“Did you know, the food system is responsible for 1/3 of global greenhouse emissions?” asks the website: Eat Low Carbon Diet Calculator – Bon Appétit Management Company. From reading Anna Lappe’s book Diet for a Hot Planet, I’ve become more aware of how our food choices are contributing to environmental and climate problems. The concept of a carbon diet calculator seems to be a good one, but I find this site not very useful. Perhaps it is because I’ve never counted calories, so counting “carbon points” doesn’t register well with me. I understand what the concept of a calorie is, and how so many calories can cause weight gain. But the carbon points just add up to “an equivalent of four tons of carbon a year” or the equivalent of three jet flights.
On the site, you click a food item, and it tells you how many carbon points it expends (costs? not sure really). I clicked on cereal and it said that highly-processed cereal is carbon intensive. But my cereal is puffed millet. Surely it’s low, then? The website doesn’t say. Other food items didn’t have an explanation or the button to “reduce your carbon.” This site would be useful if instead of points, it told me what exactly the carbon effects were and how to reduce them. The whole point, I think, of this food awareness movement is to promote local, sustainably-grown food. So, rather than obsess about how many points my breakfast racked up, shouldn’t I be writing letters or organizing or something?