Friday, August 29, 2008

Carbon Footprints

Lately I've been eating less meat in general, and when I do eat meat it's usually chicken or seafood, with pork and beef occasionally mixed in (particularly as sausage). I've known for a while that beef is pretty carbon-intensive, but lately I've been wondering how bad (carbon-wise) chicken is with respect to other foods. According to this "blist" on Foodprint, chicken looks pretty good compared to other meats. Here's what they have for various meats, in grams CO2 per serving:
  • Lamb: 1407.4
  • Beef: 978.4
  • Pork: 906.3
  • Pig (what's the difference with pork?): 824.5
  • Fish: 413.8
  • Turkey: 310.9
  • Broiler Chicken (what makes it "broiler"): 285.4

Interestingly, some fruits and vegetables rank fairly high, as well, with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries (unfortunately all the fruits used in smoothies) producing more carbon per serving than chicken.

Of course, this is just one datapoint and I'm sure there are some fairly large margins of error on those numbers. Nevertheless, if you can't go 100% vegan, it looks eating more poultry and fish and less beef, pork, and lamb is the way to go.

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