You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local - Our World in Data
People across the world are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change: 8-in-10 people see climate change as a major threat to their country.1
As I have shown before, food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
There is rightly a growing awareness that our diet and food choices have a significant impact on our carbon ‘footprint’. What can you do to really reduce the carbon footprint of your breakfast, lunches, and dinner?
‘Eating local’ is a recommendation you hear often – even from prominent sources, including the United Nations. While it might make sense intuitively – after all, transport does lead to emissions – it is one of the most misguided pieces of advice.
Eating locally would only have a significant impact if transport was responsible for a large share of food’s final carbon footprint. For most foods, this is not the case.
GHG emissions from transportation make up a very small amount of the emissions from food and what you eat is far more important than where your food traveled from.