Breastfeed to save the planet, scientists say as study exposes infant formula damage to environment

From the UK Telegraph

2 October 2019 • 11:30pm

Breastfeeding for longer could help save the environment, scientists have said as they reveal Britain’s poor rates cause the equivalent of 77,000 cars worth of damage.

Experts at Imperial College London have for the first time calculated the harm to the planet from infant formula.

They found that, not only does it produce significant amounts of greenhouse gas due to the in creates for dairy cows, but it also depletes water and electricity, as well as producing waste.

Health leaders encourage mothers to breastfeed for at least the first six months after birth because it supplies all necessary nutrients in exactly the right quantities, protecting babies from disease.

Britain’s breastfeeding rates are among the lowest in the world, however, with just 34 per cent of babies still receiving any breast milk at this stage.

The Imperial team calculated that breastfeeding for six months would save up between 95 and 153 KG of carbon dioxide per baby.

This means that if all mothers in the UK followed the guidelines it would equate to taking up to 77,500 cars of the road each year.

Cow milk also has a large water footprint, up to 4,700 litres per kilogram of powder.

In addition, powdered infant formula has to be heated to at least 70C during production, an energy use equivalent to charging 200 million smartphones a year.

Full story here

HT/Willie Soon

Britain’s breastfeeding rates are among the lowest in the world, however, with just 34 per cent of babies still receiving any breast milk at this stage.

The Imperial team calculated that breastfeeding for six months would save up between 95 and 153 KG of carbon dioxide per baby.

This means that if all mothers in the UK followed the guidelines it would equate to taking up to 77,500 cars of the road each year.

Cow milk also has a large water footprint, up to 4,700 litres per kilogram of powder.

In addition, powdered infant formula has to be heated to at least 70C during production, an energy use equivalent to charging 200 million smartphones a year.

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81 thoughts on “Breastfeed to save the planet, scientists say as study exposes infant formula damage to environment

    • Under the planned parenthood protocol, select fetuses… babies… fetuses are aborted and sequestered, while others are cannibalized to recover useful cells and parts, then redistributed to serve a noble cause.

  1. Psst, being human and drinking water destroys water supplies. Especially with a record amount of us on the planet.

    • I thought most of the water I consume came out the other end with a few additives, or as sweet. So not wasted, just modified a little.

      With all this garbage, with idiot academics trying to outdo each other with ridiculous global warming cures, I’m starting to wonder if I really want to save the planet that bred them.

      • As the grafitti in the men’s room of my favorite tavern in my college town read: You don’t buy the beer, you just rent it.

      • …well I can certainly assume consuming it alters its taste, and depending on if you have eaten asparagus recently, its odor as well. 🙂
        Do us a favor and put it into the recycling system.

      • There is no way you can avoid putting it into the recycling system short of bottling it and putting it on a space probe.

  2. Just when you think they’ve run out of stupid things we can do to save the planet….. they haven’t, nor ever will apparently.

    • Bingo! They don’t advise mothers to breast feed for good of their ACTUAL child but some vague computer modelled “it’s for our grandchildren” theme. Just shows how detached from reality these idiots are.

      The Imperial team calculated that breastfeeding for six months would save up between 95 and 153 KG of carbon dioxide per baby.

      A piffling amount, if you are really counting how much that child will create in the rest of its life, this is like bending down to pick up a nickel when you are having your home repossessed.

      This means that if all mothers in the UK followed the guidelines it would equate to taking up to 77,500 cars of the road each year.

      No, that is a one off change, it would equate to taking 77,500 cars off the road ONCE assuming all future mothers also continued to follow the advice.

      A quick google reports 32 million cars on the road in the UK. More nickel and diming.

      These clowns are not even competent in basic maths and they think everyone should listen to them because the are “scientists”.

      Maybe if they just shouted “get your tits out for the planet” it would work better.

  3. … not only does it produce significant amounts of greenhouse gas due to the in creates for dairy cows …

    Due to the what? Do they not employ editors any more?

    • “in creates … increase”? WTF? LMAO. My brain filled that one in and I missed it. You win the proof reader daily award!

      • Yes, I spotted that one too. That has to be someone using voice rec. Probably talking into their iPhone instead of typing. Since it does not get underlined in red by the spelling checker, it must be OK.

        taking up to 77,500 cars of [sic ]the road each year.

        Hang on , this gets better ( from the full article ):

        Last month academics called for mothers to be offered financial rewards for breastfeeding, after a trial costing the taxpayer £460,000 showed a modest improvement among women given £40 vouchers.

        So if you can’t convince a mother that her child is more important than her own tits, can you really trust what she does with all those vouchers? Maybe they are using Amazon Cloud cameras to verify compliance !

  4. Self awareness is not a trait among Luddites. Trivial crap like this should surely awaken some scientists that sit silently and suffer this degradation of science as a whole.

