Energy consumption in food handling could be reduced by nearly a third according to a new report from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report is part of the EPA's attempt to envisage what life could be like in a sustainable Sweden by 2021. In "Eating for a Better Environment," the EPA examines food transport, purchasing, storage and cooking habits in Sweden. It concludes that eating less meat would help to reduce energy consumption, nitrogen leakage and the need for land. It presents examples of a balanced and ecologically sound diet in which "yellow peas can easily compete with roast pork" as a source of protein taking into account the energy consumed in production and cooking. However, the EPA concedes that: "The Christmas ham is certain to remain...we have to be able to differentiate between everyday and festive occasions." It calls for higher energy taxes, an environmental policy for the food industry, and stricter environmental requirements for shipping, product ecolabelling and procurement.
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, tel: +46 8 698 1000.
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