Carbon footprint

Carbon footprint means the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated directly or indirectly with a given person, organization, object, process, event or product. It also accompanies the meals we eat - it is associated with many factors related to the production of food products, their transport and use in the meal preparation process. These include cutting primary forests for farming and breeding purposes, cattle methane emissions, use of artificial and natural fertilizers and energy consumption throughout the food chain. 

The first in this chain is agriculture and breeding (with high energy consumption by agricultural machines and breeding facilities), followed by food processing and transport. Very important element is the cooling chain, i.e. the whole of activities aimed at ensuring the continuity of maintaining the correct temperature from the moment of production or cooling of the product, until its final consumption. Without it, the organization of nutrition would not be possible. The cooling chain uses a lot of energy, which - especially in Polish conditions - mostly comes from coal. Food transport is also energy-consuming. Within the territory of a single country or the continent, food products are transported mainly by trucks, and those from other continents are imported by ships, and sometimes by air transport, which have a particularly negative impact on the environment. Once they reach their destination (e.g. kitchen at school), food products are subjected to another energy-intensive processes: cooling, washing, cooking, baking, etc. Finally, part of them are turned into food waste, constituting another "problem" for the environment. Therefore, it is worth to undertake efforts to reduce the carbon footprint accompanying our meals.