Free Markets, Free People

Eating For The Planet (Updated)

The next step in enviro-whackiness? Sweden’s on it:

New labels listing the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the production of foods, from whole wheat pasta to fast food burgers, are appearing on some grocery items and restaurant menus around the country.

People who live to eat might dismiss this as silly. But changing one’s diet can be as effective in reducing emissions of climate-changing gases as changing the car one drives or doing away with the clothes dryer, scientific experts say.

Yes friends – emission labels, not nutrition labels. Eat unhealthy if it helps save the planet – that’s you role in life. Apparently, however, it is all still a little confusing:

Shopping for oatmeal, Helena Bergstrom, 37, admitted that she was flummoxed by the label on the blue box reading, “Climate declared: .87 kg CO2 per kg of product.”

“Right now, I don’t know what this means,” said Ms. Bergstrom, a pharmaceutical company employee.

It means that right now someone has a “bright” idea that is voluntary. But given Europe’s proclivity for nanny-state control of the lives of its citizens, one has to wonder how long it will remain voluntary or before foods with high emissions are slapped with a carbon tax.

Kristian Eriksson, 26, an information technology specialist, looked embarrassed when asked about the burger he was eating at an outdoor table.

“You feel guilty picking red meat,” he said.

Only if you buy into the swill known as AGW, Kristian – only if you buy into it.

UPDATE: Fran Smith finds some problems with the labeling:

But the Swedish food police admit that they are some problems in balancing healthy eating with low-carbon-footprint eating. And it doesn’t always work. Their guidelines that form the basis for the labels tell people to eat carrots instead of tomatoes, and not to eat many bananas. Have they not read or heard about the antioxidant properties of tomatoes? There are also a lot of questions about their methods of measuring climate-friendly production. In their view how the production contributes to the landscape is a big plus

And there’s the implied “buy local” side of it all:

[L]ocally grown, Swedish stuff produces lower emissions. Guidelines don’t state it but it’s implied: Imports are bad because of emissions from transportation — whether truck or ship or plane.

For instance, a New Zealand apple has a CO2 equivalent of 4 while a Swedish apple only rates a 1. So not only will those buying into this nonsense feel guilty eating a burger, they’ll feel guilty eating an apple if it’s not a Swedish apple.

UPDATE II: Ryan Young notes:

This new religion is a piece of work. It comes complete with a deity (Gaia), clergy (activists), indulgences (carbon credits), and now, dietary restrictions.



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9 Responses to Eating For The Planet (Updated)

  • What’s the carbon footprint of growing Pot?   Or other mind altering substances legal or not?  I say go after those as a wake up call.  Because being “On Drugs!” is about they only way someone could go for this nonsense.  

  • This demonstrates part of why the global warming myth enjoys such persistent levels of belief: it is pushed in every aspect of our lives.  One can hardly turn on even a comedy show without seeing some offhand reference to it.  Yahoo! News frequently has some headline about it.  The news, of course, is full of reports about it.  And now, in Sweden, one can’t even go to the grocery store without having it pounded in.

    I don’t think any religion in history has had such a pervasive influence and presence.

  • That labeling is fine as far is it goes. To be totally accurate, however, it should indicate how much CO2, etc., is emitted after consumption. At the risk of being a bit crude I would imagine that, for example, beans would contribute more greenhouse gasses than bananas, even though the beans may be locally grown.

  • “You feel guilty picking red meat,” he said.

    I subscribe to Dennis Leary’s theory…
    “Meat tastes like murder, and Murder tastes pretty f’ing good.”

  • I’m more concerned about foods that <i>cause</i> emissions.

  • oh, the baked beans are Right Out.   Better cut out the cabbage and beer, too.

  • If the logic is that digesting certain food produces methane and carbon dioxide, what happens it we just let it rot?  According to NASA, 60 billion metric tons of CO2 are released annually by decaying biomass.  What’s the alternative?

    This is the stupidest idea I have heard this week.

  • Correction:  30 BMT, not 60.  Sorry.

    The only way to eliminate that biomass would be to not create it in the first place.  How it returns to its component molecules is irrelevant.  If it were not created, the reductions in atmospheric CO2 would not have occurred.   It’s a zero net sum gain.  As the Bible says, “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”