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According to US dietary guidelines, pasta, rice, vegetables and grains are good

for both our diet and our planet. While everybody knows how delicious and

versatile pasta is and what an ally it is in the kitchen, perhaps not everyone knows

that including it in our diet is also an eco-friendly choice. Confirmation of this

comes from a group of medical and nutritional consultants to the US government

that has linked diet to sustainability and promotes a nutritional model based on

fruits, vegetables and grains (2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee).

Grain-based foods, such as pasta, do not require an intensive production

process and have a low environmental impact. Moreover, thanks to the

versatility of pasta, it is also the perfect waste-free food, as leftovers can be used in

omelets, flans, cold salads, etc.

Pasta is a sustainable choice along its entire production chain:

Raw Materials

today modern farms use both advanced techniques and traditional methods, such as

crop rotation, to grow durum wheat, while achieving high quality yields and low environmental

impact and limiting the use of chemical fertilizers.

Finished product

considering the resources needed (energy, water, etc.) to make pasta, it is a very

sustainable product. If we look at the carbon footprint along its entire production chain

(from field to table), we can see that its industrial processing, including milling, is very low: less than 15%.

Packaging disposal

packaging materials for pasta, primarily cardboard boxes and plastic bags, are easily

recycled, which greatly reduces the environmental impact of this food.

Preparation at home

ironically, this phase of pasta making has the highest environmental impact, making

up 38% of its entire carbon footprint.

The pasta-making sector has become more and more socially responsible

and has reduced its water consumption by 20% and its CO2 emissions by 21%,

making pasta a foodstuff with one of the lowest levels of environmental impact.

In general, the environmental impact of pasta from field to table, including the

production and processing phases, is one global square meter per serving of

pasta. This measurement refers to the amount of biologically productive sea and

land area needed to regenerate the resources consumed during production and is

actually a very low amount. The carbon footprint of an 80-gram portion of pasta is

only 150 g of CO2 equivalent.

As our increasingly-populated planet heads towards climatic uncertainty, our food

choices must make proper use of the Earth’s precious resources. Therefore, people

who love pasta are also making the best choice in terms of environmental


Reduction of Environmental Impact

Begin at home. As opposed to what most people think, cooking

pasta at home is the part of the process that impacts most

on the environment, making up 38% of pasta’s carbon footprint

along its entire production chain.

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