A quarter of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change come from food. In Food and Climate Change without the hot air, Sarah Bridle details the carbon footprint of the food we eat, from breakfast to lunch, from snacks to supper. She breaks down the environmental impact of each food, so we can see where the emissions are highest and where we can make sustainable food choices.
With this knowledge, we can make changes to our diet – e.g. eating more locally grown produce and introducing meat free days. This will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions so damaging to our planet and probably be healthier for us, too.
Food and Climate Change without the hot air considers:
- How to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from food – currently 25%.
- What effect the food we eat has on the environment of our planet.
- How climate change will affect the food we will eat in the future.
- How consumers can play their part in reducing food-based carbon emissions.
Bridle looks at popular breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner options, such as tea and coffee, eggs, cheese and chicken sandwiches, salad, pizza, baked potatoes, chocolate, nuts, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, steak and fries, fish suppers, Spaghetti Bolognese and more.
She calculates the greenhouse gas emissions of those meals, breaking down the different ingredients and cooking methods, which makes it easy to compare different options within the same meal. This takes into account all the gases that contribute to global warming: carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (gCO2e). Bridle also dives into the important topic of food waste and gives valuable tips to avoid leftovers.
Inspired by the author’s former mentor David MacKay (Sustainable Energy without the hot air), Food and Climate Change is a rigorously researched discussion of how food and climate change are intimately connected. In this ground-breaking and accessible work, Prof Sarah Bridle focuses on the facts so that they speak for themselves. The book is highly illustrated in full colour throughout, making it an attractive read, as well as an inspiring one.
It shows how anyone can reduce the climate impact of their food. It also suggests how the food system must change, with:
- Incentives for farmers to switch to more efficient, climate-friendly technologies.
- Food labelling to show a product’s ‘food miles’ and how it has been produced.
- Research into non-traditional production methods.
- How to waste less food and use all the water, energy and nutrients used in its production more wisely and sustainably.
Sarah on Channel 4: An Astrophysicist’s case for eating less meat
Watch the recording of the virtual book launch:
Watch Sarah’s TEDx talk:
Sarah Bridle is a food activist and a professor at Manchester University, dividing her research time between food-related climate change and astrophysics. She is committed to a change in food policy because of her children and her concern for their future. Bridle is the founder of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network+, bringing together food research and industry. In her roles with the Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open source Toolkit (GGDOT) and Take a Bite out of Climate Change, she combines data from food choices and greenhouse gas emissions to inform both the public and policy makers.