Carbon Neutral Food Menu for Restaurants
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An individual’s carbon footprint consists of all the greenhouse gases from the meals produced as they wind their way through the food system. Shrinking this individual carbon footprint can help improve environmental and social conditions in near and distant places touched by our food system. Apart from the food manufacturing industry and the food retail industry (e.g., grocery stores), the restaurant industry, has a large impact on the environment. Much of information is available on the carbon footprint on individual food ingredients and associated processes such as their cultivation, harvesting, transport, processing, consumption, and wastage. However, there are limited comprehensive studies on Food Menus incorporating the full Life-cycle Assessment (LCA) of food dishes including the preparation and serving of meals. The aim of this study is to design a carbon neutral food menu for a restaurant for three meal types (brunch, lunch, and dinner) by performing LCA for food ingredients, incorporating their respective origin, transport, processing, cooking, and the volume of food items (number of dishes) produced. The greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of food are complex and far-reaching (Nemecek et al., 2016, Canals et al., 2007). Understanding how individual eating habits affect global warming could help mitigate those impacts through conscious daily living. The LCA based on 1 month’s data indicates that an average sized restaurant emits about 35.63 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t CO2e) per month, when considering the entire full scope of the restaurant’s supply chain activities.