How Can You Reduce Your Carbon Through Your Food Consumption?

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By Ikram Ullah

The food you shop and consume also affects the planet. You may be wondering how. Then you need to think about how one food product emits some carbon into the atmosphere. If you think about an egg you purchase from the market for it, animal feed has to be made to feed the hen before it reaches your plate. And that hen also needs heating in the shed; it stays in with other hens on the farm.

Then the process of getting the egg, packaging it and transporting it through vans or trucks to the shops in the market, where they have to be stored in refrigerators powered by energy. And the cooking of this egg also takes energy, which is usually produced through fossil fuels.

So the carbon footprint produced from the production of raw materials to the consumption and waste of a product will help you understand how your food also affects the environment. And so, there are some ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint when you shop for food products.

1) Bring a variety in your protein sources

Cows and lambs require a lot of pasture lands with the most land-intensive crops for feed. Moreover, the cow’s burps also produce a lot of methane, which is a planet-warming gas; thus, their carbon footprint is approximately 4 times more than poultry.

So you need to reduce their consumption and diversify the sources from which you get protein. Lentils, grains, beans, seaweed, soy, nuts and seeds, and tofu, among other vegetables, are all high in protein levels with a much lower carbon footprint.

So you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dietary sources by 80% if you reduce your consumption of meat by 70% and consumption of dairy by 65%. See Utility Bidder here.

2) Be wary of packaging

Plastic packaging can be one of the best packaging, especially if the plastic used is recyclable. It extends the shelf life of products and reduces food waste.

Moreover, other packaging alternatives like glass or tin are much heavier and thus will require more energy for transportation.

Whereas plastic is lighter in weight, which increases the ease of transportation and thus reduces carbon emissions. So always go for simple and recyclable packaging where necessary.

3) Local is not always the best

Local products also do not mean that they have a smaller carbon value. Even though transport does contribute to the carbon footprint, it is not the only factor. So the concept of food miles should not be implemented on the total value of carbon footprint.

Going for local fruits and vegetables that are in season is best but consuming fruits and vegetables produced in greenhouses during winters emits much more carbon than importing from a country where those fruits and vegetables are in season.

Moreover, the carbon footprint of the final processed product is much lower too. For example, transporting ground coffee is more sustainable than transporting whole coffee beans.

4) Don’t be mistaken for organic products

Since there is no mention of a carbon footprint on the food labels, consumers use other information mentioned on labels like organic to determine its impact on the environment. They associate organic products with low-carbon products.

Some organic products like olive oil have a low carbon footprint, but others like organic eggs are not eco-friendly at all. So less use of pesticides or fertilizers does not indicate the correct carbon burden.

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