The Environmental Cost of Our Food

Quiz Answers – figures are carbon dioxide equivalents (kg) per 1kg food.

Cheddar (11.8) is worst for the planet – the main cost of cheese is the amount of milk used and hard cheeses need more, soft cheeses like brie (6.5) less.

Salmon (4.4) – while maintaining salmon farms and running trawlers have similar costs, cod (4.1) doesn’t have to be fed. 80% of the cost of salmon is used to buy their food.

Prawns (3.8 UK) but possibly (25 imported) – mussels (1.4) are easily grown on ropes around the U.K. while warm water prawns are imported.

French beer (0.54) loses out – normally Australian wine (0.49) is brought here in tankers in massive plastic containers and bottled here while the French beer comes bottled in France so transport costs more.

Free-range chicken (3.8) is worst for the planet as battery chickens win as the ‘process’ is more ‘efficient.’

Parmesan (19.1) is the bad one – the costs and the amount of milk used for parmesan gives it a massive carbon equivalent of – almost worse than beef.

Turkey (10.9) loses out – the global average for chicken (8.1) is much higher than British chicken (3.8).

Lamb – a bit of a trick question this – British Lamb (21) is better than British beef (25) but you are more likely to be eating imported lamb than imported beef. Since most lamb comes from New Zealand the environmental costs are greater.