Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Food stuff

Just by way of follow up to the 'Feeding our Food' campaign, here's the answer to a PQ I asked just before prorogation.


timbone said...

"Paul Flynn...tells me he got an email recently saying (and I paraphrase) 'all Labour MPs are going to hell in a handcart at the next election, except you and Kerry McCarthy who'll be fine, because you're both mad'."

Uncanny. I have alluded to something similar on Paul's blog a few times, yes, that's right, you were included Kerry.

Have you seen them? I can try and find them if you want.
Shall I try and predict the winner of the X Factor as well?

Glenn Vowles said...

The answer is right in saying that the 18% figure (ie contribution to greenhouse gases from animal production) is likely to be the right order of magnitude.

Ecological footprint studies give an estimated meat footprint of 6.9-14.6 hectare years per tonne. Even at the low end of the range this is the highest of any food type. The range is broad because impacts depend a lot of whether animals are pasture fed or grain fed.

For info: fruit and veg figure is 0.3-0.6; fish 4.5-6.6; milk 1.1-1.9; pulses 3.6-4.4; and grain 1.7-2.8.

Kerry said...

I'm going to do a lot of reading up on this over Christmas, but in the meantime... how does the fish figure come about? Catching and processing? Or impact of over-fishing?

Glenn Vowles said...

'... how does the fish figure come about?'

I've looked this up Kerry. This estimate is based on global protein yield from fish. They calculated the total energy used to get it, including all transport, processing, use and disposal, in this case assuming the energy source was diesel fuel. Fish farming was apparently not included.

I suspect that the figures are an underestimate. The sources of potential error in all such figures are large but they are useful for relative comparisons of different food types as long as the same method is used each time.