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Resource: Food’s Carbon Foodprint

This video presents information about how food production affects global warming and climate change. Professor Rick Larrick explains how we underestimate the environmental impact of the food we eat, and how small behavioral nudges can make a big difference.

Most people don’t realize how much food production contributes to climate change – especially meat.

“Beef is the SUV of food,” said Rick Larrick, a professor of management and organizations at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

The massive carbon footprint of red meat means that even consuming slightly less of it – substituting something else for beef once a week, for instance – can make a huge difference to the environment.

“It’s more about slight changes, rather than all or nothing,” said Larrick, who found the same thing in his study of vehicles. Switching from a gas-guzzling SUV to a more efficient SUV saves more fuel than going from a compact car to a hybrid that gets 50 miles per gallon.