In Europe food causes 20-30 % of all environmental impacts of consumption (EIPRO study 2006)
In Europe, food causes 10 percent of GHG emissions (NAMEA study 2006).
In Finland, food causes ¼ of the GHG emissions of consumption (Mäenpää 2004).
Food contributes to around 10 percent of total material use (NAMEA study 2006)
Food is also a significant contributor to eutrophication (around 50 percent, EIPRO 2006)
Elli Kotakorpi CSO Action on Climate Friendly food Picture from Wikimedia commons
Key question: Animal based food or plant based protein?
The production phase is the most important phase in relation to environmental impacts
The production of meat and dairy products cause the most GHG emissions
Here the consumer choice is the best way to decrease impacts
Packaging and food miles are less important
Swedish Association for Nature Conservation compared the GHG emissions of a tomato grown in a greenhouse in Sweden and a tomato grown in Spain and transported to Sweden the Spanish tomato emits less GHG emissions
Elli Kotakorpi CSO Action on Climate Friendly food Sources: EIPRO 2006, Foodchain-study ( https://portal.mtt.fi/portal/page/portal/www/Hankkeet/Foodchain ), EEA 2005, Swedish Association for Nature Conservation (http://www.naturskyddsforeningen.se) Pictures from Wikimedia commons
Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Food Elli Kotakorpi CSO Action on Climate Friendly food source: Institute for applied ecology www.oeko.de
The Resource Efficiency of Foodstuffs Elli Kotakorpi CSO Action on Climate Friendly food
Elli Kotakorpi CSO Action on Climate Friendly food www.foodwatch.de
Huge publicity of the FIN-MIPS Household project and the interest in the food results showed that the issue is very topical
The climate impacts of food are becoming more well-known
Notion of negative health impacts of vegetarian food is still persistent in some circles
More awareness raising is needed on what are the most important aspects in the area of food and drink
But awareness raising is not enough more campaigning for e.g. financial instruments is needed (e.g. differentiation of VAT according to climate impacts)
A black-and-white confrontation between meat eating and vegetarianism is not fruitful. CSOs shouldn’t concentrate on trying to make people vegans or vegetarians. One vegetarian day per week is a good start!
Elli Kotakorpi CSO Action on Climate Friendly food