Giving Compass’ Take:
• Sigal Samuel explores ways to reduce your food’s carbon footprint and argues that eating local may not be the best answer.
• How do our dietary choices affect the environment? What are some easy ways for Americans to change their diet and reduce carbon emissions?
• Here’s more on how food choices can affect greenhouse gas emissions.
“Eat local.” It’s a recommendation you’ve probably heard before. Environmental advocates and even the United Nations have hyped a “locavore” diet as a way to reduce your carbon footprint and help the climate. The basic idea is that more transportation leads to more emissions, so you want to reduce the distance your food has to travel to get to you.
And certainly, if you can eat local, that’s great. But it’s not the most effective way to reduce your food’s carbon footprint.
The website Our World in Data recently explained, with some great charts, why your focus should really be elsewhere.
“Eating locally would only have a significant impact if transport was responsible for a large share of food’s final carbon footprint. For most foods, this is not the case,” writes Hannah Ritchie. “Emissions from transportation make up a very small amount of the emissions from food and what you eat is far more important than where your food traveled from.”
Take a look at the chart below, which examines 29 different food products, from beef to nuts, and breaks down how much greenhouse gas emissions each stage in the supply chain is responsible for. The data comes from the biggest meta-analysis of worldwide food systems we’ve got so far, published in Science in 2018.
Read the full article about reducing your food’s carbon footprint by Sigal Samuel at Vox.
Food and Nutrition is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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