Global Food Waste Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Most Countries

food-wasteA new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has found that each year nearly a third of the food produced for human consumption worldwide — about 1.3 billion metric tons — is wasted, a practice which emits the equivalent of about 3.3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. If the amount of food wasted was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases – right behind the US and China.

The report likewise found that those emission levels are about twice the amount of carbon emitted from the U.S.’s transportation sector and close to twice the yearly emissions of India.

That wasted food also wastes water — the report states that about 250 cubic kilometers of ground and surface water is used each year to produce food that is ultimately wasted, an amount about three times the volume of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Because the ways food gets wasted differs by region (developing countries versus first world), there is no easy way to tackle the problem. Continue reading

Could Feeding Cows Garlic Reduce Greenhouse Emissions?

What’s worse – garlic cow breath or cow toots? Scientists in the UK have discovered that feeding cows a mixture of garlic and oats could reduce their greenhouse emissions by as much as 25%. Anyone up for some garlic milk?

Through their burps and, er, toots, farm animals produce 4% of the world’s total greenhouse emissions. Their new diet could cut that number down to 3%.

A team of researchers tested out different diets while measuring the amount of gas being emitted from the animals. They discovered the emissions could be reduced through a combination of different food, special rations and additives. Continue reading