Climate-Smart Food by Dave Reay [6/10]

A concise examination of the carbon implications of a typical day’s meal, “Climate-Smart Food” is an easily entertaining ride through complex terrain. How does a cup of coffee impact my carbon footprint? My morning toast? How could my evening’s rice portion be better managed, across its lifecycle, to reduce emissions? How will global warming effect chocolate? How much more carbon intensive is chicken than my vegetarian meals? Dave Reay, a UK climate scientist, addresses such aspects of fourteen elements of a day’s three meals. Jammed with illuminations, it’s well worth a read, although some additional context would have helped a neophyte like me understand whether I should eat that banana (100-200g of carbon equivalent). And is “Climate-Smart Food” aiming to educate me about my food choices, or to educate policymakers about cutting food’s emissions, or to inform me about how a given food might suffer under global warming? I suspect the author intends all three but I longed for greater direction. Reay is a smooth, engaging stylist and this is a valuable resource.

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