A lot of people (but not me!) will be making New Year Resolutions that involve a change in their lifestyle. These may well be centred on changes to their diet – perhaps giving up (or reducing) intake of alcohol or consumption of meat as part of ‘Dry January’ or ‘Vegan New Year’.
Anyone interested in taking a closer look at their diet might want to check out the BBC web site that was released before Christmas titled “Climate Change Food Calculator: What’s Your Diet’s Carbon Footprint?”
This site allows you to enter different foods you eat along with the frequency you consume them. The site then calculates how your food choices impact on the environment.
Apparently, food production is responsible for ¼ of all greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing meat and dairy products can cut down a diet’s environmental impact as meat and other animal products produce more than ½ of food related greenhouse gas emissions despite producing only 1/5 of the calories we consume. The site’s calculator allows you to compare the climate impact of 34 different food items, while helping you pose questions like “What is the difference between beef and chicken?” “Does a bowl of rice produce more greenhouse gases than a plate of chips?” And “What is more environmentally friendly, wine or beer?”
The web site also examines how the same food type can have a range of different impacts, and how the different places where food is produced can have different environmental impacts.