Pasta is not only delicious; it is also sustainable. As the planet moves towards environmental uncertainty, the choice of food at our table is vital if we want to contribute to our resources’ best use. New data on the costs of different food systems has concluded that pasta is good for the planet. Why?
Pasta is one of the foods with the best sustainability index because its production does not consume large amounts of water or produce significant CO2 emissions. Pasta is one of the foods with less intensive production for the environment: the carbon footprint of pasta is only 15.5 oz CO2eq/lb (34.44 g CO2 eq/kg), much lower than that of other foods, such as red meat, which has a carbon footprint of 359.9 oz CO2 eq/lb).
Countries like Brazil and the United Kingdom have incorporated sustainability into their dietary guidelines, promoting more plant foods (such as pasta) and less animal-based foods requiring greater processing resources.
In all its processing, pasta’s environmental impact is really low compared to other types of food; for example, it takes twenty times less water to produce one calorie of food from cereals than it costs to produce one calorie of veal.
Research published in Ecosystems found that grains (like wheat used to make pasta) use just 0.51 liters of water to produce one calorie of food. Besides, pasta does not need refrigeration, it is not affected by temperature changes, and can be stored for a long time. Its packaging is 100% recyclable, and its production causes fewer carbon emissions.
Few foods can demonstrate their high sustainability index: starting from the wheat harvest, the pasta production, the preparation in the kitchen, and the reuse of the packaging; the life cycle of pasta leads us to enjoy a delicious dish whose environmental impact is minimal.
February 15, 2018
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