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  • So, if you're living in the UK, surely an apple,

  • imported from New Zealand has a bigger carbon footprint

  • than one grown at home.

  • Not necessarily, because if you buy that British apple in, say,

  • July, typically it will have been

  • sitting in cold storage for nine months.

  • The resulting carbon emissions will be greater

  • than if it had been shipped from the other side of the world.

  • Transport can play a significant role.

  • The fact is that every stage of a food's lifecycle

  • contribute to its overall carbon footprint.

  • These can range from the fuel and pesticides used

  • in production to processing and packaging,

  • or the emissions created if it's eventually

  • thrown away by the consumer.

  • When it comes to transport, shipping accounts for about 60

  • per cent of global food miles, while air travel makes up

  • less than 1 per cent.

  • Air transport only tends to be used

  • for highly perishable goods, such as asparagus,

  • green beans, and berries.

  • But it boosts a food's emissions significantly.

  • For example, green beans air freighted to the Netherlands

  • from Kenya have a much larger carbon footprint

  • than those grown locally or shipped from Morocco.

  • Now, as consumer awareness rises the move toward carbon

  • labelling is gathering momentum.

  • Quorn Foods is aiming to put carbon emission labels on 30

  • of its bestselling products this year,

  • and other major food companies could follow suit,

  • including Nestlé and Premier Foods.

  • However, it's not a simple task.

  • UK supermarket chain Tesco abandoned carbon labelling

  • after a few years in 2012, claiming it took a minimum

  • of several months work to calculate the footprint of each

  • product.

  • But today, thanks to technology such

  • as smart sensors and big-data tools,

  • there is much more information available,

  • and measuring a food's carbon emissions is becoming easier.

  • Eventually, we may actually be able to accurately judge

  • our shopping on its true carbon footprint,

  • wherever it's come from.

So, if you're living in the UK, surely an apple,

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What’s the real carbon footprint of your food? | FT Food Revolution

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/24
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