Swedish Chickens Get Life Cycle Analysis - About A Kilo CO2 Per Pound Of Meat


Definitely Swedish chickens, possibly not climate declared. Photo Steffe @ flickr.

Sweden wants to climate label many of its foods - but the very process of doing so has brought strife to both sides of the food aisle - biodynamic growers accuse the organic (KRAV) and domestic growing organizations (Svensk Sigill) of using labeling to push them out of the market, while more mainstream political voices have said climate labeling will confuse consumers. That last seems pretty absurd - most of us can read a nutrition label these days, or learn to.

Happy chickens emit less CO2?
The farmer's group Lantmännen has started life cycle analysis on some of its more common products, and has already put a "climate declaration" label on Kronfågel fresh (not frozen) chicken. The LCA (following ISO 14040 and 14044 standards) found that the chicken had a farm-to-grocery store CO2 emissions of about 1.7 kilos CO2-equivalent to each kilo of chicken meat. Chicken feed (imported soy!) was the biggest contributor to emissions, which may be one reason Lantmännen just purchased the only organic chicken operation in Sweden (which uses portable coops to provide some grass feed to its "happy" chickens). To get forthcoming climate labeling, Sweden's organic organization KRAV is suggesting that products must have 25 percent lower CO2 emissions than the average for the product category.

A kilo of chicken's CO2 = 8 kilometers in the old Volvo
Right now there aren't other products in the Swedish market that have officially declared their LCA CO2 emissions - but the Lantmännen say it's equivalent to what a gas-driven Volvo V70 emits during an 8-kilometer journey. Swedish pork production emits about three times what chicken does, while beef is 10 times as potent, according to Lantmännen. Carrots, on the other hand, emit about 100 grams (per kilo), and bread about one kilo CO2 per kilo bread. Carrot sandwich, anyone? Via ::Lantmännen

Read about climate labeling:
Climate Carrots
Is There Climate-Friendly Ice Cream? Inquiring Swedes Want To Know
Holy Cow! Beef Takes Backseat In Climate Debate
Swedish Climate Carrots Delayed But Consumers Eager

Tags: Food Miles | Sweden

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