To reduce the amount of CO2 we produce we need to change the foods we eat because accounting for all the emissions from seed, to plate, to landfill, the food we eat accounts for as much as 31% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Food choices to change are:
1. Eat less red meat and dairy
Research shows that a diet high in red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer. The raising of livestock for human consumption is also responsible for18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. On average, red meat is around 150% more greenhouse-gas intensive than chicken or fish.
2. Reduce your intake of processed and packaged foods
The majority of processed foods are filled with additives, high in sugar, fat, salt, and stripped of nutrients. Processed meats have a high level of sodium nitrate (salt), considered by many to be carcinogenic (causes cancer).
Processed food is extremely resource intense. Snack foods, most juices, even veggie burgers (prepared, boxed, frozen and transported) often consume much more energy through processing and packaging than non-packaged foods.
3. Pass on the air miles
‘Eating Local’ one helpful thing we can do for the environment. 80 per cent of the energy used to get food from the farm to the table occurs during food production. Transportation accounts for 10% -15 %.
4. Say NO to supersize
When a person takes more then he or she can eat, what is left on the plate causes our landfills to also grow in size. As this wasted food rots in landfills, it generates methane gas that contributes to global warming. Worldwide, 1/2 of the food produced is wasted. Wasted food is wasted energy.
Labels include the following: Fertilizer use: fertilizer manufacture and transport, fertilizer use generating nitrous oxides. Transport: Road transport in and outside the UK, air freight and consumers driving to the shops Food and Packaging Manufacturing: food and drink manufacturing and processing, manufacture and packaging, CO2 from farm operations. Other: operation of retail stores Source: Chris Goodall, How to Live a low carbon life, p233