Environmental Impacts Of Foods

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Food Miles are a crude measure of the carbon impact of different foodstuffs. However, while appearing a sensible rule of thumb to measure environmental impact, studies have found a weak link between the two - in fact the correlation between food miles and carbon footprint is poor (R3 = 0.3). The suggestion is how food is transported is more important than distance, as is how the food is grown?

Food Ingredient and Type Food Miles Carbon Footprint Virtual Water
Tap Water 0 miles 0.25 g for 1 L (14 kg per annum) 1 L
Ice Lolly 50 g (60 g lolly bought and eaten on same day)
Boiling 1 L Water 0 miles 70 g
Apple 80 g
Banana 80 g
A Mug of Tea 87 g 34 L
Orange 90 g
A Mug of Regular Coffee 129 g 143 L
Punnet of Strawberries 150 g (in season in own country)
500 ml Mineral Water 160 g
Large Cappuccino 222 g 286 L
1 kg Carrots 0.3 kg
Pint of Beer 0.3 kg (local beer, in pub)
Bowl of Porridge 0.3 kg
Large Latte 0.3 kg 286 L
Ice Cream 0.5 kg (large dairy ice cream from van)
Pint of Beer 0.5 kg (local beer, in shop)
1 kg Boiled Potatoes 0.6 kg (local, boiled with lid on)
1 Pint Milk 0.7 kg
Pint of Beer 0.9 kg (bottled beer from far away, in shop)
Loaf of Bread 1.0 kg
Bottle of Wine 1.0 kg
Burger 1.0 kg (veggie burger)
1 kg Carrots 1.0 kg (shipped in)
1 kg Boiled Potatoes 1.2 kg (local, boiled with lid off)
Punnet of Strawberries 1.8 kg (out of season, flown in or grown in hothouse)
A Box of Eggs 1.8 kg
Steak 2 kg (4 oz beef steak)
Burger 2.5 kg (4 oz cheeseburger)
Asparagus 3.5 kg (flown in, out of season)
1 kg Rice 4 kg (6.1 kg if too much fertiliser used)
1 kg Trout 5.9 kg (tinned)
1 kg Trout 6.9 kg (fresh or frozen)
1 kg Tomatoes 9.1 kg
1 kg Cheese 12 kg (hard cheese)
Leg of Lamb 38 kg
1 kg Tomatoes 50 kg ("on-the-vine" tomatoes, out-of-season)