09 November 2010

Every Person Emits Two Tons of Carbon Dioxide a Year Through Eating, Spanish Study Finds

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Every person emits the equivalent of approximately two tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from the time food is produced to when the human body excretes it, representing more than 20% of total yearly emissions

That is what a study by the Universidad de Almería says, confirming for the first time that human excrements contribute to water pollution, primarily with nitrogen and phosphorus.

A team of researchers from the Universidad de Almería (UAL) has estimated the environmental impact of the Spanish diet and role that human excrements play in the life cycle of food. It is the first time that a scientific study of this type incorporates the role played by human excrements.

"Food in Spain produces emissions of around two tonnes of carbon dioxide per person and per year (more than 20% of total emissions per person and per year) and consumes 20 gigajoules of primary energy," says Iván Muñoz, the main author of the study and researcher at the UAL.

The study, which was published recently in The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, analyses the relationship of the food production and consumption chain with global warming and the acidification and eutrophication (excess of nutrients) of the environment, taking what a person in Spain ate in 2005 (881 kilograms) as a reference.

(ScienceDaily)

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