Food is an Energy Issue

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Food is an Energy Issue

  1. 1. Food is an Energy Issue Getting to a Sustainable and Climate-Friendly Food and Farming System Heather Schoonover CERTs Conference, February 11, 2009 St. Cloud, Minnesota
  2. 2. Climate and the Food Cycle Processing Retail Agricultural Production Transportation Consumption Disposal
  3. 3. Production •Fertilizer •Livestock •Tillage •Crops •Fuel •Chemicals •Irrigation •Heat/cooling •Electricity
  4. 4. Processing •Refrigeration •Packaging •Additives •Electricity •Heat/cooling
  5. 5. Transportation From field all the way to disposal – “Food Miles” •Truck •Ship •Train •Car •Airplane
  6. 6. Retail •Refrigeration •Packaging •Heat/cooling •Electricity •Advertising •Waste/disposal
  7. 7. Consumption •Transport •Refrigeration •Storage •Waste/disposal
  8. 8. Disposal 25%-30% of food in the U.S. is wasted •Methane release •Landfill costs •Incineration
  9. 9. Breakdown of the Food System Disposal Disposal 10% 10% Consumption Consumption 15% 15% Transportation Transportation Production Production 7% 7% 60% 60% Processing Processing 8% 8% From: Weber and Matthews (2008), Carlsson-Kanyama (2003), FCRN (2007), Dutilh (2004), Kramer et al (1999)
  10. 10. Breakdown of the U.S. Diet Red meat and dairy make up almost half of our dietary GHGs Food is 13% of a household’s GHG impact Weber and Matthews (2008)
  11. 11. Organic or Conventional? Conventional no-till reduces soil Organic farming practices build soil GHG emissions, but generally organic matter but often utilize depends upon chemical use for tillage which releases GHGs weed control and does little to build soil organic matter
  12. 12. Grass or Grain? Grass-fed beef and dairy products have lower GHG emissions than grain-fed beef and dairy products, but grazing reduces ability to capture methane from manure
  13. 13. Local versus Imported Local production reduces …but less intensive production transport costs and GHG methods generally override emissions… reduced transportation GHG benefits
  14. 14. How to Make the Biggest Impact • Avoid use of synthetic fertilizers • Reduce and compost/digest food waste • Shift from grain-fed to grass-fed meat production • Manage manure: compost for fertilizer or capture methane for power generation • Avoid irrigation and fossil fuels – look to solar/wind/renewables for heat and energy • Reduce transport
  15. 15. Climate and Food Resources -“Local Foods and Climate Change: An Annotated Resource” available now at www.iatp.org -“Blueprint for a Climate Friendly Local Food System” available soon at www.iatp.org - Try Bon Appetit’s new food carbon footprint calculator. www.eatlowcarbon.org/Carbon-Calculator.html
  16. 16. Thank You Heather Schoonover Local Foods Program Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (612) 870-3450 hschoonover@iatp.org www.iatp.org

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