A FAMILY barbecue creates almost as much air pollution as doing a 100-mile car trip, scientists claim.
Manchester University experts calculated the impact of scoffing coal-cooked burgers followed by strawberries and cream.
1 Experts say a single meal of two cheeseburgers, followed by strawberries and cream would create CO2 equivalent to a 23-mile driveCredit: Getty – Contributor
Their analysis shows the meal would create 205 balloons worth of greenhouse gas emissions per person – equivalent to 23-mile drive.
For a family of four, it would mean their summer sizzle pumped out as much CO2 as a 92-mile car trip.
Experts are now encouraging Brits to consider their food choices before firing up the barbecue.
They claim by simply switching from cheese-topped beefburgers to chicken, families could nearly cut their carbon footprint in half.
Not only do cows need lots more farmland than poultry, they scoff large amounts of grain and also burp greenhouse gases as they chew.
And going fully meat-free and throwing vegan-sausages on the BBQ could help slash their output by almost two-thirds.
The findings are being presented at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
It comes as Theresa May last month announced the UK’s commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2050.
Lead scientist Professor Sarah Bridle will be revealing the findings at the “Take a Bite out of Climate Change” exhibit.
Visitors can play games to discover the levels of greenhouse gases pumped out at all stages of food production, processing, supply and consumption.
She said: “Food contributes over 20 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions. As the barbecue season gets under way, people might like some food for thought about the impact of their choices on the environment.
“Did you know for example that the production of a 100g medium-sized beef burger releases enough greenhouses gases to fill more than 60 balloons.
That’s equivalent to driving more than six miles in a car.
“By switching to chicken you could reduce that to around 15 balloons, or about one and a half miles in a car.
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“Did you know that the production of a portion of strawberries would release enough greenhouse gases to fill about five balloons, but this would rise to about 10 balloons on adding two tablespoons of cream, or to over 20 balloons if flown in out of season? And the manufacture of each bottle of beer causes emissions equivalent to about 8 balloons full of greenhouse gases.
“By making a few small changes to our diets such as swapping beef for chicken or a vegetarian alternative, a fizzy drink to tap water, a cheese sandwich to a peanut butter sandwich, or a fry-up breakfast to porridge we can make a significant impact.”
Experts said the findings can help consumers make better environmental choices when it comes to food.
Alex James cooks Chimichurri steak flatbreads on the BBQ