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Teach Me in 10 – How Different Foods Contribute to Climate Change With Professor Sarah Bridle

Looking at the food on your plate, how often do you think about where it has come from – the journey that it has undergone from production through to delivery, to arrive on your plate as a meal? This journey is unique to each individual item on your plate. As such, different foods have different levels of impact on the climate, and subsequently, climate change. 

For instance, do you know how much a traditional turkey Christmas dinner contributes to climate change? A typical Christmas dinner for six people causes the equivalent of nearly 30 kg of carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere. This is equivalent to driving a car for three hours.

How can we eat more climate-friendly foods? That's a huge topic of interest for our Teach Me in 10 guest Sarah Bridle, professor in the Physics Department at the University of Manchester. Professor Bridle had been studying dark matter and dark energy for 20 years when she started to think about our own planet, and the next 20 years and beyond. As such, she became committed to helping reduce the climate impact of food and divides her research time between food-related climate change and astrophysics. Sarah has won multiple awards for her work, including a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, and shares her passion for food and climate change research in a TEDx Talk. Most recently, she published the book Food and Climate Change - Without the Hot Air.

In this installment of Teach Me in 10, Professor Bridle teaches us about how different foods impact the climate, and how we can look to educate ourselves further on this matter to make informed choices. 

For more installments of Teach Me in 10, check out our hubpage.