The Bristol venue is adding a carbon footprint to its menu

A vegetarian restaurant is the first in Bristol to add carbon emissions to its menu. The canteen hopes to reduce its carbon footprint by buying local ingredients and reducing food waste. In April, the government decided restaurants in England with more than 250 employees must display calorie information on their menus.

Manager Liam Stocks said that “cleaning up the food chain” should be a priority. Carbon footprint includes material travel distance, material seasonality and emissions during production. Kierra Box, trade and environmental regulation campaigner at environmental charity Friends of the Earth, said switching diets to more carbon-neutral foods could have a big impact on climate change.

According to a recent study in Nature Food, the food industry contributes around 40% of climate damage. To reduce the carbon footprint of one’s diet, avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the biggest contributors, according to a recent scientific study. For example, a UK beef burger can generate as much as 3,050g of carbon per serving, compared to 300g of carbon from its vegan alternative.

Ms Box said: “Generating these conversations is important and can have a huge impact on consumers. However, the government and food suppliers should take the main responsibility to clean up our food chain. Mr Stocks said having carbon information available at the Stokes Croft site had proved it was getting people thinking the right way.

I’ve never done anything that got as much interest as this project,” he said. It’s a very positive thing to get consumers – and us – thinking about where our food comes from.

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