Food carbon calculator


Calculating your contribution to climate change

The following questions are a quick and easy way to gauge your food carbon footprint before you begin reading the website.

You might need a calculator!





Q1. Which of the following best describes your diet?

A. Most of my meals contain meat (2250kg)

B. I have one or more meat-free days each week (2000kg)

C. Lacto-vegetarian (1400kg)

D. Vegan (1000kg)

Q2. How often do you buy organic foods, such as organic meat, dairy and vegetables?

A. For most or all of my meals (subtract 25% from your score so far*)

B. Sometimes (your score remains the same as in Q1)

C. Never (your score remains the same as in Q1)

*2250 – 25% = 1688kg

2000 – 25% = 1500kg

1400 – 25% = 1050kg

1000 – 25% = 750kg

Q3. How often do you eat processed foods such as ready-meals, bought frozen or canned foods?

A. For nearly all of my meals (add 100kg to your score so far)

B. Sometimes (your score remains the same)

C. Infrequently or never (subtract 400kg from your score)

Q4. How often do you eat food away from home, such as food bought in restaurants, canteens, shop bought sandwiches or takeaways?

A. For half of my meals or more (add 100kg to your score so far)

B. Sometimes (your score remains the same)

C. Never (subtract 100kg from your score)

My food score: kg of CO2-equivalent gases per year


Please make a note of this figure, and email it to us at Didsbury Dinners.

This information will be extremely useful for us when planning more local food sustainability projects to benefit local residents and the community. We promise to treat any data provided in the strictest of confidence and to hold it in compliance with The Data Protection Act 1998.

Emissions are calculated in kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent gases. This is to take into account other gases emitted in food production, for example methane (from ‘windy’ and belching farmed animals) and nitrous oxide. These have a much higher impact on the environment per kilogram than CO2.

Food carbon emissions are produced by energy use in agriculture, fertilisers, food transport, processing, storage, retail and catering. They also include methane and nitrous oxide from animals, animal wastes and agricultural soil, and notional credit for soil carbon take-up in organic farms.

With thanks to Laurie Michaelis, Living Witness Project for the survey.

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