A new study conducted by Oxford University researchers shows that it could be possible for shoppers to check the environmental impact of their purchases by stamping food items with eco-labels.
With the new study, shoppers can make intelligent purchases since UK manufacturers will have to list their main ingredients by percentage, not the amount. The scientists addressed the issue of using public databases by estimating the composition of food products and their environmental impact.
Professor Peter Scarborough shared that the research can lead to an eco-labelling system for consumers, specifically those conscious of how their weekly visits to the shop impact the environment. But beyond this, Scarborough believes that a more significant impact needs to come from the food industry. They should use the research on eco-labels to cut their environmental footprint.
He shared, “It fills a huge gap. Manufacturers, caterers, and retailers have targets for reaching net zero [emissions], and they don’t have the tools they need to get there.” He added, “Now they have this data, and some of them are talking to us about things they can do to help people move towards more sustainable food purchasing. The data could help manufacturers adjust their formulations.”
The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.