Food and Climate Change without the hot air

Food and Climate Change without the hot air : Change Your Diet: the Easiest Way to Help Save the Planet

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A quarter of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change come from food. In Food and Climate Change without the hot air, Sarah Bridle details the carbon footprint of the food we eat, from breakfast to lunch, from snacks to supper. She breaks down the environmental impact of each food, so we can see where the emissions are highest and where we can make sustainable food choices.

With this knowledge, we can make changes to our diet - e.g. eating more locally grown produce and introducing meat-free days. This will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions so damaging to our planet and probably be healthier for us, too.

Food and Climate Change without the hot air considers:

How to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from food - currently 25%.
What effect the food we eat has on the environment of our planet.
How climate change will affect the food we will eat in the future.
How consumers can play their part in reducing food-based carbon emissions.

Bridle looks at popular breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner options, such as tea and coffee, eggs, cheese and chicken sandwiches, salad, pizza, baked potatoes, chocolate, nuts, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, steak and fries, fish suppers, Spaghetti Bolognese and more.

She calculates the greenhouse gas emissions of those meals, breaking down the different ingredients and cooking methods, which makes it easy to compare different options within the same meal. This takes into account all the gases that contribute to global warming: carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (gCO2e). Bridle also dives into the important topic of food waste and gives valuable tips to avoid leftovers.

Inspired by the author's former mentor David MacKay (Sustainable Energy without the hot air), Food and Climate Change is a rigorously researched discussion of how food and climate change are intimately connected. In this ground-breaking and accessible work, Prof Sarah Bridle focuses on the facts so that they speak for themselves. The book is highly illustrated in full colour throughout, making it an attractive read, as well as an inspiring one.

It shows how anyone can reduce the climate impact of their food. It also suggests how the food system must change, with:

Incentives for farmers to switch to more efficient, climate-friendly technologies.
Food labelling to show a product's 'food miles' and how it has been produced.
Research into non-traditional production methods.
How to waste less food and use all the water, energy and nutrients used in its production more wisely and sustainably.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 188 x 233 x 20.32mm | 870g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • First Edition
  • 0857845039
  • 9780857845030
  • 541,145

Table of contents

1 Introduction

I Breakfast

2. Tea and coffee

3. Sugar

4. Milk

5. Bread and toast

6. A bowl of cereal

7. Eggs

8. Breakfast summary

II Lunch

9. A cheese sandwich

10. Ham, pork and bacon

11. Salad

12. Pizza

13. A baked potato, or fries

14. Beans and other legumes

15. Yogurt and cream

16. Lunch summary

III Snacks

17. A piece of fruit

18. Chocolate and sweets

19. Nuts

20. Potato crisps/chips

21. Soft drinks and juices

22. A piece of cake

23. Snacks summary

IV Evening meal

24 Spaghetti bolognese

25 Chicken curry tikka masala

26 Rice

27 Fish and chips

28 Veg

29 Beer or wine?

30 Dessert

31 Evening meal summary

V Looking ahead

32 Food emissions for a whole day

33 Leftovers and food waste

34 Health

35 Vegan and other climate-motivated diets

36 How can governments help?

37 Food as part of the solution

38 Making the change


A Climate change

B Impacts of climate change on food

C Food in the future
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Review quote

