Does what I eat affect climate change?
Farms emitted 6 billion tonnes of GHGs in 2011, or about 13 percent of total global emissions. That makes the agricultural sector the world’s second-largest emitter, after the energy sector - World Resources Institute So what you eat has a considerable impact on climate change, more than your transport and other activities!
How exactly does food production contribute to global warming?
Every stage of food production comes with an environmental cost, but the biggest involve animal farming such as deforestation for pasture land and feed crops; a double whammy for the environment (losing the forest cover which filters CO2 from the air and replacing it with animals who release global warming gases). Cows, sheep, goats and other ruminant animals release methane which is over 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas than CO2. Greenhouse gases are also generated by animal manure, rice paddies, fossil fuels used for farm operations, fertilizer production and transportation, especial long distance shipping.
What is the climate impact of the food I choose?
Meat and dairy have the highest climate impact since they are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, ships, planes and global transportation combined!
Plant-based foods have the least impact with drastically less greenhouse gas emissions.