Environmental Impact Food Labelling

Scientists at the University of Oxford have assessed the environmental impact of 57,000 food items - an important first step towards introducing eco labels on food.


Supermarket food aisle

Nutritional labels have been found to significantly increase the number of people making healthy choices, prompting calls for similar labels to be introduced to encourage greener diets.


Dr Michael Clark, who led the research, said: “By estimating the environmental impact of food and drink products in a standardised way we have taken a significant first step towards providing information that could enable informed decision-making.”


A study by the UK's Food Standards Agency to understand consumer behaviours and attitudes in relation to healthy and sustainable diets, suggests that more than half of people in the UK want to make more sustainable choices while shopping.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the USDA Economic Research Center reports that approximately one third of all available food is never consumed. The current food labeling system is to blame for much of the waste. The FDA reports consumer confusion around product dating labels is likely responsible for around 20 percent of the food wasted in the home, costing an estimated US$161 billion per year. So new labeling plans are being discussed.

 

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