A cautionary tale from today's SDRN Update:
A new carbon footprinting tool, developed by researchers at the University of Manchester, suggests that lamb curry ready-made meals eaten in the UK amount to an annual carbon footprint equivalent to 5,500 car trips around the world or 140 million car miles. The estimates are based on the figure of 30% of adults in the UK who eat ready-made meals at least once a week. Curry is one of the nation's favourites, accounting for up to 10% of ready-made sales - which have soared during the recession. The academics found that the fast food meal generates the equivalent of 4.3 kg of carbon dioxide emissions per person. The meal's ingredients are responsible for 65% of the carbon footprint, with lamb contributing half of the total. Meal manufacture contributes on average 14% and packaging 4% of the total carbon footprint. The contribution of transport is small at 2%. However, storage at the retailer contributes 16%. The CCaLC carbon footprinting tool can also be used for the estimation of carbon footprints of other products, including packaging, biofuels and various chemicals. For more (detail, not curry) go to the NERC website.