Regional BBC news station Look North shone the spotlight on the how food choices impact climate change, turning to N8 AgriFood Knowledge Exchange Fellow Dr Christian Reynolds for expert advice.
As part of a week of special edition features looking at how average households can reduce their impact on climate change, the Yorkshire-based news programme started the series with a focus on food on Monday evening.
Dubbing him “the man with the climate change calculator”, Look North interviewed N8 AgriFood’s Dr Christian Reynolds, from the University of Sheffield, asking him about the carbon emissions resulting from growing, producing and delivering ingredients.
The programme showcased two families cooking their evening meal, and compared the emissions produced to make chicken fajitas vs those from lentil soup with vegan bacon and roast cauliflower. It revealed that the vegan soup meal produced 600g of carbon per person, compared to 1.1kg per person for the fajitas, with cheese being the main carbon contributor.
Dr Reynolds explained that moving towards a vegan diet is better for improving carbon footprints, but said if consumers still want to eat meat the key is to “buy local and buy sustainable”. For a limited time you can view the feature on the BBC iPlayer here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000dp6v/look-north-yorkshire-evening-news-20012020
During the programme Dr Reynolds was seen referencing the “climate food flashcards” produced by the N8 AgriFood funded GGDOT projects. The cards mimic “top trumps” style playing cards, detailing the environmental impact of certain food types so they can be compared on data sets including water usage required, and equivalent time spent driving for Co2 emissions. You can download the latest version of the flashcards here https://www.ggdot.org/flashcardsv2.html
The flashcards were showcased last year the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and the BlueDot festival by the Take a Bite Out of Climate Change team, supported by N8 AgriFood. Find more at their website here: https://www.takeabitecc.org/.