PASTA IS GOOD... ALSO FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
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:
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.
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 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.