Carbon Footprint Labeling on Foods?

Are all those health and nutrition beat reporters starting to get envious about the growing amount of column inches and air minutes going to climate change?

They need fret to more. There’s plenty to go around the news room. And around and around and around.

ABC News’ Jim Sciutto, chief foreign correspondent, recently broached the foods issue on the network’s “World News Tonight” with the tease “Do you know the environmental impact of a bag of potato chips?”

It wasn’t a rhetorical question. He reported that the United Kingdom’s third most recognizable brand of chips, Walkers Crisps, now carries each bag’s carbon footprint – 75 grams in this case – “right next to the number of calories and fat content.”

“The number is based on a formula developed by a government-funded Carbon Trust, which takes into account everything that goes into producing and consuming the chips: from growing the potatoes to cooking them to transporting them, right up to disposing of the bag,” Sciutto reported.

Sciutto takes care not to leave people thinking that bagging that one bag of chips might reverse global warming. He says one bag “amounts to one-thousandth of 1 percent of the carbon the average person produces a year …. And maybe that’s the point of labeling: thinking about what we consume and the consequences.”

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