Change your diet: the easiest way to help reduce your climate impact

Professor Sarah Bridle

Food production causes about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions.  And this is rising as the world’s population increases and becomes more affluent. This talk explores our potential for change.

Professor Sarah Bridle has been studying dark matter and dark energy for the last 20 years. But when her children started school she began to think about our own planet in the next 20 years and beyond.  Sarah learned about climate change in depth, for the first time. How it threatens worldwide food production, and how food causes about a quarter of all global warming.  She wanted to know how much each of her food choices was contributing, and why.

Sarah delved into the academic research literature and summarised the results in simple charts.  The charts make it easy for the non-specialist to see the impacts of different meal options. They show that some easy food switches can reduce food greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent.

Most of us make many food choices every day. By changing these we can significantly reduce climate change caused by food, and free up land that can be used to help reduce climate change overall.

professor sarah bridle

Professor Sarah Bridle

Sara Bridle is a Professor of Food, Climate and Society at the University of York. She previously served as Professor of extragalactic astronomy at the University of Manchester. Her move from cosmology into agriculture and food research was motivated by the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, Sarah founded the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network+. Sarah has won prestigious awards in the UK and Europe including a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and the Royal Astronomical Society’s Fowler Award.

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