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 color 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 labeling 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.
About the Author
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.
"Like the other 'without the hot air' authors, Bridle's clear, nonthreatening, technical language, brilliant data visualizations, and example grounded in our daily experience make this a powerful read." —Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic
"No kitchen should be without this engaging, carefully researched and practical guide to the carbon in our food." —Prof Mike Berners-Lee, Author of How Bad are Bananas and There is no planet B
"Food and Climate Change provides a levelheaded, clear, and detailed picture of food emissions - a basic literacy we should all have in a time of accelerating climate consequence." —Peter Kalmus, NASA climate scientist and author of Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution
"This fascinating and important book deserves world-wide success. Sarah Bridle presents, engagingly and clearly, a vast amount of information that’s important not just for policymakers but for all of us who want to make a difference in our everyday lives." —Prof Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, former Astronomer Royal, Master of Trinity College, University of Cambridge and President of the Royal Society
"This book opens the mind to the realities of the embodied emissions in everything we eat - and waste - from farm to fork to landfill. An essential source for anyone working to save the planet." —Chad Frischmann, Co-author of Drawdown: The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming
"Can you eat delicious food and still be kind to the climate by cutting the CO2 emissions that come from eating? Sarah Bridle shows how. She assembles all you need in brilliantly simple graphics and appealing jargon-free text." —Prof Robin Perutz, Solar Energy Scientist
"This is a wonderful, fact-filled but readable book, full of clear explanations of the emissions associated with everything we eat, identifying what is important and what is negligible. I shall never look at spaghetti bolognese in the same way again." —Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Faculty of Mathematics, University of Cambridge
"Even people who thought they understand how best to keep their personal food emissions down might find they have missed a detail or two. I highly recommend this book if you are on a journey to explore or further cut down your own carbon emissions, and are tired of waiting for someone else to do it for you." —Natalia Baloghova, In Dulwich blog