Like the other HOT AIR authors, Bridle's clear, nonthreatening, technical language, brilliant data visualizations, and examples grounded in our daily experience make this a powerful read. -- Cory Doctorow * * Sarah Bridle has written an important book that is full of useful information and is easy to read. I'm already thinking differently about the food I eat. -- Prof Jeff Forshaw, Professor of Physics, University of Manchester and author of Why Does E=mc2? What was once a mystery has now been made crystal clear: the decisions about how we produce and consume food are some of the most impactful humanity can make to solve the climate emergency. This book opens the mind to the realities of the embodied emissions in everything we eat - and waste - from farm to fork to landfill. An essential source for anyone working to save the planet. -- Chad Frischmann, Co-author of 'Drawdown: The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming' Sarah Bridle takes a cool calm look at the heat-inducing effects of different food choices. This is a very readable book setting out in detail the gradients of better and worse choices to plan environmentally sustainable diets. -- Ursula Arens, British Dietetic Association One Blue Dot Working Group Can you eat delicious food and still be kind to the climate by cutting the CO2 emissions that come from eating? Sarah Bridle shows how. She assembles all you need in brilliantly simple graphics and appealing jargon-free text. -- Prof Robin Perutz, Solar Energy Scientist No kitchen should be without this engaging, carefully researched and practical guide to the carbon in our food. -- Prof Mike Berners-Lee, Author of 'How Bad are Bananas' and 'There is no planet B' Did you know a latte is ten times worse for the climate than a cup of black coffee? Or that each calorie of beef requires 20 calories of feed? 'Food and Climate Change Without the Hot Air' provides a levelheaded, clear, and detailed picture of food emissions - a basic literacy we should all have in a time of accelerating climate consequence. -- Peter Kalmus, NASA climate scientist and author of 'Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution' This is a wonderful, fact-filled but readable book, full of clear explanations of the emissions associated with everything we eat, identifying what is important and what is negligible. I shall never look at spaghetti bolognese in the same way again. -- Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Faculty of Mathematics, University of Cambridge I'm rather glad, perhaps, that I hadn't read Sarah Bridle's book before dinner. It allows readers no refuge from the inescapable climatic consequences of their dietary desires because it quantifies them in such orderly and precise terms. It's a marvel of synthesised research, clear explanation, and friendly wit. -- Prof Philip Tabor, Former Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London Sarah Bridle leads the reader through the climate impacts of our food, meal by meal. She uses the most up-to-date science and brings it to life in a personal, engaging and non-judgemental way. -- Prof Pete Smith, Director of the Scottish Climate Change Centre of Expertise Sarah Bridle has turned a page in our understanding of the impacts of our everyday eating habits with this ground-breaking, well-researched and accessible book. It will enable conscious decisions by individuals and industry concerned over the sustainability of our planet. -- Prof David J Drewry, Non-Executive Director (Natural Science), UK Commission for UNESCO Superb work. In 'Food and Climate Change' Sarah Bridle takes us on an eye-opening journey through the climate costs of our food and drink. From our buttered breakfast toast to teatime tikka masala this book lays bare the carbon footprints of the food choices we make every day. Succinct and well-researched, this book is a great resource for anyone who wants to know how to help tackle climate change with every meal. -- Prof Dave Reay, Author of 'Climate-Smart Food' Sarah Bridle provides information about the carbon footprint of foods many of us eat in an attractive, readable, well-researched and nicely-structured volume. I will be dipping into it regularly. -- Prof Joanna Haigh, Former co-director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London Sarah Bridle cuts through much of the confusion and complexity around the climate-change consequences of what we eat to provide a clear guide of how changes to diets can contribute to a more sustainable world. -- Prof Sir Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford It's all about quality ingredients beautifully prepared. And here you'll be nourished by tasty hard facts and zesty stats, mellowed in a sauce of wit and clarity. A climate friendly kitchen essential. -- Tom Heap, Rural Affairs Correspondent of BBC News and presenter of Costing the Earth, Countryfile and Panorama Thinking about what we eat is one of the most important things we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint. This book shows how it's possible to make a big difference and enjoy a nutritious, healthy, balanced diet without having to be an eco-saint every single meal. If you enjoy your food but also care about the planet, as I do, then this book is for you. -- Craig Bennett, Leading environmentalist, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts and former Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth This fascinating and important book deserves world-wide success. Sarah Bridle presents, engagingly and clearly, a vast amount of information that's important not just for policymakers but for all of us who want to make a difference in our everyday lives. -- Prof Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, former Astronomer Royal, Master of Trinity College, University of Cambridge and President of the Royal Society
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About S L Bridle

Sarah Bridle is a food activist and a professor at Manchester University, dividing her research time between food-related climate change and astrophysics. She is committed to a change in food policy because of her children and her concern for their future. Bridle is the founder of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network+, bringing together food research and industry. In her roles with the Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open source Toolkit (GGDOT) and Take a Bite out of Climate Change, she combines data from food choices and greenhouse gas emissions to inform both the public and policy makers.
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Rating details

58 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 45% (26)
4 34% (20)
3 19% (11)
2 0% (0)
1 2% (1)
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