Monday, July 27, 2009
Table for one
INCPEN, The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment, have produced a super leaflet called Table for one. It is a detailed document full of numbers estimating the energy footprint of one typical British person's food.
All the numbers are expressed in MJ per week. There's lots of nice diagrams, some showing the breakdown of the energy footprint of, say "Snacks" between food supply, primary packaging, transport packaging, transport from factory, retailing, travel to shops, home storage, and home cooking; and some showing summary numbers.
The one below summarises how much energy the average person gets from all their food (73 MJ/week (2.9 kWh/d)), how much it costs to produce and deliver it (337 MJ/week (13.4 kWh/d)) and how much energy is used to produce the packaging (35 MJ/week (1.4 kWh/d)).
The final figure below shows the breakdown of the footprint by food type, and there is a clear message about meat consumption (as I guessed in my book): meat has a bigger energy footprint than any other foodstuff. [They were assuming that the average person gets 7 MJ per week (1,700 calories per week, or 242 cal per day) of energy from meat; this is a weight of 1029 g per week (147 g per day). For comparison in Ch 13 I assumed a carnivore ate 227 g per day.]
It's nice to see an industry publishing such clear energy-footprint numbers! A copy of "Table for one" (pdf) is sitting on my website. I assume INCPEN don't mind my sharing it there.