Environmental Impacts of Food Production

Oct 30, 2020

Environmental Impacts of Food Production | Our World in Data

This article by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser marks the beginning of an ongoing project. I think we should follow the deep-dive here, from the basic stats to its discussion on all aspects of food production and post-farm processes and distribution.

Photo by Filip Bunkens on Unsplash

Half of the world's habitable land is used for agriculture, and, as Ritchie and Roser point out, only a surprising 1% is "built-up urban area including cities, towns, villages, roads and other human infrastructure". The far-reaching implications of how we develop and change land-use and examine this interdependency of food, energy and water is going to be key in keeping warming below 2C. This is what the piece covers:

Land Use

Half of the world's habitable land is used for agriculture | Land use footprint of food

CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emission | You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you wat, not whether your food is local | Less meat is nearly always better for your carbon footprint than sustainable meat | The carbon footprint of EU diets: where do emissions come from? | Carbon footprint of food products

Water Use

Water footprint of food | Scarcity-weighted water footprint of food


Eutrophying emissions from food

Food Miles

Most food travels by sea, not by air | Whether food travels by sea or air makes all the difference

Food Waste

Food waste is responsible for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions

Other news