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The food you eat on holiday could be worse for the environment than flying to get there

Country Living (UK) logo Country Living (UK) 14/01/2020 Lisa Walden
a plane flying over a body of water: A new study has found that food consumed abroad could be worse for the environment than flying, particularly all-inclusive package deals. © Orbon Alija - Getty Images A new study has found that food consumed abroad could be worse for the environment than flying, particularly all-inclusive package deals.

A new study has found that food consumed abroad could be worse for the environment than flying to the destination, particularly with all-inclusive package deals.

A new report, which was commissioned by eco tourism group, Responsible Travel, found that all-inclusive packages have a larger carbon footprint than flying because of their high levels of food waste and lack of consumer choice.

Scientists at Lund University and the University of Queensland, looked into the carbon footprint surrounding four different types of holidays, taking into consideration emission, food, accommodation and modes of transport.

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They found that the food emissions for an all-inclusive, ten-day trip to Western France was 100kg per person, compared to 102kg of emissions for the flight.

On the other hand, someone who had chosen a self-catering holiday in Croatia was found to emit food emissions of just 28kg. However, their flight emissions came to a staggering 243kg, because of the longer distance.

A spokesperson from Responsible Travel told The Telegraph: "On the all-inclusive issue – historically, it’s been highly likely that all inclusive resorts are higher carbon when it comes to food and this is particularly due to the high levels of food waste generated.

many different types of food on a table: All-inclusive holidays found to be worse for the environment than flying © dogayusufdokdok - Getty Images All-inclusive holidays found to be worse for the environment than flying

"However, it is very possible for a progressive resort to make big improvements: redesigning its offering in a way that supports local farmers, serves seasonal plant-based foods and thinking very carefully about how it reduces and uses food waste. It's about eating more locally-sourced, seasonable, low-carbon food – thus also supporting the local economy – and keeping waste to a minimum."

On the back of this eye-opening study, experts have explained that travel companies need to offer more choice around eco-friendly options, with a focus on more local, sustainable produce.

While all-inclusive trips offer people a fuss-free way to dine (and refill their plates as much as they desire), it's the quantities of waste and levels of emission that are the most worrying of all.

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment against the climate crisis. We’re supporting those on the front line tackling the Australian bushfire crisis. Find out more about our campaign here.


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