Imported Shrimp Has a Carbon Footprint Ten Times Higher Than Rainforest Beef

Animated GIF by Erik Peterson/Wikimedia Commons

A new study from a University of Oregon researcher with the (great) name of J. Boone Kaufmann has found that shrimp from Southeast Asian shrimp farms have a carbon footprint TEN TIMES higher than that of beef cattle raised in clearcut Amazonian ex-rainforests.

Ten times! And as Tom Philipott, Mother Jones’s resident food/enviro/politics guy points out, the glut of cheap South Asian shellfish is what’s turned shrimp from a luxury item (remember when shrimp cocktail actually seemed fancy?) into an everyday, Taco Bell and Red Lobster kind of meat.

Check out the Mother Jones article for more details and links to other research. One of the most interesting statistics is that, in 1990, 80% of America’s shrimp came from domestic wild fisheries. Today? We import 90% of the shrimp we eat.

[via Mother Jones]

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