Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Xenophobic attacks in south africa prompt a regional crisis

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"Europe's darkest day"

Read more

DEBATE

Migrant Deaths: has Europe lost its compassion? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Migrant Deaths: what is Europe going to do? (part 1)

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové: 'Four or five companies are deciding what we eat'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

UK general election: Britain's EU membership in question

Read more

REPORTERS

Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more

ENCORE!

Emilie Gassin: Singer's pop charms woo French crowds

Read more

FOCUS

CAR: Thousands of Muslims trapped in enclaves

Read more

We travel across the globe and meet the people behind the most fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Every Saturday at 6.10 pm.

DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

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

2015-03-15 agriculture

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...

Read more

2015-02-15 carbon emissions

Forests worth more alive than dead

We are Down to Earth in Peru on a police patrol to La Pampa, a wasteland on the outskirts of the Amazon. In the last six years 50,000 hectares of rainforest have been obliterated...

Read more

2014-11-16 Mexico

Drought emergency

After one of the driest periods in history, 2014 is on track to be the hottest since records began. How do we adapt to these extreme climate conditions which may be here to stay ?

Read more

2015-01-18 carbon emissions

Hydrogen, fuel of the future?

Is the universe's most abundant element the best alternative to petrol? As Toyota rolls out its first hydrogen fuel cell car, the Down to Earth team explores how this technology...

Read more