CO2 Emitted by Food Industry Processes
To obtain a carbon footprint for the food industry we have to start at the initial farming stages and continue through to the storage and transport of the produced food as outlined below.
1) CO2 produced during the agricultural and animal rearing for food:
Includes the machinery used in cultivation and fertilization of the land.
All the processes involved in the rearing and supply of fresh meat to the industry.
2) CO2 produced during the cooking of food:
Baking powder is an ingredient used in bread and cake cooking. As it helps these products to rise, making them light and airy, it also emits CO2.
The cooking of food requires thermal energy, which can be supplied by natural gas or electricity.
3) CO2 produced in the preservation of food:
The quality and shelf life of food can be improved by using preservatives, CO2 emitters, (which are inserted into vacuum packed food) or by freezing, which is the most popular method. The most efficient method of freezing the food is by spraying liquid CO2 onto the food in a cryogenic unit.
Packaging is one area in need of decreasing CO2 production. These days everything we buy seems to come with excessive packaging and the food industry is no exception.
Tesco has taken the initiative by reducing their packaging of food and making cash reductions for the return of carrier bags for recycling.
4) CO2 emitted due to food transportation:
Transport from the original source to processing unit, then to storage and finally to the supermarket.
Transport by air, which adds up and is known as Food Air Miles.