Consumers prefer food with carbon footprint labels

Consumers are usually unaware of the carbon footprint of the food that they purchase. But based on a recent research from the University of Technology Sydney and Duke University, consumers prefer food with lesser carbon impact if indicated on the label.

Food production contribute to as much as 20-30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with beef and lamb having the greatest impact; pork, chicken, and fish having a moderate impact;  and with a vegan diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and grains with the least impact.

By asking 1000 people, Dr. Adrian Camilleri found out that people underestimated the impact of food production more than the usage of electrical appliances. Shoppers are not aware of which food and appliance emits more greenhouse gas when produced and used, that is why the study recommends putting labels on products.

120 participants were asked to choose what soup to buy. With labels on them, fewer people chose beef due to the higher greenhouse gas emitted from its production. These labels increased people’s awareness about energy use and emissions of greenhouse gases from food production. Consumers tend to choose those with lesser impact on the environment if it were written on the label.

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