie, buttered, filled with bacon and Cumberland sausage (with optional brown sauce,) is about as close to perfection as one can get on this plane of existence.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. TimR

    But haven't they underestimated the issue?

    cos a higher percentage of the green stuff gets left on the plate (ie. doesn't actually provide ANY energy). Meat left on the plate - not where I come from....

  6. Donkey Molestor X

    cute strawman. maybe try this exercise again with corn, potatoes, and chickpeas.

    in the post-scarcity future we'll all just have food-grade, high-speed 3d printers anyway. it'll be like the replicators in star trek. not even the plants will need to get hurt for our daily bread.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      But where will the raw materials for our food grade 3D printers come from?

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        But where will the raw materials for our food grade 3D printers come from?

        From compressed and processed ocean-bred algae. Not at all from people.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge
          Trollface

          "From compressed and processed ocean-bred algae. Not at all from people."

          Fine, but algae still counts as a plant, meaning plants do get harmed (and killed) in the process. If there were such a thing as PETPV, they'd be throwing fits.

          1. Sweep

            "algae still counts as a plant,"

            No, it doesn't.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Solyent Green - made from algae I am Asssured

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          From compressed and processed ocean-bred algae. Not at all from people.

          What? How can the damned soylent green cartridge be empty already?!!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "But where will the raw materials for our food grade 3D printers come from?"

        HP. But you'll be able to donate the "empty" cartridges to the poor.

        1. x 7

          ""But where will the raw materials for our food grade 3D printers come from?"

          "HP.""

          Fine if you like sauce, but no use for real food

  7. Vinyl-Junkie
    Joke

    Certainly...

    ...an all vegetable diet increases greenhouse gas emissions!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions

    I'm curious what farming method this was based on?

    Organic?

    Intensive land based?

    In a hydroponic greenhouse?

    Not that I truly care, bloody hate the stuff.

  9. Blitheringeejit
    Holmes

    Yawn

    It's not hard to demonstrate that growing lettuce in (say) a desert has more environmental impact than growing a camel or a goat there. Whereas growing lettuce in my garden, fed by my lawn clippings, has considerably less environmental impact than growing a camel there, what with the food-miles it would cost to import camel food from, er, wherever it is they make camel food. We can all play the the carefully-select-your-context-to-suit-your-polemic game, it's not clever and it certainly isn't telling us anything useful.

    But there is one interesting aspect to this article - does it indicate that Lester has inherited the Register's official hippy-baiter-in-chief office from Lewis Page? Surely there should have been some kind of handover ceremony, accompanied by a generous quantity of bacon sandwiches and a hired chorus of close-harmony climate-change-deniers..?

    1. TimR

      Re: Yawn

      I think you're reading too much into it - Lester just likes his bacon and will defend it till he dies...

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: Yawn

        Correct. The hippies can do as they please. It's the bacon angle which interests here.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Yawn

          The hippies can do as they please.

          Indeed. It's not hard to imagine Lester becoming quite pissed off if the hippies started asking his permission every time they felt like a spliff!

        2. chivo243 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Yawn

          @LH

          Yes Bacon! Thanks for putting this train back on the tracks! Bacon rules! Just made a bacon and cabbage soup for dinner. Ahhh.

          People call me a hippie, but I've never really liked patchouli. And I like meat, lots and lots of meat, and fresh air...

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        Lester just likes his bacon and will defend it till he dies...

        He's not the only one...

    2. Someonehasusedthathandle

      Re: Yawn

      Surely the camel would just eat your lawn clippings, use less water and provide more in terms of calories and occasionally fur.

      Then you can burn their manure to heat your house, lowering greenhouse gas usage all round.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        Then you can burn their manure to heat your house, lowering greenhouse gas usage all round.

        Turning camel manure into CO2 and NOx doesn't seem to be an entirely rational approach to reducing GHGs. How about composting the manure and feeding the grass with that. More grass, more camels, less pollution.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Yawn

          "Turning camel manure into CO2 and NOx doesn't seem to be an entirely rational approach to reducing GHGs. How about composting the manure and feeding the grass with that. More grass, more camels, less pollution."

          The grass will fix the CO2 and the NOx will be rained out of the atmosphere into the ground & taken up by the grass. It's not strictly a closed system unless you put a big glass box over your house, lawn and camel but it's balanced.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Yawn

            The grass will fix the CO2 and the NOx will be rained out of the atmosphere into the ground & taken up by the grass. It's not strictly a closed system unless you put a big glass box over your house, lawn and camel but it's balanced.

