Carbon footprints and food

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by studiot, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. studiot

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    Since we are discussing food in off-topic at the moment I thought I would publish a few figures now that supermarkets (Tesco) are putting the carbon footprint on labels. These are all UK figures, so will be different for other countries.

    The provide a global total in Kg of carbon dioxide released per tonne of product delivered, including transport and packaging.

    Granulated sugar.................870
    Fresh pineapple.................1300
    Jaffa cakes.......................2500
    Tea bags..........................4100
    Cheddar cheese.................9800
    Instant coffee................130000

    By comparison road making asphalt is 45 kg/tonne delivered.
     
  2. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    So how does my Instant coffee react In my body,give me some how and whys.
     
  3. Paulo540

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    Nov 23, 2009
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    I love instant coffee, it saves me from going to starbucks, so it should say 129998 instead.
     
  4. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Actually, one tonne (does that mean a metric ton?) of instant coffee saves you approximately a zillion trips to Starbucks. It may likely have a negative carbon footprint by comparison.

    In reality, the problem with those numbers is that one is comparing apples to oranges (pineapples to instant coffee). For more meaningful comparisons, at least by casual examination, the denominator should take into consideration a ready-to-use factor. A tonne of instant coffee is a lot (more than 100 tonnes, my version takes 2g for 250 mL) of ready-to-drink coffee. A tonne of granulated sugar is already ready to use. A tonne of asphalt doesn't go very far.

    John
     
  5. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Great idea but that won't fly in the US. We have lobbiest who's sole job is to prevent us from knowing this kind of info. :)
     
  6. studiot

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    John, what is a ready to use factor?

    I think the high figure for instant coffee reflects the fact that the unit considered is a glass jar containing 100g. So you have to manufacture 10,000 of these glass jars per tonne of coffee.
    The pineapple unit was one whole fruit.
     
  7. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    It is common in the US to express dietary values in units/serving. Clearly, the difference between instant coffee and pineapple would be a lot less should one compare a cup of instant coffee (ready to drink) with 2 to 3 slices of pineapple.

    I was being somewhat lighthearted in my statement. More seriously, I find such so-called data relatively meaningless, as it is never stated exactly how all contributors to the production are considered. Personally, I don't like or drink instant coffee, so I will rest easier tonight knowing that my Scotch has a lower carbon footprint per tonne.

    John
     
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