The consumption of food products involves emissions of greenhouse gases. Emissions occur in the various stages of the life cycle of food products. In this paper we discuss the greenhouse gas emissions, CO 2 , CH 4 , and N 2 O, related to Dutch household food consumption. Combinations of greenhouse gas intensities (per Dfl) with annual household expenditures results in the greenhouse gas emissions from annual food consumption. An energy analysis methodology is elaborated with greenhouse gas emissions to calculate greenhouse gas intensities. The CO 2 emission pattern resembles closely the household expenditure pattern. Emission patterns of CH 4 and N 2 O differ strongly from the expenditure pattern. Food products from cattle farming determine the CH 4 emissions, while food products from agriculture determine the N 2 O emissions. The non-CO 2 greenhouse gases contribute 25% to the total emissions of CO 2 equivalents from Dutch household food consumption, significantly above their share in the total Dutch emission of greenhouse gases. For food product life cycles it is very important to include the non-CO 2 greenhouse gases. The analyses show differences in greenhouse gas intensities within food product categories and between food product categories. These differences offer possibilities for reduction options.
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 1999
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