The University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management invites the public to a presentation by University of Maryland researcher and longtime Hawaii Island resident Dr. Rachel Mason at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in UCB Room 100.
Mason’s talk is titled “Sorting the Beef from the Bull: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Beef and Dairy Production.”
“Recently, it seemed like everyone was talking about burping cows, and how the methane they emit is a powerful greenhouse gas,” Mason said. “Today, the message seems to be that natural grazing methods can lock up carbon in the soil — or is it that we have to eat less meat? As climate-conscious consumers, do we all need to go vegan, or can grass-fed beef and dairy save the world? Is industrial beef production surprisingly green? Or should we all eat meat grown from cells in a lab?”
Mason, a scientist specializing in the links between agriculture and climate change, will explain how and why raising cattle contributes to climate change, what can be done to reduce those emissions, and why food choices matter.
In her most recent research, she simulated how a changing climate will alter how dairy farms affect the environment. Her current work focuses on evaluating the science behind greenhouse gas emissions from beef and dairy production, especially in developing countries.