Meat prices on the rise in Canada

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      In recent years, meat prices have been going up much more quickly in B.C. than most other goods, according to the Consumer Price Index.

      It shows that between 2012 and 2016, all forms of meat were up 16.6 percent.

      Meanwhile, the entire CPI was only up 4.1 percent over that four-year period for B.C. And nonalcoholic beverages, candy, coffee, and tea actually went down in price.

      Now, there's a new report out of Dalhousie University that suggests meat prices may rise another seven to nine percent in Canada by the end of this year.

      While the cost of chicken is expected to remain stable, the same won't be true for beef and pork because of an "inventory" shortage of these animals.

      So if you're horrified by recent televised images of mistreated chickens and you worry about the links between red meat and heart disease, this might be an ideal time to go vegetarian.

      Were enough people do this around the world, it could have an impact on overall greenhouse gas emissions.

      According to the federal government, 10 percent of Canada's emissions are generated through crop and livestock production. And that doesn't include GHGs from fertilizers or transporting goods to market.

      Meanwhile, David Suzuki and coauthor Ian Hanington write in a new book that livestock agriculture is responsible for nine percent of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. But they also report in Just Cool It! that agriculture also produces 37 percent of human-incuded methane and 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide.

      Each of these gases have far more heat-trapping potential than carbon dioxide.

      If you don't want to give up all meat, from the planet's perspective it's best to stick to pork and chicken and dispense with the beef.

      "Pigs and poultry contribute about 10 percent of global agricultural emissions but provide three times as much meat as cattle—which are responsible for about 40 percent—and use far less feed," Suzuki and Hanington write.

      They note, however, that rice cultivation also produces a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. That's because it relies heavily on nitrogen-based fertilizers and it also emits methane.