Our collective carbon footprint is greatly influenced by the food we consume. Estimates indicate that a quarter of all global greenhouse emissions, are related to our current eating patterns.
The carbon footprint of food is caused by a number of factors, including industrial farming practices, food transportation, the lifecycle of food products, and sometimes even the produce itself, like in the case of raising animals.
In this article, we will study some of the elements or variables that affect the carbon emissions from food.
Reducing carbon emissions
The employment of traditional farming techniques by organic and indigenous farmers can actively absorb carbon, and reduce emissions.Additionally, there are numerous ways for us to reduce our personal carbon footprints, and slow down climate change within current food production systems.Together, these methods of food consumption can assist us in reducing the global impact of our actions.
In order to slow down global warming, we will look at some of the total emissions produced by some of our favourite foods.
Which are the foods with the highest carbon footprint?
Different types of food have distinctly different carbon footprints. This is frequently determined by how the land is used, to raise these foods and by the greenhouse gas emissions generated, during the cultivation and preparation of those foods.
These foods with high emissions include:
· Cash crops
The production of cash crops like coffee, cocoa, and palm oil significantly contributes to, and accelerates deforestation. Although, they can be produced in a way that is sustainable, the demand for them on a global basis is driving their development.
· Food derived from animals
This is particularly true of items like beef, cheese, and dairy that is related to the rearing of cattle. Cattle are a major cause of deforestation since they require a lot of area to be raised. Uncut trees actively exchange carbon, and the soil where they grow actively sequesters carbon.
The removal of these resources results in the release of carbon into the atmosphere, as well as the removal of important carbon sinks. A significant amount of methane, a short-term potent greenhouse gas, is also produced by cows.
Which are the foods with the lowest carbon footprint?
Other foods, on the other hand, have a substantially smaller carbon footprint. We can start using our diet to combat climate change, by eating more of these in comparison to other foods. These consist of:
Bananas are a great example of how direct sunshine may be converted into a long-lasting, delectable, and nourishing food source, with minimal land development. They can also be transported by water, which is typically more effective than shipping by air, due to their resilience and capacity to ripen slowly.
This resilient staple may be cultivated everywhere in the world, and needs very little preparation. Potatoes emit only 0.37kg of CO2 per kilogramme of food.
What are the variables that affect carbon emissions from food?
1: Due to the large amounts of methane they release, and the frequent need to build and maintain massive infrastructure to handle the animals and their habitats, livestock and fisheries account for 31% of all food emissions.
2: 27% of all food emissions come from crop cultivation, primarily from the release of NO2 (nitrous oxide) from fertilizers and manure, as well as the CO2 emissions from agricultural equipment’s.
3: The food supply chain, which includes a variety of sources including transportation, retail, and the transformation of raw food into final food items, is responsible for 18% of emissions.
4: Food waste accounts for the final 25% of all emissions related to food.
Food waste not only accounts for lost emissions from earlier in the process, but also helps to create new emissions. Food is the primary waste product in our landfills, and it decomposes anaerobically there. It generates enormous amounts of methane. As a result, 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 is produced annually, necessitating the adoption of more environmentally friendly food disposal methods.
How can we assist?
Netsol Water, the global solution provider to water, wastewater and solid waste problems, manufacturers a wide range of organic waste recyclers and food waste recyclers, to recycle the solid waste, and convert it into useful fertilizer to enhance soil quality, and condition it.
If you use such technologies, there is a lesser chance of creating any solid waste. It will eventually build up sustainable procedures for managing food waste, in homes, or other commercial areas.