            Actually, it's not closed. You forgot the chemical energy in the manure you have converted to thermal energy. In the ordinary course of events, animal manure is buried by dung beetles and manure worms and it is subsequently converted to humus by a variety of fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes.

            Humus is a colloid. That is, like clay, it carries negative electrical charges that hold onto the cationic nutrients: Ca, Mg, K, NH4 and so on. This prevents those nutrients from leaching due to rainfall or irrigation. As well, humus is a sponge for water; a 1% increase in soil humus results in a 4% increase in stored soil water. Further, humus preserves a soil structure that allows more rainfall and irrigation water to penetrate the soil, rather than run off carrying topsoil and nutrients away.

            This is something most greenie-weenie (vegetarian/vegan) advocates of organic farming ignore: the essential role that animal manure plays in soil fertility. Zimbabwean environmentalist Allan Savory organised the killing of 40,000 elephants in the 1970s to halt desertification. As any farmer could have told him, the reverse happened. Humus levels in the soil fell and the topsoil blew away. Pity about the elephants.

            See: Humic, Fulvic and Microbial Balance: Organic Soil Conditioning : An Agricultural Text and Reference Book by William R Jackson 1993.

            1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

              Re: Yawn

              > Humus is a colloid

              And there was me thinking it was a terrorist organization.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Yawn

              "Actually, it's not closed."

              You missed the fact that I completely ignored the hydraulic cycle.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Yawn

                You missed the fact that I completely ignored the hydraulic cycle.

                No. I realised a 300 page long explanation would likely not be read. Or possibly even allowed by The Reg. Even if I felt like writing a comprehensive response that long.

      2. Tom 13

        @Someonehasusedthathandle

        Yes, but you have to take into account the energy needs to produce the deodorizers you'll need to use on a daily basis to keep that camel anywhere near your house.

    3. PNGuinn
      Boffin

      Re: Yawn

      "what with the food-miles it would cost to import camel food from, er, wherever it is they make camel food"

      LET THEM EAT LETTUCE.

    4. PNGuinn
      Stop

      Re: Yawn

      " a hired chorus of close-harmony climate-change-deniers..?"

      Now I need the mind bleach again.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn

      One useful fact that in the original CMU bit, which the reg article appears to have omitted, is the funding by the Colcom Foundation.

  10. Paul Shirley

    but who eats lettuce?

    I thought most of it was consumed by meat eaters in the form of BLT's and hamburgers and the rest by skinny rich folk trying to avoid eating anything tasty or nutritious.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: but who eats lettuce?

      Back in the 1970s for a few months I worked as a food and drink waiter. Almost all of the lettuce on the plates remained uneaten and ended up as pig swill. These days it's illegal here in Australia to feed pigs with uneaten food from restaurants, or even your own kitchen table. So I imagine most of it now goes to landfill...

      1. x 7

        Re: but who eats lettuce?

        "it's illegal here in Australia to feed pigs with uneaten food"

        no-one wants the pigs to contract foot in mouth disease

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: but who eats lettuce?

          The US has similar restrictions, too. I think it's more due to the "unknown" nature of human leftovers that warrants the ban: in particular for animals destined for human consumption. Basically, if you don't know what the animal's eating, you could be contaminating it (and some of these contaminants can bioaccumulate, meaning they stay in the animal for a long time), making it unsafe for consumption,

          Anyway, uneaten food can be separated and composted, so it's not like it'll be a total loss.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: but who eats lettuce?

            The US has similar restrictions, too. I think it's more due to the "unknown" nature of human leftovers that warrants the ban: in particular for animals destined for human consumption. Basically, if you don't know what the animal's eating, you could be contaminating it (and some of these contaminants can bioaccumulate, meaning they stay in the animal for a long time), making it unsafe for consumption,

            Frankly, that's bollocks. There's no way I'm going to feed my family and friends food of an "unknown" nature. If it's toxic to pigs, then it would have already poisoned me and mine. Here in Australia there are strict food laws so I doubt whether produce from the local supermarket is going to poison me and mine either.

            Likely you are too young to remember what happened in Michigan in 1973:

            Ten to twenty 50-pound bags of PBB made it to the now-defunct Michigan Farm Bureau Services operation in place of NutriMaster. It was mixed into cattle feed and purchased by farmers throughout Michigan.

