This is perhaps a surprising item in your carbon footprint, but for a typical UK resident it is one of the largest contributors. Part of the reason for this is our taste for red meat; cattle rearing is a very carbon-intensive process, and the methane emitted by cows in particular is a far worse greenhouse gas than CO2. Much of our food travels vast distances to get to us – food miles – and there is a considerable carbon cost to transporting it. Many of the short-life items which we see on supermarket shelves have to be flown in from another continent. There is also the issue of food waste, which generates copious emissions as it decays. So what can we do?
Eat less meat
There is no need to cut out meat altogether, but eating less meat – say every other day – will be better for the environment and possibly better for your health too.
Reduce food miles
Eat locally-produced food when you can. We are fortunate in Crickhowell to have good quality food suppliers in the area.
Eat food which has a lower footprint. That’s not as straightforward as it might seem due to the methods of transport used. Lamb from New Zealand and bananas from the Caribbean which travel by ship have a very much lower footprint than salads flown in from the Netherlands. Eating what’s in season will often help.
The Fairtrade logo means that producer have been paid a fair price for their product, and that working conditions are good. It means children in these countries have a chance of education and healthcare.
Plan what you buy, use up leftovers. Use food waste bins to dispose of food waste, which will then be composted, rather than putting it in the general rubbish where it will