What’s for dinner tonight? If it’s a choice between beef or tofu, it might help to know there’s a 50-fold difference in greenhouse gas emissions between these products and a 200-fold difference in how much land is used to create them, according to recent research. The choices people make in supermarket aisles can affect how sustainable food systems are, but how do you know which to choose when you’re confronted with multiple options of the same product?
Ecolabels were invented in the late 1970s to help consumers tell the difference between a product with a large ecological footprint – produced and distributed in a way that releases lots of greenhouse gases or consumes a lot of natural habitat – and a product with a smaller one. Globally, there are thought to be more than 120 different types of ecolabels in use on food and drink products. If you live in the UK, you might recognise the Marine Stewardship Council logo, the Carbon Reduction label, or the Rainforest Alliance Certified badge.
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