The factory-farming meat and dairy industries produce more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than the transportation industry, yet we are producing far more meat and dairy than we can consume.
The US Department of Agriculture also says that our meat producers now have 2.5 billion pounds of meat in cold storage, including chicken, turkey, pork, and beef. We are apparently running out of space to store the excess meat.
The Walls Street Journal reports that newly implemented Chinese and Mexican tariffs are in part to blame, at least for the excess swine. Pork tariffs were set in retaliation for the Trump administration’s tariffs on Mexican and Chinese steel and other goods. We are also producing more beef and poultry due to a reduction in the cost of grain. Meat prices at the grocery store are likely to drop soon.
Thanks to selective breeding, and to a smaller extent, due to Mexican tariffs, the US dairy producers produce more milk than we need. Dairy producers turn excess milk into cheese, which lasts longer in cold storage. Milk and dairy demand drops in the summer. Right now, US dairy producers now have a record of 1.39 billion pounds of cheese in storage, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Vox reports that this equates to enough cheese to give each American citizen 4.6 pounds.
Related: Does Meat Cause Cancer? Yes and no…
Grazing animals could be the answer to climate change. Cows could actually help eliminate desertification. Before we humans took over earth, this planet was covered in grasslands with herds of grazing animals. These animals thinned vegetation and then moved on leaving dung behind. This promotes healthy soil, and in turn, more vegetation.