Food Unwrapped is blasted by viewers for ‘obscene’ carbon footprint

Food Unwrapped is blasted by viewers for its ‘obscene’ carbon footprint after the presenters travelled to Thailand, Australia and Italy to explore impact of climate change on fishing and farming

  • Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped programme was blasted by environmentalists
  • 30-minute episode saw presenters head to Thailand, Australia and Italy
  • Asked whether squid can become alternative to cod, with supplies under threat 
  • Explored whether kangaroo meat is more sustainable than beef  

Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped programme has been blasted online for its ‘obscene’ carbon footprint after presenters flew to Thailand, Australia and Italy, while exploring the impact of climate change. 

Presenters covered an estimated 33,000 miles and wracked up 8.8 tonnes of carbon emissions to make the 30-minute show, looked at how squid could replace cod and chips, due to rising sea temperatures affecting fish stocks. 

It also explored the benefits of eating kangaroo meat to reduce pressure on the environment from cattle farming. 

It comes after Channel 4 announced it would join the climate strikes this month to raise awareness of CO2 emissions. 

Kate Quilton headed to Australia to find out if eating kangaroo meat could be a sustainable alternative to beef 

Taking to Twitter to express their outrage, one viewer said: ‘#foodunwrapped is this actually a parody show? Firstly brushing off the fact our seas are getting warmer, but don’t worry we can replace fish and chips with squids and ignore the issue completely’

Another typed: ‘There’s a climate crisis taking place and you’re flying all round the world just for a 30 min TV programme.’

And a third expressed their fury by writing: ‘Does #foodunwrapped @Channel4 have to make all these journeys abroad? Ten minutes in and they’ve been to Thailand, Australia and Italy. #massivecarbonfootprint.’ 

Flying each presenter to and from the countries would rack up an estimated 8.78 tonnes of carbon, according to Carbon Calculator, almost as much as a UK citizen produces in a whole year.

Deep fried squid and chips is a popular dish in Thailand (pictured), and could come to the UK in the future as an alternative to cod  

Jimmy Doherty tackled the issue of rising sea temperatures by travelling to Bangkok to investigate whether squid could become an alternative to cod 

During this episode farmer and entomologist Jimmy Doherty headed to Bangkok to discuss squids, while TV presenter Kate Quilton went Down Under and British chef Mark Tebbutt headed to Italy.

Climate activists have called on businesses and people around the world to reduce their CO2 emissions to protect future generations.

Jimmy also talked about the issue of rising sea temperatures in the North and Irish seas, which are forcing cod and haddock stocks to head closer to the Arctic. 

A 2017 report by Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, also found that the changing temperatures are causing fishermen around the UK to catch more sardines and cuttlefish, a squid relative.

In last week’s episode of series 17 Jimmy headed to Japan, while Kate visited Devon in the UK. 

Channel 4’s CEO Alex Mahon said in a statement in response to climate protests last Friday that they would aim to ‘mark this momentous event’ for ‘young people, out core audience’.

They also announced they were committed to using 100 per cent renewable energy supplies from March 2020 and to removing single use plastic from their offices.

Channel 4 has been contacted for comment. 

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