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Diet and Greenhouse Gases

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 09:17





Food and Greenhouse Gases
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Diet and Greenhouse Gases

Just how big is the impact of a person’s diet on Greenhouse gas emissions. It may surprise you how big it is if you are a big beef eater. (not the type at the tower of London)

The data for food consumption and greenhouse gas emissions comes from a USA Website, it is well written and backed up, so we will not try to reproduce it, I suggest you visit, it's a good article.

Given that it is data for the USA it is a warped perspective for that nation and arguably the USA is one of the most wasteful countries on Earth so the emissions relating to food are as high as they get. The main data is in the table below

CO2e emissions for various diets, by calculating the effect of food production and supply chain logistics. CO2e is explained here
Diet Emissions kg CO2e / per person year Emissions kg CO2e / per person day
Meat Lover 3300 9.0
Average Diet 2500 6.8
No Beef 1900 5.2
Vegetarian 1700 4.7
Vegan 1500 4.1

It is an interesting perspective. The data includes the whole food supply chain in the calculations as well as animal husbandry, crop harvesting and transport. One glaringly obvious fact from the data.... don't eat cows.

According to this article food production accounts for a very large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions up to 25% - that seems high, but even if it is half that value and the world were to stop eating beef global warming would be mitigated.

Reference Site

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/food-carbon-footprint-diet

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