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greenhouse gas emissions From September 2009 newsletter

Greenhouse gas emissions from home cooking

Our recent research will help the food industry report the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of their products. The first phase of the research, funded by Defra, addressed the GHG emissions associated with the use phase and disposal in the home of two food products: a home made and a ready meal cottage pie. The overall emissions associated with the products were 93g CO2e (equivalents) per functional unit for the ready meal (which was microwaved) and 630g CO2e per functional unit for the home made cottage pie. Differences in the method of preparation were responsible for this.

Similarly significant differences were also found with a home made apple pie and a reheated ready meal, and with bread prepared in a breadmaker (219g CO2e per functional unit) and bread prepared by hand (626g CO2e per functional unit).

The preparation step (e.g. cooking, baking) made the biggest contribution to the GHG emissions in all three cases. However, when analysing the preparation of home made apple juice, the preparation step (i.e. the juicing stage) contributed only 5% to the GHG emissions, whilst washing up and waste disposal made the biggest contribution (38% and 55% respectively).

For a copy of our report e-mail with the subject line: send RD285

Contact: Gary Tucker
+44(0)1386 842035