Friday, April 11, 2008

Step Nine, Eating sensibly

There’s still a lot of work to be done in calculating the carbon footprint of the food that we eat. So far the only food I’ve seen that shows off its carbon footprint is Walkers Crisps that come in at 107 grams of carbon in a packet.

Sourcing local food that’s organic and fairly traded had been talked about a lot by the green movement over the years, and this is generally the case. However, growing tomatoes in heated greenhouses in northern Europe can use more energy than transporting them from Southern Spain. New Zealand food products can have lower carbon emissions than growing closer to home with more fertiliser.

Ordering the basic food stuffs online can reduce the amount of driving that you do, but that’s usually only an option in urban areas. You might also consider joining one of the green box schemes which delivers fresh fruit and vegetable to your door once a week.

Eating less meat, and in particularly cutting down on beef is a clear way of reducing emissions, or even cutting meat out of your diet altogether.

You can also shop local, and this can promote the local economy by keeping smaller local shops open that are accessible on foot or by bike. Supermarkets tend to be geared more at the car user.

The way you cook is also important. Induction hobs and microwaves are the most energy efficient ways of getting heat to the food, rather than heating the kitchen.

1 comment:

Eoin Madden said...

Actually I've found the Tesco online shop will deliver to rural Galway and rural Meath. I imagine there is very little of the country they won't cover.

Another very important aspect of cutting down food miles is to walk/cycle to the shops or at least combine the car journey with another journey.