Potato emissions 'lower than some rice and pasta' finds study

White potatoes had lower emissions than basmati rice

A new study has suggested potato production is responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions than some types of rice and pasta.

The Cranfield University study found British-grown white potatoes and Italian pasta had lower GHGE (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) than Indian-grown basmati rice on both a fresh and a dry weight basis.

Basmati rice produced higher GHGEs because of emissions generated during primary production and transportation from India, the Potato Council said. Water usage was higher because of rice’s more significant irrigation requirements.

The differences in GHGEs between potatoes and pasta were less pronounced, but the research showed that in terms of a typical portion, “potatoes have lower GHGE and potential water scarcity impact”, the Potato Council added.

The industry had made significant advances in sustainable production, said head of marketing Caroline Evans. “This research is ideally positioned to help us ensure potatoes get top billing when it comes to recommending the types of food we should be eating.”