            Within days, cows began growing gaunt and weak. Their hooves grew to ghastly proportions. Abscesses developed, and their hides went thick and elephant-like.

            "It didn't make sense," said Dr. Alpha (Doc) Clark, a veterinarian who served many of the region's farmers and still operates a low-slung clinic outside McBain, east of Cadillac. "It was like there wasn't a damned thing we could do."

            It took more than nine months for the state to zero in on the cause, even as frustrated farmers watched their herds wither away. Once PBB was identified, the state quarantined more than 500 farms, meaning those farmers could no longer sell their cattle or their milk.

            Bills mounted. Angry protests occurred across the state. And countless cattle were shot by their owners.

            Lorraine Cameron, a state environmental epidemiologist, said the contamination was devastating.

            "The Michigan dairy industry nearly went under," she said.

            Eventually, more than 30,000 cows were forced into kill chutes near two state-sponsored burial pits, given lethal injections and buried. They joined with 1.5 million chickens and thousands of pigs, sheep and rabbits. Some of the animals had directly ingested the PBB; others were indirectly contaminated, having consumed food partly made with animal renderings from those directly contaminated.

            Chances are these days any processed stock food purchase will include stuff from China where contamination with illegal substances such as clenbuterol (a steroid), banned antibiotics and banned insecticides is rife. Shipments received in Australia of food for humans is regularly destroyed because of this issue. How much more likely is it that these banned substances are in commercial livestock feed?

  11. Chris Gray 1
    FAIL

    *per calorie*

    No-one seems to have mentioned that the article stresses that the costs are *per calorie*.

    No-one in their right mind expects calories from celery (doesn't it take more calories to eat than it provides?). And certainly not much from lettuce. So, really, is anyone surprised that it takes more calories to produce (and ship, display, handle, etc.) a mountain of celery than it does a half pound of chicken?

    1. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: *per calorie*

      Just take a look (briefly) at this site and you'll see why this research is necessary and good and just.

      http://www.chooseveg.com/environment

      If this article saves just one bacon fan from the slippery slope to the bunny chow side it's worth it!

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: *per calorie*

      No-one seems to have mentioned that the article stresses that the costs are *per calorie*.

      And the calorific yield depends on whether the food is cooked, or raw and what other foods are eaten. For example you will obtain more calories from eating wheat and beans together than by eating them in separate meals. So while eating raw celery requires more calories to digest than are obtained if its raw, this isn't necessarily true for cooked celery.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On a serious note

    It only looks like they took into account human consumption. What about the requirements to produce the bacon or the chicken? Sure we may use more energy digesting greens over the red stuff, but to get the red stuff, greens are usually consumed somewhere in the food chain!

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: On a serious note

      Yes, but these are different greens. Human beings have much higher standards for greenstuff. As freshness and looks are of utmost importance, it takes much more energy in all phases of production, with a high percentage still ending up in a compost fill, emitting oh-so-lovely methane.

      For our porcine cousins, almost any nutrition will suffice. Not to mention a difference in feeding rituals. Haven't heard of pigs travelling 30 miles in order to consume their salad from a finely engraved trough, while enjoying an ocean view. Which is rather sad, come to think of it. Maybe they would also like to have higher standards.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: On a serious note

        You never met the Empress of Blandings did you?

      2. Fink-Nottle

        Re: On a serious note

        Whiffle, my good man. Whiffle.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: On a serious note

          Ruddy hell - even Emsworth might balk at the prices (and the Empress would probably eat it....)

  13. Synonymous Howard

    But what about the one true root vegetable....?

    POTATOES! Whilst I'm not bothered about bearing my arms (short sleeve shirts are the norm) I draw the line at having the right to all and any(*) potato based foods available.

    (*) but NOT 'piped', 'croquette' or 'gnocchi' which are abominations against the humble 'mashed' potato receipt.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

      "POTATOES!"

      Sorry, but they're not roots, they're stems. Those eyes? They're buds which you find on stems, not roots.

      1. Synonymous Howard

        Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

        Yeah whatever, now just pass me that bowl of crisps.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

          Yeah whatever, now just pass me that bowl of crisps.

          Smiths I hope :-) Have an upvote...

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

        Sorry, but they're not roots, they're stems. Those eyes? They're buds which you find on stems, not roots.