  5. “The Imperial team calculated that breastfeeding for six months would save up between 95 and 153 KG of carbon dioxide per baby. This means that if all mothers in the UK followed the guidelines it would equate to taking up to 77,500 cars of the road each year.”

    The continued success and growth of the climate movement is not driven by the strength of AGW theory but by its broad appeal to activism movements of many colors looking for a reason why
    and somewhere in AGW they can find that reason and latch on.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/06/13/unabomber/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2010/05/16/171/

    • Good one. In all the “carbon” issues that these people dream up, except fossil fuels, the carbon just recycles, and pretty quickly. End effect on atmospheric CO2 is precisely zero. [Fossil fuels are a different issue].

      And given all the tremendous and much-needed advances that women have made in recent and not-so-recent years in western societies, the last thing that women need is to be hit with something so utterly stupid as this.

      The following calculation is absolutely not worth doing, but WTH. There are well over 30 million road vehicles in the UK, so 77,000 cars is 0% of the total. One of the worst aspects of the scaremongering is that it is trying to make people feel guilty for living quite ordinary and harmless lives, and is already having a seriously damaging effect on many people’s lives – especially young people, who are less capable of critical analysis.

    • Yes, my thoughts too. It’s a false economy. That milk has to come from somewhere, either a woman or a cow.

    • My scientist father liked to joke that my mother was a “very inefficient cow”. The extra money he spent on food when my mother was nursing us was a lot more than it would have cost for cow’s milk or cow’s milk formula.

      That extra cost is a pretty good indicator that more resources, including energy, were needed to produce that food.

    • You are joking, look at the article and the lovely tit-pic that heads it. I’m sure it gain loads of traffic. Anything with “breast” in the title will sell.

  6. See, it’s really a double plus good thing that committed climate activists are not going to have babies. Now let’s crunch the numbers of how much the energy equivalent the “woke” use connecting to their electronic devices.

  7. Sounds like the tellygraph used another dodgy models with absurd assumptions and silly fallacy decision trees.

    • The tellygraph has a shameful record on climate issues and seems to employ school-leavers as science reporters.

  8. Just adding one more layer of guilt on women who can’t produce enough milk, or whose work schedule makes breastfeeding impractical.

    • for the very few who cannot breast feed then goat and fresh cows milks is still a FAR better option than canned powder crud
      have you ever read the labels?
      its about as “healthy” as the 100% chem powders they pump into the very frail aged and its nauseating to even read the contents let alone try and drink or live on it.

      and a breast pump can easily fix the too busy to feed my baby excuse.
      you want a baby then you need to accept the personal and other costs of having and looking after it properly.

      • Baby formula saved my life. My mother did not produce enough breastmilk and I was allergic to cows milk.

      • A little experience with breast feeding 3 infants has taught me that the real reason for not breast feeding is that it is a hell of a lot of work. Rather than birth freeing you from the parasite, the infant is tied to your body for another 6 months. Pumping does not end this. The snotty comment of ozspeakup above does indicate not only his sex, but also that he has never been the husband who did the washing up so that his wife could breast feed.

  9. Well we did our part. My wife breast fed my daughter who was our only child. I said that I would help breast feed her as soon as my milk came in but it has been more than 44 years and my daughter has long ago left the nest. But such a slight reduction in CO2 production will have no real effect on the Earth’s planet.

    The reality is that the Earth’s climate has been changing for eons yet the change is so small that it takes networks of very sophisticated sensors, decades to even detect it. One must not mix up true global climate change with weather cycles that are part of the current climate. Based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, the climate change we are experiencing today is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. Despite the hype, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and there is plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. It is all a matter of science.

    AGW is not a proven theory but rather a conjecture. AGW sounds plausible at first but upon a more detailed examination one finds that the AGW conjecture is based on only partial science and is full of holes. For example there is the idea that CO2 acts as a thermostat and the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere causes warming because CO2 has LWIR absorption bands that cause CO2 to trap heat. CO2 based warming causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which causes even more warming because H2O also has LWIR absorption bands and hence causes H2O to trap even more heat. So according the ths AGW conjecture H2O acts to amplify any warming that CO2 might cause. Al Gore in his movie, “The Inconvenient Truth” presents a chart showing CO2 and temperature for the past 650.000 years. There is an obvious correlation between CO2 and temperature which Al Gore claims shows that CO2 works as a thermostat and that more CO2 in our atmosphere causes warming. But a closer look at the data shows that CO2 follows instead of leeds temperature. It is higher temperatures that cause more CO2 to enter the atmosphere because warmer water does not hold as much CO2 as does cooler water. Contrary to what AL Gore claims, there is no evidence that the additional CO2 causes warming. On the plot, Al gore included where CO2 is today. CO2 is much higher than one would expect form the warming of the oceans and the proximate cause of the increase in CO2 is mankind’s burning of fossil fuels. According to the chart, if CO2 were the thermostat of global warming then it should be a heck of a lot warmer that it actually is but it is not. If anything, Al Gore’s chart shows that CO2 does not cause global warming as Al Gore claims.

