Dan recently wrote a blog post over at the Low Carbon Hub (wearing his hat as Sustainable Food Advisor) about the rather intimate relationship between food and greenhouse gas emissions under our current industrial agriculture regime. Most of the food we buy involves heavy use of fossil fuels, all the way from field to fork.
According to Landshare, it takes 450,000 barrels of oil to feed Oxford every year… or the equivalent of 320,000 tonnes of CO2 released into the atmosphere. If we break down the food chain into its parts, some of the biggest areas of impact are the manufacture and use of artificial fertilisers (28%), transportation (16%), food and drink manufacturing and processing (11%) and packaging (10%).
Our aim with Cultivate is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with growing and distributing our food to a minimum. We’re going to be farming without using artificial pesticides and fertilisers, the food miles from farm to plate will be down to around 10, we’ll sell fresh, unprocessed food and offer reusable packaging. That’s immediately tackling some of the biggest food chain emitters, but it’ll still be a challenge. Our van will need fuelling, our polytunnels will still be made of plastic and one of the next biggest CO2 sources – landfill gas from rotting food (13%) – is outside of our control… but hopefully our fruit and veg will be too tasty for you to want to waste a single carrot.
You can read Dan’s whole posting, including some meaty pie charts, here.