        Technically true, but it would be too confusing to refer to spuds as stems, since potato plants have stems that aren't spuds. So we call them spuds, or tubers if we went to agricultural college.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

          "So we call them spuds, or tubers if we went to agricultural college."

          A tuber is a storage organ formed from a stem.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

            A tuber is a storage organ formed from a stem.

            And that contradicts what I wrote? How?

            See: The tropical tuber crops: yams, cassava, sweet potato, and cocoyams. by C Onwueme

            I think you will find that they are tubers formed from roots. As are the tubers that Mrs Git grows many beautiful flowers from.

    2. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

      I'll see your gnocchi and raise you a twice baked potatoe. Piped back into the shell. Sprinkled with bacon.

  14. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    straw man (literally)

    Without seeing the actual paper, with formulas and such, it's impossible to refute the article. I think that I can make some educated guesses, though.

    There's a lot of pseudo-science and wishful thinking around so-called "organic" farming, but one thing that does seem to be backed up by actual science is the idea of "Biointensive" farming. One of the major planks of that is the ratios of different crops, eg:

    • 60% carbon crops (produce a lot of biomass for composting, as well as some calorific value; eg, wheat, corn, grains)
    • 30% calorie crops (eg, potatoes)
    • 10% vitamin/mineral crops (eg, tomatoes, lettuce, Brassicas)

    If this works (and let's say for the sake of argument that it does) then there are two things that immediately come to mind.

    First, lettuce and such things aren't a good thing to be focusing on in a comparison. They essentially don't provide any calories, and so are a very inefficient use of land. We still need them, but they shouldn't be seen as the major part of a diet.

    Second, all that livestock needs to be fed. It may be that animals are better at converting raw materials into meat. If that were the case then it might be more efficient to feed the crops to livestock and thus convert them into meat for us to eat. I'm not sure that that case can be made, though: I'm pretty sure that eating corn-fed pig is less efficient overall than eating the corn yourself. The other thing about passing crops through animals with the intention of eating them is that various livestock can eat things that are either indigestible(1) or unpalatable to us (or just unfashionable; it can be a cultural thing where we consider certain perfectly good foods as being only fit for animals, eg brown rice in Japan, maize and other "fodder" crops). If you look at the sorts of things that pigs or geese will eat, it strikes me that this (eg, geese converting slugs, among other things, into meat and eggs) is a more convincing argument for being a carnivore than any argument about how efficiently animals can convert the same raw food stuffs into meat.

    Where I'm going with this, I strongly suspect that the comparison the paper makes is between an inefficient human diet based mainly on low-calorie, high-effort stuff like lettuces and a much more efficient one used for raising animals. In fact, I'm nearly willing to bet that the kind of integrated farming system that the paper has in mind for raising livestock is probably going to follow the ratios I mentioned above. So I suspect that it's really an apples/oranges comparison: basically assuming that humans and pigs have different dietary needs (which we don't, really) then using a really bad food production model for our diets and a really good one for the livestock.

    So basically, if we had access to the paper and could do a proper apples-to-apples comparison, we'd probably find that it supports the ideas of a vegetarian diet (and probably biointensive farming) rather than the opposite.

    PS 1: I'm deliberately glossing over livestock that eats only grasses since we're mainly talking about pigs; sometimes land is only fit for grazing, though

    PS 2: I'm not a veggie or a hippy

    1. Blitheringeejit
      Coat

      @Frumious Bandersnatch - An apples to apples comparison would surely show...

      ...that it depends on where the f*** you're trying to farm.

      Minimising carbon and environmental impact by growing and eating just veg and fruit (backed up with some seafood) makes perfect sense at the latitudes of places like Greece and Italy, because fruit and veg grows really well there.

      But in colder climates, where anything more nutritious than grass and trees is pretty hard to cultivate efficiently, it's better to grow sheep and cows on the grass, and pigs (plus deer, beavers, birds etc) in the forests, to convert stuff we can't eat (grass, seeds etc) into meat. At the most extreme end of things, I would guess that a natural Inuit diet doesn't include much in the way of green vegetables.

      PS1 - possibly fair, though I'm not sure that a wild pig's natural diet would include much stuff that humans would eat. At least not without boiling it for a long time first.

      And as for PS2, I AM a veggie AND a hippy - but I accept that as I live in northern England rather than the sun-drenched Mediterranean, my being a veggie is irrational and silly.

      Being a hippy, though, is sensible - the extra hair keeps me warm.

      /afghan coat!!

