Diet Doctor podcast #51 — Frank Mitloehner

What is the true impact of livestock on climate change, and will eating less meat significantly impact global warming? That is a topic of hot debate charged with emotion and ideology on both sides of the discussion. The end result is confusion as we try to answer the question, “What can I do to minimize my contributions to climate change?”

While it’s hard to argue with ideology, it’s comforting to lean into the science and use that to inform our decisions. Professor Mitloehner is an expert on animal agriculture and climate change, and he brings a much needed sense of nuance and scientific clarity to the discussion.

He contrasts fossil fuel emissions with animal contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, putting the issues surrounding meat into perspective and clarifying what that means for our individual choices. We also discuss the portrayal of climate change in the media, the social impact of our agricultural system, how Covid-19 has changed how we see sustainability, and much more.

What we eat matters. And how and where we grow our food matters, too. Our discussion with Professor Mitloehner helps clarify these complex issues.

Thanks for reading,
Bret Scher, MD FACC

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Table of contents

  1:50 Welcome, Professor Frank
  2:20 How Frank got his PhD in animal science
  6:27 Different sources of climate change
10:57  Ruminant, methanes and global warming
19:22  Food vs fossil fuel
23:50  Contribution of a plant-based diet to global warming
26:35  Social issues of meat industries workers
28:33  Frank on the EAT-Lancet report
32:43  Celebrities, the vegan diet and the mainstream media
36:22  Your diet is your personal decision
40:52  Thoughts on the regenerative agriculture
45:39  Socio-economic pressure to the farming community
48:13  Supporting local farmers on food production
50:20  Sustainability: food production as a societal problem
52:44  Where to find Professor Frank

About the video

Virtual podcast recorded in June 2020, published in July 2020.
Podcast host: Dr. Bret Scher
Managing producer: Hari Dewang
Editing: Hard Day Production

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