Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from the Production and Processing of Food

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Discussions on climate change have drawn attention to the issue of climate footprint of food. Following, an article is recommended which provides a so-called material flow analysis, determining the climate footprints for the cultivation, processing and transport of selected food.

Material Flow Analysis

Ulrike Eberle and Uwe R. Fritsche, International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy (IINAS), published a working paper on "Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from the Production and Processing of Food". The article provides a quantitative analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions of selected food, and compares the supply of these products from conventional and organic farming.
The method of material flow analysis is applied i.e. starting with food consumption and tracking all associated uses of energy, materials and transport through the different stages.


The results are that "the demand category of food leads annually to around 4.4 tons of GHG emissions per average household". This corresponds to 16% of GHG emissions arising from total private consumption. "The production of food (including freight transport) constitutes a share of 45% of this total; the rest is due to energy consumption for the storage and preparation of food as well as partial space heating (kitchen) and shopping trips".[1]

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