    H2O is actually a stronger absorber of IR than is CO2 on a molecule per molecule basis. According to he AGW conjecture, the idea is that CO2 warming causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which causes even more warming which causes even more H2O to enter the atmosphere which causes even more H2O to enter the atmosphere and so forth. This positive feedback effect does not really require CO2 based warming but will operate on H2O based warming alone. This positive feedback effect, if true, would make Earth’s climate very unstable with H2O based warming causing more H2O to enter the atmosphere causing even more warming causing even more H2O to enter the atmosphere until all the bodies of water on Earth boiled away. Such an event would cause the barometric pressure and temperature of the Earth’s surface to be much higher than it is on Venus but such has never happened. What the AGW conjecture ignore’s is that besides being the primary greenhouse gas, H2O is a major coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere moving heat energy from the Earth’s surface to where clouds form and where heat energy is more readily radiated to space. The over all cooling effect of H2O is evidenced by the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly less than the dry lapse rate in the troposphere. So instead of providing a positive feedback amplifying any warming that CO2 might provide, H2O provides negative feedback and retards any warming the CO2 might provide, Negative feedback systems are inherently stable as has been the Earth’s climate for over the past 500 million years, enough for life to evolve because we are here.

    The AGW conjecture depends upon the existence of a radiant greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere caused by trace gases with LWIR absorption bands. A real greenhouse does not stay warm because of the action of heat trapping gases but rather stays warm because the glass limits cooling by convection. It is entirely a convectime greenhouse effect that keeps a real greenhouse warm. No radiant greenhouse effect has been observed, So too on Earth where gravity and the heat capacity of the atmosphere acts to limit cooling by convection. Derived from first principals, the Earth’s convective greenhouse effect causes the surface of the Earth to be roughly 33 degrees C warmer than it would otherwise be. 33 degrees C is the amount derived from first principals and 33 degrees C is what has been observed. Any additional warming caused by a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed. The radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere no on any planet in solar system with a thick atmosphere. The radiant greenhouse effect is nothing but science fiction so hence the AGW conjecture is nothing but science fiction as well, This is all a matter of science.

    Then there is the “scientific” consensus argument. But there is no real consensus. It is all is all just speculation. Scientists never registered and then voted on the validity of the AGW conjecture. But even if they had it would be meaningless because science is not a democracy. The laws of science are not some sort of legislation. Scientific theories are not validated by a voting process. The AGW conjecture must really be on shaky ground if “consensus” is one of the reasons for us to believe in it.

    But even if we could somehow stop the Earth’s climate from changing, extreme weather events and sea level rise would continue unabated because they are part of the current climate. We do not even know what the optimum global climate is let alone how to achieve it. The previous interglacial period, the Eemian, was warmer than this one with more ice cap melting and higher sea levels yet no tipping points ever happened. In the past, the Earth’s CO2 levels have been much higher than they are today and no tipping points ever happened. There is no real evidence that a climate emergency exists. It is all a matter of science.

    • Our youngest wasn’t completely weaned until she was 3 years old.
      (She’s now 9 and is taller than my wife.)

  10. There are lots of good reasons for breastfeeding babies including overall health and development, improved intelligence and improved immune system development but ‘Global Warming/Climate Change’ is not found as one of them.

  11. i get the feeling that there is some sort of formula these loons can use and plug any activity into it and derive some harm to the environment and some reason Man and Womankind must change their evil ways.
    The results of these “studies” always seem to dovetail so nicely with whatever it is Those Who Know All want people to do but haven’t been able to sell their notions. Interesting.

  12. Please tell me they didn’t advise to breast feed the kids past about 12mos. … seeing 6yo kids breastfeeding gets a bit creepy.

    • at 6 mths they should be already starting some solids anyway and milk human or animal fresh as a top up

  13. I’ve been feeding on breasts for 30 years now. I didn’t know i could use saving the planet as an excuse. God bless you greenies 👌

  14. Women have many different reasons for not breastfeeding but many women who try just find it too painful and difficult (natural selection presumably makes this a First World Problem) and they can feel incredibly guilty about their ‘failure’. They do not need to have an added burden of guilt towards the planet loaded onto them by these idiots wh call themselves researchers.
    I, unlike most of you, have breastfed babies and there are many discomforts and inconveniences involved.

