Pasta, rice, vegetables and grains—from the US come guidelines for a diet that is also good for our planet. Everybody knows, in fact, how good and versatile pasta is and what an ally it is in the kitchen. But perhaps not everyone knows that including it in our diet is also an eco-friendly choice.
Confirmation of this arrives from a group of medical and nutritional consultants to the US government which ties diet to sustainability and promotes a nutritional model based on fruit, vegetables and grains (2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Grain-based foods, such as pasta, have been the center of traditional diets for centuries and, unlike other dietary components, does not require intensive production techniques and is a food with low environmental impact. Thanks to its versatility, it is also a perfect example of how to fight waste in the kitchen (for example, using leftover pasta in omelets, flans or cold As shown in the recent WWF report in Italian Quanta natura sprechiamo (2014) which deals with this issue, 1 kg of pasta produces CO2 emissions of 1.48 kg, while 1 kg of beef involves ten times as much (14.7 kg CO2 equiv.). Similarly, WWF figures show that to produce 1 kg of pasta, 15 liters of blue water are required, while 1 kg of beef requires 594 liters (and 77 liters for a liter of milk).
In general, the environmental impact of pasta from field to table, including the production and processing phase, is 1 global sqm—the measure of the biologically productive area of the sea or land required to regenerate the resources consumed during production—per serving of pasta, a very low amount. And the environmental footprint of an 80 g portion is only 150 grams of CO2 As our increasingly-populated planet heads towards climatic uncertainty, our nutritional choices must make proper use of the Earth’s precious resources, and those who love pasta are also making the best choice in terms of environmental sustainability!