Sunday, October 25, 2009

NYT 10/23/09 Sweden Looks to Diet to Cut Global Waming

Sweden is trying a new strategy to cut global warming. They are including the carbon footprint of food products on the label to discourage consumers from purchasing items that are less environmentally friendly. This will steer consumers to purchase items that are readily produced in the area. Even vegetables are weighted on having a better or worse impact on the environment, in Sweden carrots are better than tomatoes and cucumbers because they don't have to be grown in a greenhouse. Europes stock of fish is depleted so despite health benefits they are discouraged from choosing fish. If food guidelines are followed Sweden could cut its emissions fom food production by 20 to 50 percent. It is somewhat difficult to accurately estimate the carbon footprint of foods because it depends on where they are being shipped since emissions generated by fertilizer, fuel for harvesting machinery, packaging, and transport are taken into account. I think this is a great idea because consumers may be guilted into choosing items with a smaller carbon footprint or at the least they will become more conscious of the effect products have on the environment.

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