Food waste 'leads to unnecessary greenhouse gases'

  • 14 May 2012
Wasted food

The food wasted in the UK is leading to huge amounts of unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions, experts believe.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh worked out how much greenhouse gas is released in producing food that is then wasted.

For example, 350 million litres of milk is wasted each year - and for a farm to produce that, over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide would be released.

That's about the same amount as is given off in a year by 20,000 cars.

Greehouse gases are thought to cause global warming so environmentalists are keen to find ways to reduce them.

Other foods that were included in the study:

Chicken: 81,000 tonnes wasted each year, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by 40,000 cars.

Pork: 93,000 tonnes wasted each year, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by 50,000 cars.

Lamb: 8,000 tonnes wasted each year, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by 6,000 cars.

Potatoes: 290,000 tonnes wasted each year, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by 20,000 cars.

Dr David Reay, who worked on the project, said: "Eating less meat and wasting less food can play a big part in helping to keep a lid on greenhouse gas emissions as the world's population increases."