Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Reducing your diet-related carbon footprint

by: Candice Keast

Diet and lifestyle changes are on the minds of many Canadians, especially since the release of the new Canada Food Guide and the EAT Lancet Commission's summary report on a "planetary diet." With resources like these cleaning our proverbial house before taking on the world is essential.

According to research conducted by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO). The average Ontarian consumes roughly two kilograms of food and drink per day, equivalent to spending $3,400 per year.

Source: Centers for Disease Control
The greenhouse gas emissions generated by the food production chain are significant - and growing. A major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is from farming. Methane from livestock agriculture is a more potent GHG than carbon dioxide (CO2), which means that your carbon footprint will be much higher if you consume a lot of red meat (e.g. beef, pork and lamb). In addition to GHGs produced from farming, emissions from the transportation of our food - often referred to as food miles - and from food waste also contribute to the bigger GHG emissions picture.


Find out what can you do to reduce your diet-related emissions after the jump.




The answer may sound as simple as saying eat less meat, shop locally, and reduce food waste but it's "easier said than done." There are many resources on the web to help you move towards a planet-friendly diet, including our own Rethink Food site, which has lots of info on eating locally, curbing food waste, and growing food in small or communal spaces. We've even curated local and plant-based recipes with the help of local chefs and have a plethora of recipes that reflect the suggestions in the Canada Food Guide on our Pinterest page.

Perhaps the most useful piece of advice I've heard is to start small and work your way up. Saving the planet isn't going to be easy but small, collective actions will compound and, before you know, these habits will become second nature.



Editor's note: We continue our Reducing Your Carbon Footprint series, inspired and informed by a report from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Previous posts provide advice on reducing your carbon footprint due to:

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