Posts Tagged ‘ carbon footprint ’

Lab Meat Burgers

As eating real animal meat becomes more and more unsustainable, scientists are turning their labs into food laboratories. CNN did a report on a lab-grown meat. Note that this meat was grown from real cow cells. One burger cost about $300,000. The lab meat has no fat — this affects its taste. And it only looks like meat due to added food coloring — lab meat is white! Yam!

Origins of Food — Tracking Food Fraud

There’s an article on BBC: Food Fraud Tackled by Forensic Scientists by Anna-Louise Taylor.

Wine, spirits, meat and even baby food can all be faked, with fraudsters hiding their true origins. Now forensic scientists are clamping down on food fraud, which costs millions in lost revenue and can put the health and safety of the public at risk.

We noticed from looking at the Cost of Chicken crowdmap, that most people who post the information don’t know where their food comes from! This is a problem if we want to understand the quality of our food and minimize the ecological footprint by making good decisions at the supermarket. This is why we thought of creating a smart phone app that would help decode this information.

Food for Thought: Sustainability from Counter to Compost

Just watched this video — how appropriate is this? Here’s the description from YouTube:

Food for Thought: Sustainability from Counter to Compost – Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming – 2008-02-26 – The usual reaction to scarfing down a slice of pizza is: how will this affect my diet? The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, and more and more Americans, now look at the food we all eat and ask: how does this affect our world’s carbon diet? Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and the Select Committee began looking into the process and choices our nation makes regarding food and agriculture and how those choices affect our environment, specifically the “carbon footprint” of how we grow, raise, transport, package, dispose of and otherwise provide sustenance to Americans and people around the world. And while changing the way the world creates and consumes energy is the most effective way to combat global warming, so-called “lifestyle” choices like the food we eat will play an increasing role in how to make immediate cuts in the pollution that causes global warming. Witnesses: Dan Beard, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), House of Representatives; Carina Wong, Executive Director, Chez Panisse Foundation; Patricia D. Millner, Ph.D, Research Microbiologist in the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory and Environmental Microbial Systems Laboratory, USDA; Tom Kelly, Ph.D., Chief Sustainability Officer, University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability. Video provided by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Cost of Chicken Video

So here it is: The Cost of Chicken video! This is our 2 minute video submission to the EDF Sustainable Design Challenge. All the kids you see in this video worked hard to make this project happen!

The Carbon Footprint of our Diets

Does it make a difference what we buy and what we eat? YES! Time Magazine did an amazing collection of photographs of families from around the world gathered around their dinner tables (or blankets) with a collection of all the things they eat. People’s choices make a difference. Here in US, on an average, we generate 22 tons of Carbon Dioxide per person per year! Of that, 8.1 metric tons of greenhouse gases are generated by food consumption choices.

Check out this interesting presentation with lots more data.

The carbon footprint factors this presentation lists is almost a perfect match for our Cost of Chicken map categories:

  • how far did the food travel to reach you? (transportation accounts for 11% of the total green house gas emissions from food)
  • how was your food produced? (food production and harvesting accounts for 83% of the total green house gas emissions from food if done in a conventional, big agriculture business way)
  • what kind of food did you get? (delivery from the producer to the store accounts for 4% of the total green house gas emissions from food)

So here’s a break down:

  1. Red Meat is the number one source of greenhouse gases from food and is responsible of 30% of the total.
  2. Milk and other dairy products come in at number two at 18% of the total.
  3. Cereals and Carbs at 11% of the total; as are fruits and vegetable — 11%.
  4. Chicken, fish, and eggs are responsible for 10% of the total.
  5. Beverages are 6%; and so are sweets and condiments — 6%.
  6. All the other food stuffs make up the rest — 9%.

By looking at the data coming in from the Cost of Chicken crowd map, we can see how much green gas we are generating.

We believe if people knew that their food choices make a difference to the environment, they would choose more wisely.

Check out this data (and see the whole presentation):

Food Carbon Footprint Analysis

And check out this video — “Cheeseburger Footprint: from Six Degrees” by Jamais Cascio