My emissions: ‘The future of food labels’

2 Mins read

“It’s very easy for people to reduce their impact if they ate more low-carbon food. It’s one of the best and easiest ways for people to reduce their carbon footprint and help tackle climate change.”

Matthew has been living an impressively sustainable lifestyle since the beginning of lock down. He is 24 and, like other aspirational young people, didn’t want to waste an opportunity to expand on himself and his surroundings.

My Emissions was founded with the help of Matthew’s friend and co-founder. The pair met at Cambridge University; Nathan Bottomley, 23, also wanted to reduce his carbon footprint from food but found himself frustrated by the “lack of accurate and accessible data”.

“We started looking into how we can reduce our carbon footprint from food. We found this really difficult, with no single place where you can find accurate climate information for food. We therefore decided to research this ourselves, and it’s grown since then,” Matthew says.

“Food is responsible for about 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is 8 times more emissions than flying,” he tells us.

The concept is simple. It’s just like nutritional information, except it provides food blogs and websites the carbon footprint of their recipes and allows them to display it to their followers. Values are presented in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), alongside a percentage that demonstrates a “fair” set of daily food emissions, set by My Emissions themselves.

You can find out more about how these values are calculated here.

Matthew Isaacs and his partner

Matthew and Nathan met at Cambridge University [Matthew Isaacs]

It seems to have been quite a journey. The pair have partnered up with WP Recipe Maker in the hope that their idea succeeds, but prior to this they had already made inspiring developments that can give us at least an inkling of hope. Is this the future for food?

“We now have labels on just under 30 different recipe websites. Lots of these websites were also being featured in our ‘Veganuary’ campaign, where we’ve been sharing one vegan recipe each day all with a carbon label to show the climate benefits of plant-based food,”

According to The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, livestock accounts for a staggering 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. You can find out more about their veganism campaign here.

My Emissions has carbon-labelled 1,118 recipes so far. Pricing varies, from completely free and accessible (up to 20 recipes) to £189. Customers are also able to invest in simpler and more affordable bundles at £45.

The threat of climate change is very real, but Matthew displays an admirable and positive outlook for the future: “The WP Recipe Maker partnership finally makes it easy and affordable for food bloggers to add a carbon label to their recipes.

Just as with nutritional information, I hope that as more food blogs display environmental information people will start to learn about food emissions, and very quickly we will get used to seeing carbon labels next to all food and recipes.”

Brecht Vandersmissen, owner and developer of WP Recipe Maker, says: “People are increasingly aware of the impact they have on our planet but don’t know where to even start to calculate their impact. My Emissions does the heavy lifting for you and its new WP Recipe Maker integration makes it incredibly easy for food bloggers and their readers to make conscious decisions and move toward a better world, one dish at a time.”




Find out more about My Emissions – https://myemissions.green/

Featured image by aka*Travz via Flickr CC.
Edited by Betty Wales-Hulbert.

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