A quarter of our carbon emissions comes from food. This accessible description of how food and climate change are connected, inspired by the author's former mentor David Mackay (Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air), steers clear of emotive words to focus on facts. From breakfast to lunch, snacks to supper, Professor Bridle outlines the climate impact of the food we eat, how food production contributes to climate change and how climate change impacts food production.
- Evening meal
- Looking ahead
Sarah Bridle is a professor at Manchester University. She became committed to a change in food policy because of her children and her concern for their future.
In 2017, Sarah founded the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network+, bringing together food research and industry. Sarah led the Take a Bite out of Climate Change exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in 2019 and leads the Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open source Toolkit (GGDOT) which brings together data from food choices and greenhouse gas emissions to inform the public and policymakers. Sarah is author of over 100 refereed publications which have over 9000 citations and has won prestigious awards in the UK and Europe including a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, the Royal Astronomical Society's Fowler Award, and European Research Council Starting and Consolidator Grants.
She divides her research time between food-related climate change and astrophysics.
"Sarah Bridle takes a cool calm look at the heat-inducing effects of different food choices. This is a very readable book setting out in detail the gradients of better and worse choices to plan environmentally sustainable diets."
– Ursula Arens, British Dietetic Association One Blue Dot Working Group
"Can you eat delicious food and still be kind to the climate by cutting the CO2 emissions that come from eating? Sarah Bridle shows how. She assembles all you need in brilliantly simple graphics and appealing jargon-free text."
– Prof Robin Perutz, Solar Energy Scientist
"No kitchen should be without this engaging, carefully researched and practical guide to the carbon in our food."
– Prof Mike Berners-Lee, author of How Bad Are Bananas? and There Is No Planet B
"Did you know a latte is ten times worse for the climate than a cup of black coffee? Or that each calorie of beef requires 20 calories of feed? Food and Climate Change Without the Hot Air provides a levelheaded, clear, and detailed picture of food emissions – a basic literacy we should all have in a time of accelerating climate consequence."
– Peter Kalmus, NASA climate scientist and author of Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution
"This is a wonderful, fact-filled but readable book, full of clear explanations of the emissions associated with everything we eat, identifying what is important and what is negligible. I shall never look at spaghetti bolognese in the same way again."
– Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Faculty of Mathematics, University of Cambridge
"I'm rather glad, perhaps, that I hadn't read Sarah Bridle's book before dinner. It allows readers no refuge from the inescapable climatic consequences of their dietary desires because it quantifies them in such orderly and precise terms. It's a marvel of synthesised research, clear explanation, and friendly wit."
– Prof Philip Tabor, Former Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
"Sarah Bridle leads the reader through the climate impacts of our food, meal by meal. She uses the most up-to-date science and brings it to life in a personal, engaging and non-judgemental way."
– Prof Pete Smith, Director of the Scottish Climate Change Centre of Expertise
"Sarah Bridle has turned a page in our understanding of the impacts of our everyday eating habits with this ground-breaking, well-researched and accessible book. It will enable conscious decisions by individuals and industry concerned over the sustainability of our planet."
– Prof David J Drewry, Non-Executive Director (Natural Science), UK Commission for UNESCO
"Superb work. In Food and Climate Change Sarah Bridle takes us on an eye-opening journey through the climate costs of our food and drink. From our buttered breakfast toast to teatime tikka masala this book lays bare the carbon footprints of the food choices we make every day. Succinct and well-researched, this book is a great resource for anyone who wants to know how to help tackle climate change with every meal."
– Prof Dave Reay, Author of Climate-Smart Food
"Sarah Bridle provides information about the carbon footprint of foods many of us eat in an attractive, readable, well-researched and nicely-structured volume. I will be dipping into it regularly."
– Prof Joanna Haigh, Former co-director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London
"Sarah Bridle cuts through much of the confusion and complexity around the climate-change consequences of what we eat to provide a clear guide of how changes to diets can contribute to a more sustainable world."
– Prof Sir Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford
"It's all about quality ingredients beautifully prepared. And here you'll be nourished by tasty hard facts and zesty stats, mellowed in a sauce of wit and clarity. A climate friendly kitchen essential."
– Tom Heap, Rural Affairs Correspondent of BBC News and presenter of Costing the Earth, Countryfile and Panorama
"Thinking about what we eat is one of the most important things we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint. This book shows how it's possible to make a big difference and enjoy a nutritious, healthy, balanced diet without having to be an eco-saint every single meal. If you enjoy your food but also care about the planet, as I do, then this book is for you."
– Craig Bennett, Leading environmentalist, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts and former Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth
"This fascinating and important book deserves world-wide success. Sarah Bridle presents, engagingly and clearly, a vast amount of information that's important not just for policymakers but for all of us who want to make a difference in our everyday lives."
– Prof Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, former Astronomer Royal, Master of Trinity College, University of Cambridge and President of the Royal Society