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: @Frumious Bandersnatch - An apples to apples comparison would surely show...

        PS1 - possibly fair, though I'm not sure that a wild pig's natural diet would include much stuff that humans would eat. At least not without boiling it for a long time first.

        I'm sure Lisa Simpson proved that they ate green slime from a rock!

        I know my coat should be green.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: @Frumious Bandersnatch - An apples to apples comparison would surely show...

        And to be fair, to be able to live on an Inuit diet you pretty much have to be an Inuit due to biological adaptations to consuming such a specialized diet (if I recall, it's notably high in fat, so much so that visitors can't handle the diet straight up).

    2. Tom 13

      Re: straw man (literally)

      Oh it's possible to refute the paper just on the quotes given. Starting from a false pretense gets you nowhere. The point of the food spread isn't carbon, it's a diet that actually keeps you healthy. For a data point I know well, I'll use myself. I love meats (especially bacon), breads, and cakes. I tolerate green beans fairly well, love tomatoes, dislike broccoli and cauliflower and mostly despise rabbit food. On top of which as a computer techie I'm now pretty much a desk jockey who gets no exercise. As a result I currently mass about 50% more than is good for me. So I've started eating more of that stuff I don't like.

  15. Chris King Silver badge

    What, nobody's made the obvious "Vegetables are what my food eats" comment yet ?

    1. Joe User

      In other words, I'd rather eat the cow than eat like a cow....

  16. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Research suggests that by eating no food at all you can decrease the likelihood of dying from cancer to almost zero.

  17. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Face mites

    Not remotely related to IT or the article which isn't remotely related to IT, but Slashdot has it and it's gruesomely interesting.

    Your face mites pertain to your birthplace and the people you've rubbed faces with!

    "Considering the ancient divergences within D.folliculorum , and the nearly universal presence of Demodex on adult humans, these mites provide an excellent system for studying past and present relationships among human populations."

    Not in the pdf, but these critters sleep in your eyelash follicles, and if enough squeeze into one follicle then they push your eyelash out.

  18. Phil Miesle

    CH4 >> CO2

    Setting aside resource use...is the measurement in CO2 (which I could believe) or does it also take into account the rather voluminous quantities of methane that cows and their ilk produce out both ends?

    1. Grikath

      Re: CH4 >> CO2

      Well.... funny you should mention that, given that cows and other ruminants do not actually produce the methane they expel. The bacteria in their stomachs that convert the Green Stuff they ingest into actual food for the ruminant in question do that, in a localised process which is more or less exactly what would happen if you'd leave the Green Stuff out in a compost heap, or out in nature, for that matter.

      Given that grazing prevents the buildup of enough material to create the circumstances where methanogens actually get a chance, you're really only concentrating methane production that would happen anyway to the inside of an animal, which, in case of cows, is producing steak, cheese, hamburgers, and proper shoes and jackets.

  19. Palpy

    This particular study is getting splashed all over.

    From Reddit to ClimateDepot, from Science20 to India.com.

    Probably the publicity has some element of pushback from the meat lobby against the decades-old but recently WHO-recognized connection between meat consumption and disease.

    The actual study seems to say, roughly:

    1. Continue to eat Big Macs and doughnuts, just reduce your intake to avoid obesity: that is the most greenhouse-gas/water/energy friendly option.

    2. Change to a USDA-type "healthy" diet but don't reduce your calorie intake. That is the least greenhouse-gas/water/energy friendly option.

    3. Change to a USDA-type "healthy" diet and also reduce your calorie intake. That has a middling-bad effect on greenhouse-gas/water/energy.

    Here's one angle: cheap, crappy food is cheap because -- drum roll -- it costs less to make. Uses fewer expensive resources. Have a carton of Little Debbie Cakes and some Value Meal "hamburgers" and rejoice. Eat like that constantly, and you'll almost certainly die sooner than someone who eats a balanced diet. And your death also has a beneficial effect on greenhouse-gas/water/energy.

    It's a win-win, except of course for you personally.

    (In fact, one of the causes of chronic ill-health among first-world people living in poverty is diet: they buy the most cost-effective calories, as per Option 1 in the research, and that predisposes them to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders, etc.)

