The eco guide to home baking

Baking your own bread sounds like the pinnacle of green cooking, but we still need to be aware of road miles and heat use

For a non-baker (like me), a zero-energy cake used to mean one someone else made. But I’ve forced myself to recognise the footprint of shop-bought croissants and cream puffs. It’s no joke. First, there are obviously the giant ovens devouring energy, then there’s industrial baking’s reliance on palm oil, too. A new report highlights the devastating impact of the continued march of palm oil monocultures. A further ingredient is bread miles: in the UK an estimated 130m extra road miles are caused by getting “fresh” bread into stores.

Home baking gives you some control. But a homemade cake still has an impact. Research from the Centre for Alternative Technology highlighted the impact of the eggs (1.8kg of CO2 per box) and the 350 ears of wheat it takes for one loaf.

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