|Product||CO2e / kg||Studies|
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 Europe1.
Many origins, methods and transportation modes can be considered, four examples compared in Theurl 20142 are:
- Fresh tomatoes produced in multi-tunnels in Spain consumed in central Europe
- Fresh tomatoes produced in greenhouses in Central Europe, consumed in Central Europe
- Canned tomatoes produced in open field in Italy, consumed in Central Europe
- 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.
- 0.68 kg CO2e
- 1.37 kg CO2e
- 0.87 kg CO2e
- 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.
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 (cooked) | Sundried tomatoes | Tomatoes (jar) | Tomatoes (carton) | Tomatoes (canned) | Tomatoes (dried) | Tomatoes (eco) | Cherry tomatoes | Tomatoes (greenhouse, heated) | Tomatoes (greenhouse, passive)
|Source||Notes||CO2e||Country origin||Country consumption||Weight|
|RIVM Database Milieubelasting Voedingsmiddelen||Tomaat, rauw||
|Ökologische Fußabdrücke von Lebensmitteln und Gerichten in Deutschland (IFEU)||Tomaten, aus Deutschland, saisonal||
|Ökologische Fußabdrücke von Lebensmitteln und Gerichten in Deutschland (IFEU)||Tomaten, aus Südeuropa, Freiland||
|Ökologische Fußabdrücke von Lebensmitteln und Gerichten in Deutschland (IFEU)||Tomaten, frisch, Durchschnitt||
|Environmental impact of plant-based foods||Fresh tomatoes on the Swedish market are likely to originate from within Europe. Climate impact varies greatly, the main reason being the heating source for the greenhouses. The most recent study on Swedish tomatoes shows a climate impact of around 0.9 kg CO2e per kg. Data for European production varies greatly. Clearly many of the data-points are below 1 kg CO2e per kg. Some show impacts of around 6 kg CO2e per kg, but often older studies, and the energy mix for heating has changed greatly in Sweden over time. In summary, earlier studies show that tomatoes produced in Europe are likely to have a climate impact below 2.3 kg CO2e per kg or in many cases much lower. However, the climate impact can be higher, depending on heating source for heating the greenhouses. Sweden mostly imports tomatoes from Spain and the Netherlands. Spanish tomatoes are likely to have climate impact below 1 kg CO2e per kg, Dutch tomatoes are likely to have climate impact below 2.3 kg CO2e per kg in a store in Sweden.. Studies: 17 (2 SW)||
|Den store klimadatabase||Tomato, ripe , origin unknown, Agriculture: 0.07, iLUC: 0.01, Food processing: 0, Packaging: 0.14, Transport: 0.48||
|FiBL CO2-Fußabdruck von Bioprodukten||Konventionell; Production: 0.057; Transport: 0.065; Packaging: 0.071; https://www.fibl.org/fileadmin/documents/de/oesterreich/arbeitsschwerpunkte/Klima/ergebnisse_gemuese_gesamt_090625.pdf||
|Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers||Figure 1||
|Greenhouse gas emissions of realistic dietary choices in Denmark: the carbon footprint and nutritional value of dairy products||Table 1; including waste; excluding waste: 2.6||
|Contrasted greenhouse gas emissions from local versus long-range tomato production||The cultivation of organic tomatoes in plastic tunnels is associated with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions at the point of sale from all four systems, with absolute numbers of 180 g CO2e.||
|Systematic review of greenhouse gas emissions for different fresh food categories||Table 5 Median; #LCA studies: 19; #GWP values: 56; Mean: 0.46; Stdev: 0.18; Min: 0.08; Max: 1||
|Contrasted greenhouse gas emissions from local versus long-range tomato production||Both imported tomatoes from Spain and canned tomatoes from Italy, at 759 and 868 g CO2e, respectively, produce nearly 1.5 to nearly 2 times lower greenhouse gas emissions than tomatoes from heated Austrian systems (Fig. 3).
Figure 3: 0.4 kg CO2e comes from transport
|Klimatarier CO2 Rechner||Tomate||