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Transcript of Food FootPrint
The impact of what we eat on Climate Change
1) Agriculture and agriculture-related land use change now accounts for an estimated 30% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions – that is as high as any other major source.
3 important (and worrying) facts:
40% of land
18% of the total release of Green house gases worldwide.
Livestock is Responsible for:
33% of arable land on Earth is used to grow feed for livestock.
70% of former forest land in the Amazon has been turned over for grazing
(cows, sheep and goats)
produce methane as part of their digestive process
These animals are raised to feed humans
Therefore, WE are responsible for the methane emissions
Livestock can produce between 250-500 liters of methane per day, per animal.
1kg of beef
amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 km
burns energy to light 100-watt for nearly 20 days.
Why IS BEEF SO BAD?
Goals of the workshop
Understand some of the main connections between food, agriculture, and climate change.
Appreciate how the food choices we make matter in terms of climate change
Learn how the concept of ‘carbon foot printing’ can be applied to food and agriculture
Examine carbon footprints of various foods and meals
Reflect on how we might, as individuals and communities, take steps to reduce our agricultural carbon footprint
What’s food got to do with climate change?
2) Global population is growing and diets are becoming more carbon intensive
3) As climate change accelerates, it threatens to impact agriculture dramatically, making it even harder to feed growing global demand for food, fibre and biofuels.
Climate Change is not the only problem: but it is a big one, and is linked in many ways to other problems…
Astonishingly, less than half of the world’s grain is fed to people. Approx. 33% is fed to livestock and approx. 17% goes to make biofuels.
70% of fresh water
30% of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere from human activity:
"Single most powerful force unleashed on the planet."
Agriculture and Food creates carbon pollution at many stages:
Conversion of land
Energy and Fertilizers used in production
Reducing climate impacts of agriculture
Improved land management
Restoring soil carbon
Improving efficiencies in production, transportation and processing
Shifting diets toward plant-based diets
We can reduce the carbon intensity of our diet; the choices we make can make a difference – and help protect those who are most at risk of the impacts of climate change.
KNow your food footprint
It's all the emissions that result from the production, processing, transportation and storage of the food we eat.
We should think of our food footprint in terms of different food groups
Using a combination of life cycle analysis together with average food consumption statistics we can estimate what a typical food footprint looks like.
Food waste: Around 45% of these emissions arises from the production of food that is never eaten.
What this footprint doesn’t show us:
Such ‘food losses’ are a very important part of our food footprint and represent a large opportunity for shrinking it.
SO HOW DO WE make informed choices?
What is a food footprint?
Agriculture contributes significantly to the problem of climate change.
Climate change threatens to dramatically impact agriculture around the world, possibly threatening our ability to grow enough food
Today, we focus on how agriculture contributes to climate change.
The Good News:
What’s the beef?
All agricultural production contributes to climate change, but why is meat such an ‘environmentally expensive’ food?
Within the agricultural sector, livestock is responsible for an estimated 80 percent of all GHG emissions.
This is really high.
The respiration (breathing) of livestock of billions of animals is important, but it actually makes up only a very small part of the net release of carbon that is attributed to the livestock sector.
Where does all that GHG pollution come from?
• burning fossil fuels used in feed and livestock production, transportation, storage
Much more is released indirectly by other channels including:
Carbon Dioxide – 9%
Methane – 35-40%
Nitrous Oxide – 65%
Ammonia – 64%
Meat provides concentrated protein but the environmental impact is hugely disproportionate to the calories that we get from it.
It’s true that livestock and dairy production contributes considerably more greenhouse gases than other foods. But not all meat is equal when it comes to climate change:
Meat is everywhere – and we are producing more and more each year.
Along with humans, livestock are now the dominant animals on the planet:
Global demand for meat has risen significantly in the past 50 years.
As incomes increase, so too does people’s food energy consumption and they also tend to consume more higher-value foods, such as meat and milk.
According to the FAO, if trends continue, the demand for meat in 2030, as compared to 2010, will be nearly 30% higher, and in 2050 about 55% higher.
• land-use changes for feed production and for grazing;
• methane release from the breakdown of fertilizers and from animal manure;
FAO estimates suggest that livestock account for huge proportions of most agricultural GHG emissions:
Beef is particularly bad:
Global Livestock Numbers:
1.43 billion cattle
1.87 billion sheep and goats
0.98 billion pigs
19.60 billion chickens
There are many reasons to consider changing our diets and agricultural systems: protecting the climate may be the most important one.