Scientists Carbon-Shame Your Meat Sandwich

By Gary Cutlack on at

Researchers at the University of Manchester have some more bad news for you and that soggy assembly of low-grade meats you're about to consume -- it's bad for the environment as well as your insides.

That's the result of a seemingly random compilation of thoughts that aimed to uncover the environmental impact of everyone's lunch, with the headline being that meaty treats like the all-day breakfast have much larger (and triangular) carbon footprints than the lunches of the healthy and their homemade cheese and ham.

The numbers such as they are say that the growing, harvesting, cooking, construction, packaging and transportation elements that go into the building of one all day breakfast sandwich results in 1,441 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent, or roughly how much CO2 would be pumped into the atmosphere by driving a car for 12 miles. If you therefore multiply all the sandwiches by all the gases you get 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or the rough output of 8.6 million cars. It sounds ludicrous, but these people are scientists and it's their idea and maths so there you go.

If you care about the future and David Attenborough's blood pressure, make a sandwich at home. A DIY ham and cheese apparently has a maximum CO2 equivalent of 843 grams. [University of Manchester]