191357 Climate change: Using food carbon footprints to reduce greenhouse gases and energy use

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 10:50 AM

Gail Feenstra, EdD, RD , University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, Davis, CA
The food system consumes a significant amount of energy in the United States and produces considerable greenhouse gases (GHGs) that create a sizeable “food carbon footprint.” This presentation will summarize findings from an international food, energy and carbon footprint symposium convened by UC Davis in October 2007 as well as subsequent research using a life cycle assessment framework (LCA) to identify “hot spots” in the food system from “farm to fork.” In addition to the critical issues identified in the symposium, preliminary results of an LCA study on a particular commodity (either tomatoes or rice) will demonstrate the benefits of this methodology. Finally, we will discuss how this research might be used by the food service industry, natural foods industry or consumers to change behaviors to reduce their carbon footprints.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will identify 3 “hot spots” identified by LCA research on food carbon footprints. Participants will be able to discuss the merits and challenges of LCA methodology for conducting food carbon footprint research. Participants will identify 3 ways in which the food industry and/or consumers might make changes to reduce their carbon footprints.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am on a research team doing work on food carbon footprints using life cycle assessment techniches.”
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.