Eye-roller study: Easter eggs bad for environment and global warming

From the UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER and the “everything is bad, because we say so” department. One wonders if they’d be happy with Tofu eggs. Probably not.

Planet killing eggs, ready to release greenhouse gases


Is your Easter egg bad for the environment?

With Easter fast approaching, the thought of chocolate is probably on all our minds, but could the UK’s love of chocolate be having a damaging effect on the environment?

A recent study by researchers at The University of Manchester and published in the journal Food Research International has looked at the carbon footprint of chocolate and its other environmental impacts. It has done this by assessing the impacts of ingredients, manufacturing processes, packaging and waste.

The study estimates that the UK chocolate industry produces about 2.1m tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) a year. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of the whole population of a city as large as Belfast. It also found that it takes around 1000?litres of water to produce just one chocolate bar.

Chocolate is the UK’s favourite confectionary product, with the nation preferring milk over dark chocolate. The industry was worth around £4 billion in the UK in 2014 and is set to grow by a further 9 percent by 2019. On a global scale, the UK is the sixth highest chocolate-consuming country in the world. On average each person individually gets through approximately 8 kg per year, which is equivalent to around 157 Mars bars.

The study focused on the three most popular types of chocolate products in the UK, which occupy 90% of the UK market. These are milk chocolate bars, sharing bags and snack chocolates. The team found the worst for the environment were the sharing bags due to their ingredients and bigger packaging.

The researchers found the raw materials used to produce chocolate are the major environmental hotspot as well as the packaging. The impacts from the ingredients are mainly due to milk powder, cocoa derivatives, sugar and palm oil.

Professor Adisa Azapagic, Head of Sustainable Industrial Systems at the University, says: “Most of us love chocolate, but don’t often think of what it takes to get from cocoa beans to the chocolate products we buy in the shop.

“Cocoa is cultivated around the equator in humid climate conditions, mainly in West Africa and Central and South America so it has to travel some distance before it makes it into the chocolate products we produce and consume in the UK.”

According to the International Cocoa Organization the annual production of cocoa beans in 2016 was 4.25?million?tonnes. The worldwide sales of chocolate are estimated to be worth more than US$101 billion, with Europe accounting for 45% of the global consumption.

However, it’s not only the cocoa – it’s also the milk powder used to make milk chocolates. Its production is very energy intensive, plus dairy cows produce significant GHG emissions per litre of milk produced. This all adds to the environmental impacts of chocolate.

Professor Azapagic added: ‘It is true that our love of chocolate has environmental consequences for the planet. But let’s be clear, we aren’t saying people should stop eating it.

“The point of this study is to raise consumers’ awareness and enable more informed choices. Also, we hope this work will help the chocolates industry to target the environmental hotspots in the supply chains and make chocolate products as sustainable as possible.”

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The paper, ‘Environmental impacts of chocolate production and consumption in the UK’, was published in the Food Research International journal, Volume 106, April 2018, Pages 1012-1021 A free copy of the paper can be downloaded here: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1WmGC3RC05uK9P

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79 thoughts on “Eye-roller study: Easter eggs bad for environment and global warming

  1. It is true that our love of – FILL IN THE BLANK – has environmental consequences for the planet

    • Conducting studies and Writing articles about climate change… causes climate change! The amount of energy they waste is shameful. 😉

    • Their study overlooks the vast quantities of sodium bicarbonate baking powder used in large-scale manufacture of Chocolate Biscuits and Cocolate Cakes. Don’t they know that all those unfortunate tiny bubbles of lightly textured aerated doom found in a Jaffa Cake could cause the planet to explode.

    • And what about real eggs, not just the chocolate ones? I’m almost positive that keeping the chickens warm, feeding them and collecting the eggs has a robust carbon footprint. And the guano? What a source of planet-killing methane! (need I say it?/sarc)

    • Well, that’s pretty much the solution to everything. I’d like to see ONE hour of one day, where some progressive wasn’t trying to ban one thing or another, or control someone else’s life – ideally with some form of histrionic judgment/punishment.
      There’s just a certain kind of personality that just can’t mind their own business but has got to be all hot and bothered about what someone else is doing down the street, and decides they have to take it upon themselves to put a stop to it.

