Climate Change – Food
The food we eat and also the food we throw away has a big impact on our greenhouse gas emissions. Meat (particularly beef and lamb) and dairy produce some of the highest emissions mainly because cows and sheep burp methane a powerful greenhouse gas. Food production in general also requires fertilisers, land use change, processing and transport all of which release greenhouse gases.
Actions to lower the carbon footprint of your diet can also help to keep you healthy and save money on food bills. A diet lower in red meat and dairy is shown to decrease risk of heart disease and cancer. This is how you can do it:
- Eat less meat and cheese. Did you know that if cows were a country they would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China?
By reducing meat portion sizes and introducing several meat free days a week you can make a big difference without going fully vegan. Advice and recipes are widely available through projects such as Meatless Monday.
- Use up what you buy. By planning ahead and shopping regularly to avoid wasting the food you don’t eat you can save money as well as avoiding food waste.
- Buy locally produced food. Buying regional produce from local shops helps to cut the carbon cost of food transport and supports local enterprise.
- Grow your own food. If you have the space grow your own food, it is a fun way to access affordable, healthy, pesticide-free food while reducing emissions from food transport.
- Buy food in season. Seasonal produce tends to create less greenhouse gas because it’s grown without artificial heat. It is often cheaper than food out of
- Buy less processed food. Convenience food consumes energy in its production from the cleaning, cooking and packaging processes. These products generally more packaging, which contributes to more waste.
- Avoid packaging. This helps to reduce waste and energy used in manufacture. Look for products with the least packaging, fresh produce is the best and healthiest option