CO2 labeling of food: muesli with a climate crisis

The petitions committee of the Bundestag advises on Monday about CO2 labeling of food. There are no simple solutions.

A good breakfast: delicious and healthy – but also climate neutral? Photo: dpa

BERLIN taz | How much climate crisis do I add to my muesli in the morning? Is my guilty conscience really necessary at the barbecue evening? There will soon be an answer to such agonizing questions, at least the initiators of a petition that will be discussed on Monday in the responsible committee of the Bundestag hope: a CO2-Labelling of food.

That doesn’t sound bad: When customers see how much CO2 If there is quark in a cup (because of the milk and the associated methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the cattle), even the vegetarian gets the quark ball stuck in the throat. Not to mention meat or cheese.

The climate-conscious buyer quickly reaches for a soy or oat drink. At least that’s what the company Oatly, which produces such drinks, hopes – and which started this petition last year with a large advertising campaign. “Hey, Bundestag!”, It was then said in full-page advertisements, you have to talk about it – because 57,067 people had signed.

And that’s how it should come on Monday. The committee will hear the petition and the reasoning that the food industry accounts for around 25 percent of all greenhouse gases. And that as a responsible consumer you should be able to choose what you expect from your mouth and the atmosphere.

The carbon footprint depends on many factors

The idea is sure to be well received from many sides. Many climate protectors are paying less attention to meat and animal products, many scientists who research the climate every day are now eating vegetarian food. However, experts also point out that it is not that easy with a label. Because how big the CO2-Footprint is also related to the transport: A liter of milk from Bavaria can have good values ​​at first – if it is carted to Hamburg, it looks quite different. How is that supposed to depict a simple, easy-to-read seal? And what about regional, ecological and social aspects?

It’s not that easy. Perhaps the experts at the hearing will have ideas about this. Or after appearing in the petitions committee, a few clever people sit down and make a proposal. Even if it was only to save the mood with the muesli.

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