Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The evil that, er, crisps do

I went swimming yesterday at a public pool in the city. In time-honoured tradition, after the swim I undid the health benefits of all that splashing around by having a packet of crisps from the vending machine in the sports centre lobby. I've done this ever since I was a kid - back then it would always be either Monster Munch or, more likely, a packet of Salt And Shake. Of course a 21st Century vending machine has neither, so I had to make do with a packet of Walkers' cheese and onion.

I was very impressed to read on the packet that Walkers are working with the Carbon Trust to reduce their footprint. I was less impressed to read that 80g of carbon dioxide were released in the production of one 34.5g bag of crips. Yes, that's right, more than twice as much CO2 is produced by making a bag of crisps than the crisps themselves. Incredible. I don't know why, but for some reason this simple and very small-scale fact brought home to me, far more than most of the big stories that are splashed across the media, just how much mankind is going to have to change its collective lifestyle if it is to survive.

I wonder by how much the carbon outweighs the product for the steak I had last Friday?

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