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What is the carbon footprint of a baking potato?

Sources of carbon emissions from the production of baking potatoes produced in UK

For many of us, sustainable sourcing just make sense, but for the Government it’s an issue of vital importance. We’ve delegated responsibility to them for making sure we can still all eat food food in 30 years time, so they spend a lot of time working out how we might do that.

They don’t always come up with the ‘right’ suggestions, of course, but they do get a lot of good information out there. This report studying the carbon footprint of 5 common food items is just one example.

The top three contributors to a potato’s carbon footprint are:

  1.  34 % - Nitrogen, phosphate, and potash fertiliser
  2. 28 % - Accumulated transport from farm gate to hospital
  3. 17% - Cold Storage

It’s interesting to note that 80% of the CO2 emissions are the result of mass production.

Click on the images for larger versions.

Source: DEFRA Sustainable Food, Pilot Study

A potato's journey from farm production to hospital kitchen delivery

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