Three ways to reduce the carbon footprint of food purchased by US households — ScienceDaily

j

by Sil Pancho

}

11.04.2021


Most consumers want to make food purchases that are smart for their wallets, their health and the environment. And while switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet can lower one’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, it may not be realistic or healthful for everyone. Now, researchers in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology report three ways that Americans can reduce the carbon footprint of their food purchases, without requiring drastic dietary changes.

Getting food from farms to people’s plates contributes a sizeable portion of the global greenhouse gas emissions. And animals are inefficient at converting the plants they eat into energy, so meat and dairy products result in higher emissions than fruit, vegetables and grains. Based on that knowledge, previous researchers have provided suggestions for changes that individuals or households can make to reduce the emissions generated by food production. However, most of these recommendations have been based on an “average American diet.” In reality, not everyone eats the same types or quantities of foods, so to account for this diversity, Hua Cai and colleagues wanted to assess the actual groceries purchased by U.S. households and identify the hotspots of carbon emissions in these purchases.

The researchers analyzed detailed grocery purchase records of over 57,000 U.S. households in 2010, and for each home, summed the greenhouse gas emissions for growing and harvesting the food items. Data for packaging and transportation were not included because that information was unavailable. Then, they compared the emissions calculation to that which would be generated from buying foods for a benchmark healthy and sustainable diet.

The team’s analysis revealed that 71% of homes surveyed could decrease their food carbon footprint, identifying three main ways for consumers to do so. The suggestions are:

  • Small households of one or two people should buy less food in bulk quantities, which is often more than will be eaten, and manufacturers should offer cost-effective package sizes.
  • Cutting out foods with high caloric content and low nutritional values would result in a 29% reduction of the total potential emissions, while also potentially improving health outcomes.
  • People should buy less savory bakery products and ready-made foods. Though those foods are responsible for relatively low carbon emissions, the large amounts of these items that are purchased adds up to significant emissions.

In summary, the researchers say these strategies are initial ways people can reduce their at-home food-based carbon footprint.

The authors acknowledge funding from Purdue University Environmental and Ecological Engineering for providing the Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship.

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



Source link

HalfwayFoods.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Access our

Free Digital Downloads

Reversing Insulin Resistance

Guide to Hormonal Balance for Women

Atomic Habits

Progress Tracking & Plan Adjustments

The Ketogenic Diet: Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Habits to Improve Your Health Instantly

Featured

Related Posts

Red Lentil Balls with Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients: 1/5 cup of red lentils 1 cup of water ⅛ tsp cumin ¼ tsp onion powder ¼ tsp dried parsley Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste For sauce: 4 tablespoons of yogurt 1 clove of garlic 1 tbsp butter ¼ tsp paprika ¼ tsp dried mint *for 1 serving  Instructions: Wash...

read more

Cacao & Peanut Bar

Ingredients: 2 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter 6 medjool dates (60 g) 1 large banana, mashed 1 tbsp ground flaxseed 2 tbsp carob powder 2 tbsp whey protein powder 30 g peanut 1/3 cup oat ¼ cup cacao powder *for 4 servings Instructions:  Put peanut butter, dates, mashed...

read more
Follow Us

Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Red Lentil Balls with Yogurt Sauce

Red Lentil Balls with Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients: 1/5 cup of red lentils 1 cup of water ⅛ tsp cumin ¼ tsp onion powder ¼ tsp dried parsley Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste For sauce: 4 tablespoons of yogurt 1 clove of garlic 1 tbsp butter ¼ tsp paprika ¼ tsp dried mint *for 1 serving  Instructions: Wash...

Cacao & Peanut Bar

Cacao & Peanut Bar

Ingredients: 2 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter 6 medjool dates (60 g) 1 large banana, mashed 1 tbsp ground flaxseed 2 tbsp carob powder 2 tbsp whey protein powder 30 g peanut 1/3 cup oat ¼ cup cacao powder *for 4 servings Instructions:  Put peanut butter, dates, mashed...

Black Bean Soup Recipe – 3 Ingredients!

Black Bean Soup is another frugalicious (frugal + delicious) and fast recipe from The Budget Diet girl!It's a frugal recipe because it's a vegetarian black bean soup recipe!It's a frugal recipe because you'll spend less than $1 per serving!It's a frugal recipe...