      • The same ones who’ll stand upon their tip-toes to peer into your bedroom window so that they may be offended at what is occurring.

      • “There’s just a certain kind of personality that just can’t mind their own business but has got to be all hot and bothered about what someone else is doing down the street, ”
        It’s called “Perturbed by Proxy” (PbP) – they would be upset about having nothing to be upset about.

      • Joel Snider – March 29, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        There’s just a certain kind of personality that just can’t mind their own business but has got to be all hot and bothered about what someone else is doing down the street, and decides they have to take it upon themselves to put a stop to it.

        YUP, and they are ganging up everywhere to ……………

        Student activists at Hofstra University are demanding the removal of a statue of Thomas Jefferson from campus.
        The protest is co-sponsored by a number of campus organizations: Campus Feminist Collective, Collegiate Women of Color, Democrats of Hofstra University, Hofstra History Club, Hofstra NAACP Chapter, Peace Action Matters, Queer & Trans People of Color Coalition, Student Advocates of Safer Sex, The Gender Identity Federation, The Pride Network of Hofstra University, and Young Democratic Socialists of Hofstra.

        Read more @ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/27/hofstra-activists-want-to-remove-thomas-jefferson-statue.html

  2. What a waste of research money. They’ll soon be suggesting that there is feedback from this too …

    • Patrick, those were my first thoughts. My second thought was where do such folks live, under rocks. They suddenly realized that manufacturing of something requires the use of energy. Imagine if all the money being spent on such research was put to doing something useful.

  3. Notice how all these progressive issues flow together? Nothing, repeat nothing that brings even a modicum of pleasure can be tolerated by people who deal in hatred and misery. Slag is the height of their creativity.
    It’s all they are. It’s all they’ve got. Think what it must be like to live in a head like that.

    • “Think what it must be like to live in a head like that.”
      No thanks. Too too depressing. It’s a wonder they haven’t committed suicide already.

  4. Not surprising, really. A major part of CAGW is to frighten small children into doing what the Green Blob tells them to do.

  5. The obvious solution is to make and eat more chocolate! All that extra CO2 will help the Theobroma trees grow faster and produce larger pods. No brainer!

    • Methinks you are projecting. I am not like that at all (look up my previous comments). Science rocks!
      And yet I know God exists. Please open your mind.

      • Forgive me I was not maligning faith in God, but those who try to take the joy out of life in the name of God.

  6. Ban everything good in life. Because life is detrimental to Gaia.
    Especially ban sex, because sex leads to people and people are eeeevil.

  7. Further adventures with Dopamine….
    There is *something* about certain foods or food recipes that makes the food quite irresistable to human taste. Such foods hit a trigger, absolutely bang-on.
    it happens when the food contains fat and (refined) sugar in roughly equal amounts and the button those things hit is the one that releases Dopamine.
    Milk chocolate is certainly one, iced doughnuts are another, also most ice-creams.
    They are sometimes called “Comfort Foods” and the comfort comes from the Dopamine alleviating symptoms of stress.
    Dopamine cancels Cortisol
    Ah you say, so that means the people who eat most Comfort Food might also be the ones under the most stress – they are self-medicating.
    I shall leave it to the reader(s) here to work out where the stress may be coming from.
    Again, I’m going to point you to this:The Real Skinny on Fat
    especially this time from 1hr and 6mins in – the 70 yr old Iron Man competitor who also does triathlons.
    Hear what he says about what sugar (from eating carbs) does to your mind, how it affects concentration, memory, sensitivity (empathy) and irritability.
    Even before alcohol is added to the mix, the Orifinal & Best Comfort Food there ever was.
    All the things I’ve been bleating about here since Day One – you do remeber don’t you?
    How might those mind altering things affect one’s ability to do…….. science for example?
    This thing is bigger than a really big thing because the only thing we have left to eat on this planet is: Sugar.

