Life Cycle-Based Comparisons of Energy Use, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Water Use of California versus Michigan Processed Tomato Products and California versus Southeastern Paddy Rice study
This study sought to complement the foodprints and foodsheds analyses by investigating the energy, greenhouse gas emissions and water use implications of eating a more locally produced and processed diet compared to a diet comprised of foods sourced through national distribution networks. We found that this life cycle assessment work does not integrate as smoothly with the Foodprints and Foodsheds modeling efforts of the larger project team, as we had hoped.
The study looks at two food products that exemplify different key elements of a diet - one vegetable (processed tomato) and one grain (rice).
• Our gross, national-scale data suggest that significant differences may exist in energy and greenhouse gas efficiency of rice grown in different regions of the country. (Although different regions also produce different types of rice - from long grain to medium/short grain.)
• The significance of methane emissions in rice production merits closer examination using more detailed calculation protocols that can account for local climate and cropping practices.
• Producing a second crop in the growing season may substantially increase methane emissions, thereby increasing total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions per kg of rice produced.
The full report is available here: Life Cycle-Based Comparisons of Energy Use, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Water Use of California versus Michigan Processed Tomato Products and California versus Southeastern Paddy Rice
This is a technical report, and has not been peer reviewed.