Creating a sustainable food system with reduced greenhouse gas emissions
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Creating a Sustainable Food System with Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Ben Senauer Professor of Applied Economics. < www.eatlow carbon.org>. US Food System Produces 20% of GHG Emissions. From farm to waste disposal. Majority is CO2 from processing & transportation.

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Creating a Sustainable Food System with Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Creating a sustainable food system with reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Creating a Sustainable Food System with Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Ben Senauer

Professor of Applied Economics


Creating a sustainable food system with reduced greenhouse gas emissions

  • <www.eatlowcarbon.org>


Us food system produces 20 of ghg emissions

US Food System Produces 20% of GHG Emissions

  • From farm to waste disposal.

  • Majority is CO2 from processing & transportation.

  • Methane, mainly from ruminants and decomposition of food waste.

  • 23X the effect of CO2 on global warming.

  • Nitrous oxide, from nitrogen fertilizer.

  • 296X the effect of CO2.


Global food system

Global Food System

  • Responsible for 30% of GHG emissions.

  • Large Ag. sectors with smaller industrial and service sectors, and low household energy use, especially in developing countries.

  • Paddy rice cultivation is a major source of methane.

  • As fertilizer and other organic matter decompose under water (anaerobic).


American diet ghg s

American Diet & GHG’s

  • Typical diet has large amounts of meat, processed food, and products shipped long distances.

  • Average food item travels 1,500 miles.

  • Typical diet produces as much or more GHG’s as driving an average mid-size car.


Continued

continued

  • Typical American diet produces 2.8o tons of CO2 per year.

  • Various motor vehicles driven average number of miles (8,332 miles per year; 63% highway).

  • Prius: 1.19 tons of CO2

  • Camry: 2.24 tons

  • Suburban: 4.76 tons.


Energy efficiency of representative foods

Energy Efficiency of Representative Foods*

  • Beef (grain feed) 6.4

  • Tuna 5.8

  • Milk 20.6

  • Apples 110.0

  • Potatoes 123.8

  • Soybeans 415.0

  • * Percentage of fossil fuel energy calories retrieved as edible calories


Reducing ghg emissioms from us food system

Reducing GHG Emissioms from US Food System

  • Reduce the consumption of red meat, especially from grain-fed cattle, and dairy products.

  • Consume more foods grown locally and in season.

  • Eliminate bottled water or at least switch to locally bottled water.

  • Reduce food waste.

  • Eliminate any product that is shipped by air freight.


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