27 Jul '11, 2pm

Lamb, beef and cheese have largest food footprint

Lamb, beef and cheese have largest food footprint

Food derived from methane-generating ruminant animals such as sheep and cows has the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions, according to research published in the US. The research, commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) , was based on emissions from everything from the fertilisers used to grow animal feed to the processing and cooking of the final product. Lamb had the largest impact, with 39kg of carbon dioxide equivalent [where emissions were another gas such as methane they were converted to equivalent CO2] produced for every kg of final product - about 50 per cent more than beef, the next highest. Cheese came third-highest, mainly due to extra emissions produced through processing. The higher emissions for lamb over beef, based on analysis of US lamb production systems, was due to lambs producing less meat in relation to live weight than cows. Farmed...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/986252/lam...

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