Chatting in Notso Bigtown’s only health food shop* about their Jacob sheep (we’d bought some chops from one of their flock last week) the conversation turned to the carbon footprint – hoofprint? – of grass-fed versus non-grass-fed meat and milk. I got lost around about the point where he mentioned methane digesters – it was a bit like an episode of the Archers, back when the Archers had some farming in it – but I gathered that the emissions for grass-reared meat are much lower than the scary headline figures for meat generally. Of course, he would say that, seeing as that’s what he’s selling, (and we would believe him, seeing as that’s what we like eating) but it did seem as though even quite intensive meat and milk production could be made greener with a bit of management.
‘Well,’ I said hopefully, ‘if they start putting the carbon footprint on the labels in the supermarket, that will help keep emissions down.’
‘Not really,’ he said. ‘Then they’ll just get consultants in to look at the figures and massage the footprints down to something acceptable.’
Carbon-footprint masseur – there‘s a job title for the Noughties. Or, given that the decade is almost done, the Teenies, or whatever we’re calling the next one.
*Unless you count the bakery – doughnuts are healthy, right?