    • aplos for the speeling mstkies..
      I forgot the biggest source of stress is what some folks were wondering about- Sharing Packs.
      The human animal cannot tell an untruth and hence why they are in such a tizz about ‘sharing packs’
      A pair of really frugal housemice might find enough to share in one of them, for the rest of – Forget It.
      Hence the tizz about the packaging.
      Us brits really do have a cryptic sense of humour sometimes. Evil actually, don’t get on the wrong side of it.
      PS Is it true that bright young things around The Bay Area are now going so far as to put coconut oil (saturated fat) into their coffee?

      • There are some NewAge foodies who are into coconut oil as a general-purpose supplement, at least according to my sister, who is one (I live in an Austin TX suburb, and Austin is almost as trendoid as San Francisco)

      • Coconut oil?
        I am still on the Essential oils. I need to get up to date on my new age health miracle cures.

  8. Thank goodness this is about chocolate. I thought it was going to be about chickens being flatulent.

  9. Here I thought M&M showed that M&Ms were OK.
    (Is UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER located on Mars?)
    PS Thanks to both of the “M”‘s. We all owe both of you.

  10. Ban anything that people enjoy so their lives will be as dull and misrable as those that know best think they should be. I will keep on eating what I like and driving my 22 year old diesel vehicle just to annoy them.
    James Bull

  11. That does it. I’m doubling or tripling my chocolate consumption. Along with meat and anything else the AGW crowd does not like.

  12. “Most of us love chocolate, but don’t often think of what it takes to get from cocoa beans to the chocolate products we buy in the shop.”
    ALL of me does not think about it! Whoever makes Lindor balls (truffles), thank you.

    • Here, here! I think the wife and I personally keep Lind’s US operations in the black, lol.

    • Let’s see, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, standard twin pack, is 1.6 oz. At 1.47 pounds per month, that’s 15 packages per month, rounded, or roughly 3-4 packs per week. I hardly ever pick up fewer than 2. Yeah, I probably have that covered in spades.

      • Almost half of a Reese’s peanut butter cup is peanut flavored filling.
        You should pick up twice as many packages, just to ensure meeting the “average” chocolate consumption.
        Still, cheap candy minimizes expensive ingredients like chocolate.
        To ensure meeting “average” chocolate consumption, one should stuff themselves silly with high quality chocolates. Just to ensure consumption goals.
        When one purchases a 5 kilo block of Callebaut chocolate, most people believe they’re preparing for average chocolate consumption over the next 7.5 months.
        Trust me, that 5 kilo block never lasts very long.
        My wife loves adding chunks of chocolate to her coffee. There is an entirely different flavoring and mouth feel when real chocolate is used instead of defatted cocoa.
        While, adding chunks to one’s coffee is a good use, I prefer to make ganache filling for almond macaroon cookies. Dunking these cookies into coffee is wonderful!
        Why buy the large block?
        Because it provides a very high grade of chocolate at substantially lower cost over high priced small chocolate bars sold in grocery stores. And, one must support one’s health by consuming the finest antioxidants.

  13. “A recent study by researchers at The University of Manchester and published in the journal Food Research International has looked at the carbon footprint of chocolate and its other environmental impacts”
    What about a study to look at the the carbon footprint of recent studies by researchers at The University of Manchester and all studies published in the journal Food Research International?

  14. Anyone trying to take away my chocolate truffles is gonna get a carbon foot print applied to their buttocks, with extreme prejudice!

  15. So how many people would they like to put out of work? I suspect a lot of people growing cocoa beans in these (developing!) tropical countries would not appreciate a decrease in chocolate consumption.
    I was actually in a small candy store today that has a little factory in the back where you can watch them making the candy. I bought lots of chocolate for Easter. I feel no shame.
    At least I did not buy the 75 lb solid chocolate bunny.

    • Shame on you – you should have bought the bunny. Just to stick a finger in the eye of the Climate Fascists, if not for the enjoyment of the chocolate! ;-D

  16. Manchester Morons! Have they given any consideration to the point that chocolate provides lots of employment ,which is especially useful in cocoa producing countries. This means we don’t have to truck In so much aid which helps reduce the carbon footprint. Oh who cares anyway, but I can guarantee a significant army of grand children who’ll fight the enviro loonies on this one at least until they enrol at the University of Manchester which they will only have to do if they fail life to that stage.

