Reducing climate footprint through food choices
- Do Food Miles Matter? Reducing Meat & Dairy Consumption May Be Even
Red meat and dairy are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse
gas emissions from food for an average U.S. household
By ERIKA ENGELHAUPT
Environmental Science and Technology, April 16, 2008
Straight to the Source
The benefits of eating locally grown food may not extend to curbing
global warming, according to a comprehensive study of greenhouse gas
emissions from U.S. food.
But it's how food is produced, not how far it is transported, that
matters most for global warming, according to new research published
in ES&T . In fact, eating less red meat and dairy can be a more
effective way to lower an average U.S. household's food-related
climate footprint than buying local food, says lead author
Christopher Weber of Carnegie Mellon University.
A relatively small dietary shift can accomplish about the same
greenhouse gas reduction as eating locally, Weber adds. Replacing
red meat and dairy with chicken, fish, or eggs for one day per week
reduces emissions equal to 760 miles per year of driving. And
switching to vegetables one day per week cuts the equivalent of
driving 1160 miles per year.