Climate Cafe: How can we cut the carbon footprint of our food?

Food generates a lot of carbon dioxide and equivalent emissions. There's the agricultural impact to grow it (think fertiliser, feed and farting cows). Then there's transport, processing, packaging, disposal and food waste. What we eat matters. But which area has the biggest impact? What's the best way to cut back?

In The Carbon Diet, Jo Clay tries to cut her carbon footprint by 75%, testing out a different method each week. She uses carbon accounting to get her results and compares the changes against her lifestyle and that of the 'average' Australian. Jo road tested several ways to cut her food carbon footprint, including intermittent fasting, veganism, vegetarianism, food packaging, food miles, reducing food waste and making simple swaps at the supermarket. She'll begin with a short presentation on what she learned, followed by a small group discussion on the following questions.

Modern food systems are complex. What tools do people need to understand food's carbon footprint?
There are many different ways to eat. How do we motivate people to make a low-carbon choice that suits them?
What's the best way to cut food carbon footprints across Australia as a whole?

A light vegan lunch (low carbon footprint) will be provided by Canberra Magic Kitchen.

About the speaker

Jo is an author and environmentalist. She has worked in and studied sustainable transport, recycling and carbon accounting. She is running The Carbon Diet and a recycling company, Send and Shred.