Eat less meat: CO2 emission of our food

The carbon dioxide emissions (carbon footprint) caused by our personal behavior is driven to a large extent by the type and quality of our food. The amount of greenhouse gases caused by the production of food differs very much from one food type to the other (see table below). Worst is meat and in particular beef.

A environmental friendly and "climate change friendly" nourishment is characterised as follows:   

  • Very little (or no) meat
  • Eat primarily organic food
  • Saisonal food is preferred
  • Regionally produced food is preferred

 

CO2-Emissions (in g CO2e per kg food):

Food group
Food
CO2-Emissions (in g
per kg food)
Meat and sausages Beef 13'300
Raw sausages
8'000
Ham (pork)
4'800
Poeltry
3'500
Pork 3'250
Milk- and dairy products Butter 23'800
Hard cheese
8'500
Cream 7'600
Eggs 1'950
Quark (curd)
1'950
Farmer cheese
1'950
Margarine 1'350
Yogurt 1'250
Milk 950
Fruits
Apples 550
Strawberries 300
Baked goods
Brown bread
750
White bread

650

Example:

The production of 1 kg beef causes about 13.3 kg of CO2. The same quantity of CO2 is released when you burn about 6 liters of petrol!

 

CO2e means "CO2 equivalents" 

Source of data: Pendos CO2-Zähler: ISBN: 978-3-86612-141-6 (The book is written in German language)

 

Comments

CO2 emissions of food production

The numbers refer to the amount of greenhouse gases caused by the production of food. It is only for the production.

Juerg

Carbon footprint of food figures

Transportation to the consumer is not included. The above figures for the carbon footprint of food only include the production process.
Juerg