The food we eat accounts for almost a quarter of our personal carbon footprint so it’s an area where we, acting as a community, can make a difference.
Our campaign this month focuses on air freight of vegetables.
Air freight is just one element of making good food choices and in future months we will be focusing on other aspects of food choices including those beyond carbon emissions.
We have asked members to share their favourite dishes they cook at home. You can view and download these recipes together with their environmental impact score here
Tesco and other supermarkets seem insensitive to the heavy environmental cost of flying vegetables around the world when good local alternatives are available – see this Daily Mail article We have written to Tesco to ask them why they do this but they have not replied.
For the 4 weeks of November we have asked our members to report on the airfreighted vegetables being sold in Tesco and Booths and what good British/ European alternatives are available. Below is the report for Week 1.
Week 1 beginning 2nd November
Our monitors have been looking at the veg sections in the local supermarkets this week and have found:-
Asparagus from Peru. A good substitute might be purple sprouting broccoli from Worcester.
Baby sweetcorn from India. The larger sweetcorn is from the UK Booths
etc…etc… Co-op (Bolton Bridge Rd)
How can I tell if food is air-freighted?
It won’t say on the label so you have to make your own judgement. If the fruit or vegetables have come a long way ask yourself whether they are robust and thick skinned enough to go on a boat or whether they will have had to be flown. Examples by boat:- Apples, oranges, bananas, pineapples and melons
Examples by plane:- Any vegetables from Kenya such as mangetout, tender stem broccoli, green beans. Asparagus from Peru or Mexico. Californian Grapes and berries, baby sweetcorn from India
For answers to other common questions about food choices see our Food FAQs