We all know the damage that human activity has done to the planet and the harm it is doing to our climate. But did you know that the food we eat also harms the environment?
The food industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world. But it is not all about money; it is also about the impact on the environment. Yes, our eating habits are also polluting the environment. According to WHO, air pollution causes more than 7 million deaths every year. It is estimate that food production contributes to 26% of the world’s emissions. Therefore, our eating habits are responsible for increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Poore and Nemecek’s meta-analysis provides a global assessment of the environmental costs of producing several food commodities worldwide. They categorized food items into groups and studied the environmental impact of these items. The study found that:
- Livestock and fisheries account for 31% of food-related emissions. It includes on-farm emissions from animals raised for meat and seafood production.
- Crop production accounts for 21% of emissions. These emissions consist of nitrous oxides originating from fertilizers, methane from rice production and carbon dioxide from agriculture equipment.
- Land used comprises 24% of emissions. Land used refers to the converting of forest and grasslands into croplands.
- Food wastage via the supply chain accounts for 18% of emissions. Food waste emissions are mainly due to improper supply chain practices or consumer negligence.
How can we reduce carbon emissions from the food industry?
We should be serious about tackling climate change. So, here are some of the ways to reduce the emissions from the food industry.
- Transition to renewable energy sources- Most food items need to be processed, during which they need a large amount of energy and heat, most of which is still derived from fossil fuels. Therefore, the industry should make conscious efforts to switch to sustainable and renewable energy sources. It can help them to reduce their daily carbon dioxide emissions.
- Undertaking greenhouse gas emission assessment (carbon footprint)- Once the size of carbon footprint is known, companies can divide strategies to reduce it with the help of technological improvements, better procedures, carbon capture, product management, etc.
- Minimizing food wastage- At least 6% of the global greenhouse gasses emissions come from food waste at various supply chain stages. The emissions generated amount to three times the emissions from aviation.
- Following best farm practices- Improved fertilizer management and technology improvement can significantly increase the farm output and decrease carbon emissions.
How Is Steamax Helping The Food Industries?
Several food processing industries either rely on fossil fuels or use biomass in inefficient furnaces, contributing significantly to carbon emissions. Steamax designs technologies to convert fossil fuel-fired systems to biomass and provides efficient biomass combustion systems for the food processing industries. Here are a few solutions that we want to highlight:
1. Oil-to-biomass retrofit (OBR) kit: OBR kit converts the existing oil-or gas-fired boiler to biomass at just a fraction of the cost of the new biomass boiler.
2. Renewable Energy Combustor (REC): This equipment has specifically been designed to meet the heating demands of the small and medium scale food processing units, such as those manufacture poha, murmura, channa, dal, pulses etc.
3. Multifuel Biomass Burner (MFB): MFB is designed for namkeen manufacturers and bakeries that still use diesel or costly biomass fuels, such as pellets. MFB helps those industries to reduce their fuel costs by ~50%.
The environment is in danger, and we cannot restore it without transforming our food system. The only way to contain this is to change how we produce and consume food. We believe that the solution lies in innovation. With collaborative efforts and sustainable development, we can beat the heat!
If you want to reduce the fuel costs and carbon emissions from your food industry, reach out to us.