Yesterday as part of our Earth Week exploration, we looked at carbon footprints. Part of what goes into a carbon footprint is food that we eat—foodprint.
Foods are a large contributor to the build up of greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. Agriculture is responsible for almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, with animal agriculture making up about 80% percent of this. These emissions from animal agriculture result in an even bigger impact because a by-product of animal agriculture is methane gas, which has over 23 times the impact on the planet that carbon dioxide does. Animal agriculture also takes huge amounts of water and is a leading cause of deforestation, the problem that we looked at earlier in the week. Besides greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of natural resources, and land use, other things come into play with all types of agriculture, such as storage, and transportation.
When we look at all of these things together, we can come up a foodprint. Knowing about the different amounts of impact from various foods can be helpful when climate action is our goal. Try a foodprint calculator to learn about how the foodprint of beef compares to that of chicken, and how various types of produce compare to nuts and so on.
Find even out more by reading through the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report Climate Change and Land. Consult the MVCC Library for even more resources on plant-based eating, and sustainable agriculture.
And here’s an interesting idea from The Atlantic.