Image shows a bar graph of food carbon footprint.

Ranking Food’s Carbon Footprint

 

Carbon Footprint of Food

 

A carbon footprint is defined as the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an event, product, person or organization. The carbon footprint of food is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food on your plate. Food’s carbon footprint accounts for 25% of each household’s total carbon footprint, so your food choices do have a big impact on your overall contribution to global warming.

 

Ranking Food’s Carbon Footprint

 

The Environmental Working Group has released a guide which ranks proteins based on their environmental impact. The chart above shows the lifecycle total of greenhouse gas emissions for common protein foods and vegetables, expressed as kilograms (kg) of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per kg of consumed product. Lentils top the list of the most eco-friendly foods you can eat. The worst choice is lamb, followed by beef and then cheese. The production of meat, fish and dairy has much higher greenhouse gas emissions than fruits, legumes and vegetables. So eat smart by switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet to lower your personal carbon footprint. Read more