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Carbon Emission of Food Consumption: An Empirical Analysis of China's Residents

Carbon Emission of Food Consumption: An Empirical Analysis of China's Residents,10.1109/ESIAT.2009.451,Jing Zhi,Jixi Gao

Carbon Emission of Food Consumption: An Empirical Analysis of China's Residents  
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Based on the application of life cycle analysis (LCA), this paper quantifies the impact of food consumption on carbon emission during the period 1990-2006. The results showed that the carbon footprint due to food consumption is increasing. The impact of direct food consumption on carbon emission was just a small part of the life cycle of food consumption, and about 30% of carbon emission was a consequence of food transportation. Meat consumption was the most carbon-intensive food, and compared with 1990, the carbon-density of 1 kg of food increased by 0.52 kgC/kg. The direct impact on carbon emission for urban residents was lower than rural residents, but indirect impact was nearly twice that of rural residents; urban residents consumed more energy due to food transportation and keeping food fresh, the carbon emission related to keeping food fresh was 4 times that of rural residents. This paper provides quantitative evidence of the impact of food consumption on the environment. We suggest that the key to reducing this impact is to improve energy efficiency, especially in the transportation sector.
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