    Now, the USDA "healthy" guidelines have been heavily influenced by the meat and dairy industries: pressure has been brought to bear to make sure that the "healthy" guidelines recommended plenty of meat and dairy. For example, this quote:

    "'The pervasive, overriding influence of the meat and dairy lobby at the USDA is so powerful that it is understood that guidelines cannot talk negatively about specific foods,' says Walter Willett, chair of the Harvard School of Public Health’s nutrition department. 'Thus, they cannot say that we should eat less red meat, cheese, or butter; instead the guidelines talk abstractly about eating less SOFAS, which only dietitians know means less solid fat and added sugar. (Only) deep in the text of the guidelines, in a footnote, does it say that solid fat is found in meat and dairy products.'”

    The article to hand takes the USDA "healthy" guidelines its criterion. Interesting choice. Why not WHO dietary guidelines? Why not use some of the European Food-Based Dietary Guidelines?

    I sense shifted goalposts. Pretend that a food pyramid already influenced by the meat-dairy lobby in the USA is the perfect dietary criterion, and then pretend that even its recommendation to eat more veg is... somehow... ecologically irresponsible.

    Have another hamburger. Cheap to make, cheap to eat. Fries with that?

    1. David Pollard

      Re: This particular study is getting splashed all over.

      Have another hamburger.

      http://xkcd.com/1338/

    2. Synonymous Howard

      Re: This particular study is getting splashed all over.

      So what is greener .. Burial or Cremation?

      1. x 7

        Re: This particular study is getting splashed all over.

        "So what is greener .. Burial or Cremation?"

        Neither. The green option is cannibalism. Why do you think Soylent was "Green"?

    3. Alister Silver badge

      Re: This particular study is getting splashed all over.

      instead the guidelines talk abstractly about eating less SOFAS

      Well personally I can only manage a two-seater normally, although I might sneak a recliner armchair for supper if I'm really hungry.

  20. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Well, yes, Bacon Doortseps == Damfinething, and crisp lettuce == boring unpleasant and nasty tasting ordeal for most people (or why the huge market for "salad dressings").

    But then there's the Great North Carolina Pigshit Lakes to factor in.

    (http://www.upworthy.com/a-drone-flew-over-a-pig-farm-to-discover-its-not-really-a-farm-its-something-much-more-disturbing)

  21. bollos
    FAIL

    this is ridiculous.

    we have enough water, we have enough energy and CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. on that last note we should be worrying about toxicity not temperature and stop poisoning this eden in space.

  22. Lou 2
    Megaphone

    Its about The Bacon and The Bacon won!

    Typical we have some organic, vegetable munching weirdos trying to hijack the news that the Baconators just pulverized the vegemunchers. We do not want to hear about the latest organic produce you have, or if slow grown lettuce is better tasting than fast growing! Naysayers we are coming for your vegetable patches, your organic worm farms, the mulches and seaweed extract you are spraying and we are replacing it with pigs! Yes PIGS!

    Do the best you can to overwhelm the News of this famous Bacon victory with some flora related claptrap - but we will not let the news of this famous victory be stifled! It will go down in the history taking its rightful place alongside famous battles including the Battle of Waterloo, Battle of Mursa Major, Battle of 'Ayn Ubagh or the very famous Battle of Großbeeren!

    Its about The Bacon and The Bacon won!

  23. Duffy Moon

    Reduce people

    If we had a sensible number of people on this planet, all this stuff wouldn't be an issue.

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: Reduce people

      Or at least a reasonable number of sensible people.

  24. x 7

    this is bollox

    they're forgetting how much the animals we eat, belch and fart

  25. Diogenes

    fruit & vegetables are what food eats

    heading says it all

  26. oswdt

    Green houses gases from fossil fuels and those produced synthetically are the only real polluters. Those produced by animals and farming cannot be limited and hence should not be considered. Creating emission data about farming etc, is diversion to hide emission from fossil fuels.

  27. BongoJoe

    Enter your comment

    The problem appears to be that blokes with stupid beards seem to thrive on the stuff. The lead picture goes someway to support this hypothesis.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Enter your comment

      The problem appears to be that blokes with stupid beards seem to thrive on the stuff.

      And your evidence for the low IQ of his beard is? My reading of the picture is that he's trying very hard to get into the pants of the YL to his left. Precisely what I would have been doing at his age. So what if he's munching rabbit food. No doubt he's also planning on a nice pork vindaloo* afterwards when he needs to recoup his strength.

      * Or a deep-fried Mars Bar if he's from Glasgow.

  28. Slx

    Meh!

    I don't really believe any of these studies anymore. Just eat a moderate amount of everything and you'll be fine!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy answer, bacon should be reclassified as a vegetable, everybody would be very happy.

