Monday, July 30, 2007

carbon footprint out of step

"The carbon footprint of our food is under closer scrutiny than ever. Last week the government unveiled a plan to introduce labels on all products, showing the greenhouse gas emissions created by their production, transport and eventual disposal, similar to the calorie count figures already seen on food packaging. The message was that food miles, which consumers are increasingly taking notice of, are not an accurate way of judging the total environmental impact. For example, fruit and vegetables trucked in from Spain could actually have a lower carbon footprint than those grown in UK greenhouses which use up lots of energy for heating.

"When the concept of food miles was originally launched it was about so much more than carbon emissions," says Vicky Hird, senior food campaigner at Friends of the Earth. "It was about fairness in the supply chain and about reconnecting with your food. Now it seems to have been simplified to be just about climate change and it's not always the best way of working out a product's true effect on the environment.""

Read this excellent article. Remember, it is not only about the carbon footprint: in our drylands, the water footprint should be factored in, as farming is the greatest water user. But remember also, simplistic economics (oportunity cost) require you to answer the question: What do you do with the water if you dont irrigate with it? I cringe at the thought that many people are going to say: "sell it". That's one of the reasons why I oppose water privatization.

No comments: