Shopping on a weekly basis can be a complex matter. Not only do we have to weigh the price of things, and whether or not they are good for our health, but more than ever we are forced to consider the environmental impact of our purchases.
And, according to suggestions made for the government in 2021, UK consumers could be hit with a so-called “meat tax” – with higher prices on high-carbon foods – in order to “help. everyone to eat more sustainably ”.
The government denied that the document represented policy and insisted that it was simply academic research. Nevertheless, after the introduction of a sugar tax in 2018, it would not be surprising that a tax on high carbon foods and drinks is in the works.
Jamie Oliver is among those who have already decided to be more eco-friendly after deciding to cut back or eliminate meat in two-thirds of new recipes. But farmers and environmental activists have spoken out against the tax (the latter suggesting that it could prioritize imported products, with lower welfare and more harmful to the environment).
So where does that leave buyers? For starters, there is no easy way to determine whether or not a product on the supermarket shelves is a high carbon emitter. Since at least 2019, companies have considered carbon footprint labels, and in 2021 Unilever announced it would introduce them from the following year. The company has even suggested that supermarkets may one day have ‘carbon neutral or carbon-friendly’ aisles, but critics have argued that collecting the data is incredibly complex and that the risk of inaccuracies (not to mention l ‘greenwashing) is high.
There are, however, compelling arguments for increasing our awareness of a product’s carbon footprint. Globally, the food industry produces about a quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the UK, that number is as high as 30%, according to a 2009 study. With eight in ten people around the world seeing climate change as a threat, food and drink is seen as an area where we can really help. make the difference.
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This notice was published: 2021-11-09 09:51:59