The embodied energy of food: the role of diet

D A Coley, E Goodliffe, Jennifer Isabel Macdiarmid

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The provision of food within a developed country requires the expenditure of large amounts of energy. This energy is used within the agricultural, transportation and retail sectors. Much of this will be energy derived from fossil fuels, implying a potential environmental impact. By using food consumption data from 2197 individuals an estimate is made of the width of the distribution of embodied energies for typical U.K. diets. The mean of this distribution is found to be surprisingly large, as is the standard deviation, indicating the potential for significant reductions in fossil-fuel-related greenhouse gas emissions by simple changes in diet. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-459
Number of pages5
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 1998


  • embodied energy
  • food
  • global warming


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