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4. Little People, Big Problem - Vegetarian or 5:2

A 5:2 fast or vegetarian diet saves 350 - 450 kilograms CO2e per person per year

Lego sculpture of a slice of pizza

Growing, processing and transporting food generates carbon dioxide and equivalent emissions (CO2e). Agriculture alone is responsible for over 10% of Australia's total carbon footprint. What we eat matters.

I ran eight weeks of food experiments and found that the average Australian dietary footprint is around 1.4 tonnes CO2e per person per year. 5:2 fasting and vegetarianism cut 350 and 450 kilograms of CO2e from this respectively.

5:2 fasting. Intermittent fasting is popular for long-term weight loss and health management. Drastically reducing your food for two days each week also saves CO2e if you eat mostly plant-based foods with a little egg, chicken or fish. You won't cut carbon if you 'fast' on an egg breakfast and steak dinner (as recommended in Michael Mosley's book, but he has plenty of plant-based recipes too). Fasting isn't for kids, pregnant or lactating women or people with certain health conditions, so check with your doctor first.

Vegetarianism. Australians eat a lot of meat, but you can join the one in ten who eat mostly vegetarian. Any plant-based food is low carbon, so eat what you like. Eggs are a pretty good non-meat option but don't go overboard with the butter, cheese and cream, as they come from high-emissions ruminant livestock. Be selective with the seafood. Many species are overfished. Some species like prawn, mussel and lobster emit more than the chicken, pork or duck they replace. Check the Sustainable Seafood Guide before choosing.

Photo of an average Australian weekly food shop

The Molloys are an Australian family that took part in photographic study, 'Hungry Planet: What the World Eats'.

I found their food generated around 1.4 tonnes CO2e per person per year, not counting their wine, juice and drinks.

THIS IS THE FOURTH OF TEN INSTALLATIONS AT 'ART, NOT APART 2019'.
CAN YOU FIND NINE MORE HIDDEN AROUND THE FESTIVAL?

Lego kindly on loan from The Green Shed.

Data and sources are here. See also Blog Posts for Weeks Eleven to Eighteen.

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