Carbon Footprints for Food of Animal Origin: What are the Most Preferable Criteria to Measure Animal Yields?
Institute of Animal Nutrition, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI), Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
Institute of Animal Nutrition, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 January 2012 / Revised: 5 March 2012 / Accepted: 13 March 2012 / Published: 27 March 2012
Greenhouse gas emissions from animal production are substantial contributors to global emissions. Therefore Carbon Footprints (CF) were introduced to compare emissions from various foods of animal origin. The CF for food of animal origin depends on a number of influencing factors such as animal species, type of production, feeding of animals, level of animal performance, system boundaries and output/endpoints of production. Milk and egg yields are more clearly defined animal outputs of production than food from slaughtered animals. Body weight gain, carcass weight gain, meat, edible fractions of carcass or edible protein are measurable outputs of slaughtered animals. The pros and contras of various outcomes under special consideration of edible protein are discussed in this paper.