- The Plate
The Surprisingly Big Carbon Shadow Cast By Slender Asparagus
The debate over our diet’s impact on the climate is getting louder. Most of the noise centers around beef, which many calculations put at the top of the impact charts. But conscientious eaters are looking at the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with all sorts of food production, and scientists are coming up with a few big carbon footprints that might surprise you.
A recent study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology looks at the climate impact of various fruits, vegetables, and animal products in the American diet.
The scientists assess total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from production using a unit that’s a little tricky to parse: kilograms of CO2-equivalent per kilogram of food. Because different greenhouse gases have different impact, they convert all gases to the amount of CO2 that