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United Kingdom: The carbon footprint of a full English breakfast, and how to reduce it

Updated Sep 14, 2021
Our research, originally conducted for a BBC Radio 5 Live investigation, takes a look at how to make your first meal of the day lower carbon. Cooking at home can account for up to 27% of total emissions for meat products and up to 61% for vegetables. The good news is that a full English breakfast is fairly quick to make compared to, for example, a roast dinner, reducing emissions associated with cooking processes. The carbon footprint of a full English is also less than a roast dinner, thanks to its staple meats—sausage and bacon—being derived from pork rather than emissions-intensive red meats such as beef or lamb. Beef has multiple times the environmental impact of pork, since cattle are "ruminants"—animals with complex stomach systems containing greenhouse gas-producing microbes. But the majority of the carbon footprint of this breakfast still comes from its meat: 34% from the sausage and 29% from the bacon. The second greatest carbon culprit is usually tomatoes. These ...
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