Products

Product CO2e / kg Studies

Tomatoes

1.273
CO2e / kg
= 100 g of Tomatoes
You can consume
2.12
kg of Tomatoes to exhaust your daily CO2e food budget

Categories: Vegetables | Food

The tomato is a fruit that is produced in many different places of the world. In the more northern cold countries often in green houses with added energy and in the warm southern countries they are produced freestanding outside. We also consume a lot of tomatoes from cans often produced in Europe[1].

Many origins, methods and transportation modes can be considered, four examples compared in Theurl 2014 are:

  1. Fresh tomatoes produced in multi-tunnels in Spain consumed in central Europe
  2. Fresh tomatoes produced in greenhouses in Central Europe, consumed in Central Europe
  3. Canned tomatoes produced in open field in Italy, consumed in Central Europe
  4. Organic fresh tomatoes in tunnels in Central Europe, consumed in Central Europe

The total result of 1kg packed tomatoes is listed below and includes greenhouse infrastructure, fertilizing and pesticides, soil, plant management, transport, storage and processing and packaging.

  1. 0.68 kg CO2e
  2. 1.37 kg CO2e
  3. 0.87 kg CO2e
  4. 0.18 kg CO2e

When looking at the three first scenarios, there are many elements to consider and reasons why one sees a different result. The greenhouse data is taken from year-around and therefore the heating accounts for almost two thirds of the emission. Moreover, another reason for the high heating emissions is due to the source of heat, which is natural gas. Furthermore, the production in Spain is very efficient, however the long transport accounts for more than half the emissions. And lastly, the most efficient purely tomato to produce is from Italy, but the packaging and processing of canned tomatoes also accounts for two thirds of the emissions.

The local organic production seems to be in a different league and the obvious choice according to this article. During the farming only a small amount of fertilizer and soil is added and the machine-use is not intensive. However, 86% of the emissions are related to Transport and packaging.


[1] https://web.archive.org/web/20060515104325/http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/Hort_Circular/2004/06-21-04%20tomato%20products%20situation.pdf
[2] Theurl, M.C., Haberl, H., Erb, KH. et al. Contrasted greenhouse gas emissions from local versus long-range tomato production. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 34, 593–602 (2014). https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13593-013-0171-8

Subcategories: Tomatoes (canned) | Tomatoes (dried) | Tomatoes (eco) | Cherry tomatoes | Tomatoes (greenhouse, heated) | Tomatoes (greenhouse, passive)

Studies

Source CO2e Country origin Country consumption Weight
Environmental impact of plant-based foods
2.3
Unknown Unknown 10
Den store klimadatabase
0.7
Unknown Unknown 10
FiBL CO2-Fußabdruck von Bioprodukten
0.194
Austria Austria 5
Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers
2.1
Unknown Unknown 10
Greenhouse gas emissions of realistic dietary choices in Denmark: the carbon footprint and nutritional value of dairy products
3.21
Unknown Unknown 10
Contrasted greenhouse gas emissions from local versus long-range tomato production
0.18
Austria Austria 10
Systematic review of greenhouse gas emissions for different fresh food categories
0.45
Unknown Unknown 10
Contrasted greenhouse gas emissions from local versus long-range tomato production
0.759
Spain Austria 10
Klimatarier CO2 Rechner
0.77
Unknown Unknown 5