  17. I’ve never been taken with Easter eggs because the quality of the chocolate used (in the US and UK at least) is inferior stuff.
    However, I’m sure things will be different once our green overlords have us eating cockroach eggs, if they permit the super-sized GM varieties.

  18. “Head of Sustainable Industrial Systems at the University”
    This tells you all you need to know about this “study”.
    Gosh, these people are tireless.

  19. “Cocoa is cultivated around the equator in humid climate conditions, mainly in West Africa and Central and South America so it has to travel some distance before it makes it into the chocolate products we produce and consume in the UK.”

    OK, I’ll try and do some back-of-an-envelope calculations for shipping costs that these academics seem incapable of doing. I’ll use some modestly conservative guesses for things like ship speed etc, coupled with crude data available at Wikipedia or other web-sources)
    Lets imagine our chocolate (not just the cocoa) comes from a far distant country 10,000 km away. Now 10,000 km away at ~30kmh the E-type Emma Maersk container ship (not the world’s biggest , but it was when launched in 2006) would use 553,333 gal (2150,000 liters) heavy fuel oil. Assuming use of an expensive MGO fuel at ~$700 /mt specific density ~0.9 fuel costs would be $1,354,500 or $1.4 million (The ship’s fuel use was given as at “an economical speed”. I took this as being 30km/h though I read that speeds above 40 km/h are common in container shipping.)
    Taking 14,770 containers, if we assume a typical container could be packed up to 50% full with chocolate which itself is assumed to have a density of 1.3, then the Emma Maersk could ship 374,419 tons (374,419,000 kg) of chocolate (for scale, annual worldwide cocoa production is about 4.55 m tons).
    A 50g bar of chocolate is certainly more than I could eat in one day, even if it is good chocolate. (Assume it costs$1. Not the best, not the worst. That is $20/kg). An Emma Maersk full of my chocolate could be transported 10000km round the world for a fuel cost of $7488 million worth of chocolate divided by fuel costs of $1.4 million So for every dollar bar of chocolate I eat, the shipping fuel costs and carbon footprint from the other side of the world would come to less than 0.02 cents. Effectively nothing. Not worth mentioning.
    Now sure, sure, there are plenty of other things to consider: The Emma Maersk has other costs other than fuel, and also has to pay it’s crew and make a profit. And that will be less in total than the further costs of getting the chocolate to/from the ship and then on to the distribution warehouse, and then the supermarket. But that is not what the hypocritical greens are constantly bellyaching about as they drive their SUV through Starbucks on the way to the supermarket, picking up a mocha with chocolate sprinkled on the top. What they like to bellyache about is the imagined carbon footprint and shipping costs from a distant foreign land, when in reality these costs are tiny in the bigger picture. Even if my calculations are wrong by a factor of 100, or we used a much smaller ship only partially loaded, the fuel costs and thus fossil-fuel used would still be tiny when compared to my chocolate bar.
    What was the phrase someone used recently at WUWT when describing these types? Congenital innumeracy?

    • Their problem is they still operate under the assumption that CO2 is causing catastrophic climate change.
      Until they accept that this amounts to a “fact not in evidence,” since there exists not a scrap of empirical evidence that CO2 causes ANY measurable effect on climate (it is nothing more than “hypothetical BS”), they will continue with their delusion that they are “saving” us from the non-existent “climate crisis” by making us feel guilty about every increment of energy expended for any purpose.

  20. Easter eggs are going to need warning labels in California….
    California Judge Rules Coffee Must Carry Cancer Warning
    Under state’s Proposition 65, cancer warnings appear on wide range of places and products

    • Yes I saw that one this morning.
      From the Department of Unintentional Humor comes this brilliant line – “Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said Wednesday that the coffee makers hadn’t presented the proper grounds at trial to prevail.”
      The jokes write themselves! ;-D

  21. This problem will solve itself. I thought we had news a while back that “global warming” was going to eliminate the parts of the globe where cocoa beans are grown.

  22. That does it! Tear down any statues and tributes to Milton Hershey and Domenico Ghirardelli and while your at it rename any schools with their names and rename the town of Hershey, PA and any schools with either of those Chocolate magnates names on them.

