Climate Change & Food Choices
Science tells us that climate change is real and is happening. The world is getting warmer and, most of the warming comes from greenhouse gases. Globally about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the food system. The amount of greenhouse gas emission for the different foods we eat varies from country to country. We know that globally, ruminant meats like beef and lamb, as well as products from them like cheese, are among the foods that account for the highest greenhouse gas emissions. We also know that emissions from most plant-based products are much lower than those from most animal-based products.
By 2030 we should be lowering all greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%, including the ones from our diet. Choosing plant-based foods and minimizing food waste can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
Simple swaps to lower your carbon footprint:
- Chicken masala accounts for around 3 times more emissions than chickpeas masala.
- A ham sandwich accounts for almost 4 times more emissions than a peanut butter sandwich.
- A cheese sandwich accounts for over 5 times more emissions than a tuna or salmon sandwich.
- A rice bowl topped with beef accounts for around 25 times more emissions than a rice bowl with legumes.
So choose legumes, nuts and seeds as well as sustainable seafood and eggs more often than other animal foods and support children to love plant-based foods so they grow up choosing them even more often.
For more information:
- David Suzuki Foundation: Four Places to Cut Your Carbon
- Bridle, S. L. (2021). Food and Climate Change Without the Hot Air: Change Your Diet: The Easiest Way to Help Save the Planet (8) (First ed.). UIT Cambridge Ltd.