  30. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Daft nonsense...

    Given that celery and lettuce have next to no calories, it's nearly a divide-by-zero error trying to calculate their embodied resources per calorie.

    Repeat the calculation for a nice glass of water. Zero calories, and thus AN INFINITE WASTE OF OUR PRECIOUS RESOURCES (per calorie). Daft nonsense.

    Frankly, the issue here is that some have fallen for this nonsensical, elementary math trick.

  31. Chasman
    FAIL

    Lazy Stereotyping

    Great clickbait. Total balls. obv. My mate Ad Pugh (aka Captain Chainsaw) is a vegan. 6' 4" tall, does chainsaw sculptures and builds timber framed structures for a living. He eats industrial quantities of hummus and chickpeas for the protein and a variety of cooked and raw vegetables. When we eat out he just has the same as us minus the meat with extra veg. The idea veggies and vegans are pale weedy people who nibble lettuce is a lazy stereotype.

  32. KimMarie

    Yeah right! The researchers behind the study have said that news headlines are completely mischaracterizing their results. They actually found that vegetarian and vegan foods ARE better than meat for the planet. You have to wonder why the meat industry goes to such lengths when it comes to deflecting the negative health consequences of their products.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      They actually found that vegetarian and vegan foods ARE better than meat for the planet

      Planets eat vegetables and meat? My worldview is shattered!

  33. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    Turnips

    Turnips. Vegans should eat lots of turnips. Soon they'll start to look and act like their diet staple and their moral superiority will disappear. Turnips are NOT morally superior.

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: Turnips

      I still dream of my own large Turnip in the country.

  34. maros
    FAIL

    Merda

    Oh, so you assume if you eat only fish, cheese, nuts, and low caloric vegetables, you harm the environment more than eating bacon. Really? oh but a vegan diet would be rice, beans, or some high caloric low impact foods, with some vegetables, of course. Oh vegans don't eat fish or cheese did you know? nice research, really, makes a point, how you can manipulate data and make morons believe it

  35. KG1

    Decades of research has proven that being vegetarian is MUCH better for the environment than consuming chicken, pork or beef. Here’s an explanation of why this headline is so misleading and why going veg is the right thing to do: http://www.vegan.com/debunking-claims-that-lettuce-is-3-times-worse-than-bacon/

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Decades of research has proven that being vegetarian is MUCH better for the environment than consuming chicken, pork or beef

      Now that's utter bullshit. Read my earlier comments regarding the role of animal manure and soil fertility (search on humus). Now it's certainly true that artificial fertilisers can partially offset the need for humus, for a time [1], but eventually as William Albrecht pointed out, the fertility all gets used up and you are left with an ash-heap on which nothing will grow.

      It should be reasonably obvious that those artificial fertilisers come at a considerable energy cost, particularly the nitrogenous fertilisers such as nitram [2], anhydrous ammonia and urea.

      Of course you can keep animals as part of the farm enterprise and not eat them. But then you have the problem that 50% of them are males and unless you keep them apart or eat them will usually attempt to kill each other. As well they will multiply and, unless culled, eat what's available to the point of starvation.

      [1] High artificial fertiliser levels usually introduces the need for high levels of synthetic pesticides and fungicides.

      [2] Don't get caught with this material without appropriate authorisation these days lest you be arrested as a terrorist.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So can I offset my VW Diesel DTI with a field of lettuce? And how much bigger must the field be for me to still eat bacon without killing the glaciers or something?

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      So can I offset my VW Diesel DTI with a field of lettuce? And how much bigger must the field be for me to still eat bacon without killing the glaciers or something?

      Dunno, but that reminds me of something extremely funny that happened locally about 30 years ago.

      One of those greeny-weenie do-gooderesses moved into the district. He noticed that lettuces were selling for $2 each at the local supermarket and so decided he was going to show us ignorant farmers how to make your fortune growing lettuces. This was late winter. By the time his paddock-full of lettuces were ready to harvest, the wholesale price per lettuce had fallen to around 2 cents and the cost of harvest was around 5 cents per lettuce.

      He didn't last long :-)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I reckon that bloke wants to explain to the woman how selectively eating meat can be healthy and pleasurable for all involved. I mean, look at the leer on his face and what he's looking at!

  38. GX5000

    Slow news day

    Oh please this was already debunked a few days ago Reg !

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019