FOOD·E provides the technology that allows meal creators of all kinds and sizes to evaluate their recipes' environmental impact. The results are displayed in simple pie-charts that can be shared on websites and social media and printed on menus, food labels, posters, and alike. The purpose is to help us take better care of our beautiful planet through our food choices.
Our global food production systems have significant impacts on the environment, yet they receive very little attention in our ever-growing environmental discussions. FOOD·E is here to challenge that by directly linking our food choices with their ecological impact.
The most significant impacts of our food production systems can be divided into four sections, the consequences of which are becoming increasingly devastating:
Due to the increasing population and demand for food, agriculture has resorted to deforestation to obtain enough land to cultivate, which now amounts to half of all habitable land . Unfortunately, deforestation has tremendous implications for the environment. Fewer trees imply a lower absorption of CO2 and, therefore, a rise in global temperatures. Moreover, deforestation involves a significant loss of biodiversity (experts say that about 1.000.000 species are in danger of extinction) with a consequential malfunctioning of ecosystems.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Today's food supply chain is responsible for about 26% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions . A consistent rise in GHG emissions translates into an increase in the average surface temperature of the planet. Therefore, it is responsible for changes in precipitation patterns, weather alterations, melting of ice caps, and ecosystem disruption.
The agricultural sector is responsible for 70% of the global freshwater withdrawals , which constitutes a great concern for water scarcity. The WHO estimates that 2 out of 3 people might be living in water-stressed conditions by 2025 if the current water consumption stays unchanged. This will significantly affect people’s health and our ecosystems.
Due to the extensive use of fertilizers, agriculture is the main contributor (78%) to the yearly runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus, leading to the eutrophication of water bodies. Excessive nutrients can stimulate algae overgrowth and reduce oxygen availability, causing a widespread death of fish and other aquatic life forms. Moreover, eutrophication makes oceans more acidic, threatening coral reefs, and shellfish, and it can also negatively affect drinking water sources.