Centre for Rural Economy

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Four ways to reduce the carbon in your food basket (The Conversation)

How does your food shop affect the planet? Well, think of it like this – consuming just one egg emits between 260 and 330g of CO₂ to the atmosphere. That’s because before that egg can reach your plate, animal feed has to be produced and delivered to the hen that laid it. That hen then needs heating pumped into the shed it shares with the other hens on the farm, and their eggs have to be transported, often by van, to the shop you buy them from, where they’re stored in refrigerators. There’s also the packaging that must be made to store the eggs and the process of cooking them to consider.

All of this takes energy, which, more often than not, is generated using fossil fuels. We can analyse the carbon footprint of a particular food item by working out the quantity of greenhouse gases that are emitted during the production of raw materials, industrial processing, transport, storage, cooking, consumption, and waste. This is called the “cradle-to-grave” approach.

It can help people better understand how the things we use every day affect the world around us. With that in mind, here are four simple rules to help you reduce the carbon footprint of your food basket during your next shopping trip.

Dr Luca Panzone and Natasha Auch share four simple rules to help consumers reduce the carbon footprint of their food basket during the next shopping trip.

published on: 8 January 2020