    • Susan: You are “right on”. And by the way, the Book “Jungle Doctor” written 70 years ago (About a 5 year stint by a fellow that came back to a SUCCESSFUL Medical Practice in the USA) the Author took great pride in the fact that he got the Women of Kenya to STOP the stupid practice of stuffing food down the throats of the infants WAY ahead of time. “Breastfeed is Best Feed” (Most Kenyans then and now, speak a tribal language and English) He changed local “infant mortalities” from 30% to close to USA and Europe levels. In researching this because of the “anti formula” types, I found out that BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTIES of breast feeding for about 25% of the women (overall or Kenya, I forget which)…find infant formula a “God Sent”. SO BLESS YOU for giving “the rest of the story”.

  15. Babyfood formulae are manufactored by companies such as Nestle. They are big multinationals and exponents of a successful capitalism. Therefore they are the enemy. Therefore their products will be declared ‘climate damaging’.

    It’s just another blinkered ruse.

  16. Technically speaking, fathers can breastfeed too. Men have the same milk producing hardware as women, only mothballed by design.

    Guess now they can attempt to solve the climate impact of diary. Just imagine how coffee time breaks would look at the job. ” C’mon Jorg, it’s your turn…”

    • All humans are female at conception, and as you say men have the “hardware”, it’s why we have nipples. No need otherwise.

      Men are mutants and have only one purpose.

      • All babies are NOT female at conception – we are neuter. No girl parts and no boy parts. This was a meme presented by so-called “feminists” to denigrate males. Not to mention we certainly have more than one function. The human race wouldn’t last very long without its protectors.

    • Do you get into excess manganese in soy formula? There is a hypothesis currently floating around that such is damaging to infants’ brains due to the fact that manganese is a neurotoxin in excessive amounts (e.g., manganese madness, welders’ disease, wasting disease, etc).

  17. Yes. If women aren’t feeling guilty enough for not breastfeeding, “doing it for the planet” will be the thing that puts them over the top. Riiiiight. I suppose one side benefit would be that breast feeding in public would allow them to virtue signal.

  18. I seem to remember that back in the 1970’s there was a push from the usual suspects to condemn the use of infant formula because it was produced by Evil Corporations™ and therefore unnatural and dangerous. This seems like more of the same.

  19. Soybeans great for fattening young animals, and cheap as chips, so no wonder the formula folks will love to pad their product with it ? Result, an abnormal amount of phytoestrogens being consumed by ones pride and joy.

    So the results of this study seem to suggest that following its guidelines will mean fewer ‘SoiBois’ to fill the ranks of those who want to inflict their own paranoia on others ?

    Combined with those of the cult who have forsworn the creation of children, it does seem as if the Exstinktion cult is destined to follow the trajectory experienced by the Shaker movement 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers

  20. And I’m sure the fact that breastfeeding lowers fertility chances has nothing to do with their angle here… these people HATE people.

  21. nicholas tesdorf October 11, 2019 at 8:41 pm: —There are lots of good reasons for breastfeeding babies—
    Perhaps also some of the following motives that came up when a Medical School class requested five reasons why mother’s milk is better than cow’s.

    1. It’s faster.
    2. It’s cleaner.
    3. It’s safer (the cat can’t get it).
    4. It’s easier to handle, especially when travelling.
    5. It’s kept in more attractive containers.
    .-

    • Don’t forget mothers’ breast milk contains colostrum very important for baby development and immunity.

      • The key to the importance of mothers’ milk is immunological – during gestation the child’s immune system comes to treat anything from the mother as self. At birth this arrangement persists so that mothers’ milk cannot trigger any immune reaction that might lead to allergic reactions. Putting milk from a cow – a very different mammal species – into a child triggers an immune reaction that may persist throughout life. Asthma sufferers tend to react to milk and beef. When these are no longer consumed the asthma tends vanish.
        https://thekindnessofhumanmilk.com/about/

  22. Apparently breastfeeding women (and men) don’t drink increased amounts of milk and other foods to supply breast milk- human milk production is magic just like solar and wind energy- totally free from any inputs needed.

    • And due to our less advanced digestive system humans can’t even make milk from grass, it takes higher quality feed.

  23. Being a man I have nor practical experience in the field, but my mother used to say that she couldn’t understand why anyone would bother with baby formulas if they were physically able to breast feed, because it was so handy. Always at hand, no worry about temperature, or mixture, or clean water, or cleaning bottles, or buying more or anything.

  24. “it produce significant amounts of greenhouse gas due to the in creates for dairy cows, but it also depletes water and electricity”

    Putting aside the fascinating question what “dairy cow in create” is, the idea that you can “deplete” water is ridiculous. Electricity, yes, when you use it it ultimately ends up as heat, but all water that goes into a cow (or a woman for that matter) after a little while comes back out undepleted.

  25. Approximately 32 million cars in the UK.
    Breastfeeding for a bit longer, up to 6 months, [not a bad idea in itself] equates to saving the emissions of 77,500 cars so we are told.
    That’s the equivalent of reducing car emissions by 0.24%

    Maybe just stick to encouraging breast feeding for its own sake.

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