The On-Site Energy Demand of Meats Consumed in Restaurants

Tao Dai, Yi Yang, Aaron P. Wemhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The environmental burden and resource intensity of the modern global food system have obtained increased recognition worldwide. Past studies focused primarily on the pre-consumption stages of food life cycle, while food service at the use stage has rarely been addressed due to a lack of understanding in how energy use in restaurants is associated with food items. In this study, we present a novel three-stage approach that quantifies food-item-level energy demand in restaurant service scenarios, which includes an energy-to-food stage, a cooking energy usage stage and a building energy simulation stage. Common restaurant-served meat products in the U.S. (beef, pork, and poultry) prepared using an oven, a griller, and a broiler in a restaurant kitchen were selected as case studies. The results show that the on-site energy demand of these meat products ranges from ~10 to 25 MJ/kg, which is comparable to the energy demand in the food production stage. Heating/cooling, cooking, and the water systems are the main sources of energy demand. This study is the first to quantify the energy demand of individual food items in restaurants and can complement existing food life cycle studies. The results can help improve the understanding of the environmental consequences of dietary change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104845
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based on work supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Source Reduction Assistance grant program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Environmental Protection Agency. Yi Yang acknowledges funding from the US National Science Foundation (CBET- 1639342).

Funding Information:
This material is based on work supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Source Reduction Assistance grant program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Environmental Protection Agency. Yi Yang acknowledges funding from the US National Science Foundation (CBET- 1639342).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Building energy modeling
  • Diet change
  • Food away from home
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Life cycle inventory
  • Restaurant

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