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Food production is responsible for a quarter of global carbon emissions.

So what we eat, and how and where it was produced all impact our carbon footprint – even if it’s hardly reflected in the price we pay for food at the till. The increasing popularity of vegetarianism and veganism suggest that people are waking up to the ‘real cost’ of their diet choices – not to mention the ethics of dairy and meat production.

There are deeper questions too about our relationship with food. In the rush to make it ever cheaper and more convenient, have we lost touch with the time-honoured practices of growing, cooking and sharing what we eat?

And what of food supply chains? Covid-19 gave us a glimpse of empty supermarket shelves: shouldn’t we be building local (and thus more resilient and low-carbon) supply chains? Explore these and other food-related questions below.

(click on the images for more information)


Carolyn Steel’s fascinating history (2020) of humanity’s complex relationship with food – with a vision of how to feed the world more healthily and sustainably.


It’s 2067: the UK is vegan, but older generations are suffering the guilt of their carnivorous past… A hilarious mockumentary about our serious problem with meat. 


How does Britain get its food? Why is our current system at breaking point? How can we fix it before it is too late? Tim Lang’s book explores all the big food questions.


Yes, in terms of carbon footprint, food miles are important – but, as this article from Our World in Data shows, it turns out that what you eat matters more than eating local… 


George Monbiot counts the environmental cost of meat-and-dairy farming. Potential solutions? Rewilding much farmland; and ‘farm-free food’ from a Finnish laboratory… 


Award-winning journalist, Andrew Wasley, spent 15 years investigating the hidden costs of cheap meat. This article summarises what he found. (Warning: not for the faint-hearted!)


A company in Paris is transforming roofs and abandoned urban areas into spaces for growing food. The project aims to be ‘a global model for sustainable production’. 


Organic food should not be the preserve of the rich, say volunteers helping provide food banks with fresh produce. 


Rather than obsessing with ‘local’ or ‘organic’ food, we should be asking how we should farm, argues Cumbrian sheep farmer James Rebanks (Guardian article).


What is the impact on climate of eating meat and dairy? Carbon Brief publishes an excellent selection of articles examining the carbon footprint of every type of food. 


Business Green article on the vast amount of carbon, forestry and water to be saved if 10% of the world’s population switched to a plant-based diet [Photo: Annie Spratt] 

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Feedback is a charity campaigning against global food waste: they have lots of articles and info, and campaigns to join, on their website.

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