Carbon Footprint of Food Ingredients

Want to know how to decrease your carbon footprint when it comes to cooking dinner?

Dr Stephen Clune, of Lancaster University, and colleagues from RMIT, in Melbourne, have put together the the first comprehensive carbon footprint league table for fresh food so you can cook without destroying the environment.

The researchers have identified a greenhouse gas emissions hierarchy across food categories.

Grains, fruit and vegetables were found to have the lowest impact, followed by nuts and pulses. Chicken, fish and pork had a medium impact on average. Although results between different types of fish do vary significantly.

Unfortunately for the red meat lovers out there, but perhaps not surprisingly, meat from beef and lamb had the highest impact.

Their paper reviewed 369 published studies that provided 1718 global warming potential values for 168 varieties of fresh produce including vegetables, fruit, dairy products, staples, meat, chicken and fish.

To help you meal plan without cooking the planet they have produced this simple list. Here is what one kilogram of greenhouse gas emissions buys you in the UK on average:

50 medium onions

20 medium apples

2.6 kg oats

1 kg lentils

1.2 kg of peanuts

0.8 litres milk

2 salmon fillets

5 small eggs

Two small chicken fillets

160g UK pork

40g UK beef or lamb


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