  23. Define “bad for environment”. Aren’t volcanic eruptions, ice ages and countless other natural disasters also bad for environment? Animals kill each other all the time. Countless of animal species have gone extinct even before humans evolved. Isn’t that bad for environment too? And yet, Earth has always survived.
    Ironically only humans seem to care about the environment. Only humans want to maintain status quo at all costs. Animals are too concerned about their survival. Mother nature is worshipped as a god by today’s greens, while at the same she is busy hurling asteroids at us. These days it seems to be “bad for environment” just to walk on grass. Then we are told that we should be more “sustainable”, which is of course good thing, but nobody seems to know what that actually means! It’s another of those vague buzzwords people use so they can grab the moral high ground and be socially acceptable. “I’m living sustainably because I care about our precious planet.” Even though they don’t truly know whether it’s “sustainable” or not, but the important thing is that it feels good and gives moral superiority.
    Planet or the “environment” isn’t alive and aware like some real person. I don’t think it gives a shit about us or animals. I think we should be focusing on what is good for us. You could even say that there is no such thing as “sustainable”. Everything ends eventually and there is nothing we can do to stop that. Even our planet is doomed.

  24. I’m pretty sure the writers of the constitution meant to include chocolate to the 2nd amendment.

  25. Why is it impossible to get across the fact the main contribution of greenhouse gases from dairy comes from grazing and this is a renewable source of feed. These animals eat grass and the grass renews itself in days unlike the sanctioned burning of hardwoods from the Carolinas shipped to Drax in the UK for electicity gen that take 50 years to grow back (plus the fossil fuels to harvest and ship it). Cows are the most efficient and profitable machines for burning biomass there is!
    Lord, when my generation is gone, is this and things like the world is round going to be lost knowledge? Are they going to recycle this too?

    • Geez Gary…you are the last guy I thought would come out against hardwood pellets that are mixed with coal so they can keep coal fired base load electricity plants open. Hardwoods are renewable too and only the biomass that has the lowest use gets made into pellets. Nobody in the forest industry grinds up good quality timber that has a higher better use like plywood, lumber, OSB or even pulp, and most of the hardwood supply is bark and sawdust, or forest waste like branches and limbs which all are a waste product anyway and used to be burnt in beehive burners, which was a complete waste of a resource. You undoubtably remember those days where every little lumber town everywhere just burnt its wood waste in a beehive burner.
      It is not like the Carolina’s are grinding up whole trees like old growth Oak and Walnut…most of it is a sawmill byproduct waste that has no other use. In some cases, private land owners farm these fast growing deciduous hardwoods like Aspen and Cottonwood, that can be market ready in less than 20-25 years. Most of it comes from private lands in any case regarding the Carolina’s, which is private fee simple or managed private forest lands run by professional foresters and sawmill owners. Most of the hardwood, of softwood, for pellets is residual waste. Some is whole tree hardwood but it wouldn’t make sense to do that to a tree that could be sold for double or triple the value for a higher and better use/product.
      In places like western North America, there is literally hundreds of millions of tons of whole dead bug kill Pine and Spruce trees that would be best harvested and replanted to get a new forest flowing again. They have no commercial use other than a biofuel after several years, and getting a new crop of trees growing is a much higher and better use than leaving an old dead forest that delays a new forest to start growing.
      Just think if Oz, USA or Ontario and Alberta would have adopted such a plan to keep their coal base load fired generators operational instead of tearing them down. CO2 should have nothing to do with this, especially wood waste that just took the CO2 out of the atmosphere to grow the tree. Either way, the CO2 is going back to the atmosphere whether it burns, or it rots. May as well get some economic value out of it.

  26. A lot of African farmers depend on us buying their cocoa. If we didn’t buy it, their life would be a whole lot harder than it already is.
    But the do-gooders of the world would prefer to make them dependent on western charity aid than self-reliant through honest trade.
    Trade is better than aid.

    • Except remember the stories a few years back about all the Children picking the Cocoa beans basically as slave labour? I remember a lot of Western women sweating over their guilt at both eating too much chocolate and unwittingly supporting child/slave labour.

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