Your healthy lunchtime snack may benefit your body, but not the environment according to a new report.
According to an article from Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand gala apples that are imported to Europe will generate their own weight in greenhouse gases during their journey around the world.
It has been discovered that when measured by the British national standard, PAS 2050, 1kg of apples being shipped from New Zealand to a European supermarket shelf will produce approximately 900g of carbon dioxide.
When measured using the broader ISO 14040 standard, which includes emissions produced by consumers taking the fruit home in their cars and then the energy produced by disposing of the waste, this total increases to 1.2kg of carbon dioxide.
The majority of these emissions comes from international shipping with such gases accounting for 54-57 percent of the fruit's carbon footprint. 15-19 percent of the emissions comes from the process that takes the apple from the orchard to the packhouse to the port.
Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Peter Beaven was quoted as saying, there was considerable potential for reducing emissions from shipping, including better use of ship capacity, slower shipping speeds, improved efficiency of refrigeration and new ship designs.
The study was a joint project between Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the New Zealand pipfruit industry, and research providers including Landcare Research, Plant and Food Research, AgriLink and Massey University
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