Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Website roots out "Rotten Apples"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Putin's press conference, Alabama election, One Planet Summit, Brexit Phase II, Disney & Fox

Read more

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

FOCUS

The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Read more

ENCORE!

Rhiannon Giddens strikes out on her 'Freedom Highway'

Read more

#THE 51%

Not such a feminist paradise: Iceland struggles to deal with violence towards women

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Climate change: Half of Mexico's coffee plantations have disappeared

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

We meet the people behind fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Saturday at 7.20 pm. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2015-03-31

Agriculture: When farms turn into factories

It's time to end the myth once and for all. The farms in children's books are history. Today's agriculture is increasingly industrial and only those who adapt will survive. In this episode we investigate the environmental effects of "mega farms". Are these large-scale enterprises more polluting than the smaller variety? The answer is not as obvious as one might think.

Reducing the farming footprint

Across the planet, livestock breeding is responsible for 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Research is underway to bring this down.

In Italy, a mineral buried in the hills of Tuscany has shown promising results. Chabazite is found in rock left over from volcanic eruptions. When added to animal feed, it can reduce ammonium in manure by up to 40 percent and slash atmospheric emissions by one fifth.

Another project funded by the European Union is looking at insects as a more sustainable source of protein for animal nutrition. Before being trialled in Europe, the programme needs to usher in a change in the law as well as overcoming consumer resistance to eating livestock fed on a bug-based diet.

Meat free, not taste free

One seemingly simple way to reduce the impact of farming is to eat less meat. The Belgian city of Ghent was the first in Europe to introduce a "veggie day", a day when people are encouraged to swap their steak for a stack of vegetables.

The idea has since been exported to ten other cities around the world as more people change the way they eat in the name of the environment and animal welfare. 

With the support of the European Union / Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development

By Marina BERTSCH , Mairead DUNDAS , Georges YAZBECK , Alice CAMPAIGNOLLE , Yara JAMALI ELO

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-12-15 Natural disaster

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Floods, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires: 2017 stood out for both the number and intensity of extreme weather events. But were the last twelve months more catastrophic for the...

Read more

2017-12-01 Fossil fuels

Oil industry: Is green the new black?

The world will pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in 2017 than in any other year in recorded history. With doomsday scenarios on the horizon, there's growing pressure...

Read more

2017-11-17 Fishing

The tiny parasite threatening your salmon sushi

Marine parasites known as sea lice are threatening the world's salmon supply. Today we eat three times more of the high-protein fish than in the 1980s, but the proliferation of...

Read more

2017-11-02 nuclear power

A nuclear waste dump for eternity

France has found a €25 billion solution to the unanswerable question of what to do with its high-level nuclear waste - bury it deep underground.

Read more

2017-10-19 China

Is China exporting its pollution?

China may be the world's champion of renewable energy, but its actions abroad are not always in line with a country truly committed to fighting climate change. With the United...

Read more