In April, many people around the world celebrate Earth Day by trying to reduce their impact on the environment. When you think about your carbon footprint, what comes to mind? The car you drive, the home you live in, the trips you take? These are important parts of your personal impact on the environment, but many people are surprised by how much impact the food we eat has on the environment. Producing, distributing, storing and cooking food, all use energy and water and emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
But did you know that 1/3 of all the food that is grown, processed, and transported never gets eaten? A staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of edible food is wasted every year! According to one account, food produced but not eaten emits 3.3 billlion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and guzzles 250 km3 of water or the annual flow of Russia’s Volga River.
Food waste occurs during all steps in the food system from production to distribution through to consumption, representing a loss of our natural resources and wastefully adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Consider a pack of cheese. In the UK, 3 million slices of cheese end up in the garbage every day! Embedded in this cheese is approximately 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The next time you look through your fridge, remember the story of that foodprint.
Tip of the month
Learn to love your leftovers! They’re ideal for lunches and will help save you time and money and the planet.
 Think, Eat, Save. (2014). www.thinkeatsave.org/index.php/about/about-the-campaign
 Love Food Hate Waste. (n.d). Help save the environment simply by wasting less food. www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/help-save-environment-simply-wasting-less-food