This planet-friendly dessert is incredibly delicious and very simple to prepare. It’s perfect for fall and winter when apples are in season, and you can add other fall fruits including pears and pomegranates. In the spring, substitute in blueberries for the apples (because you don’t need the peeling step, the blueberry crisp is lightning fast to prepare).
Carbon footprint info:
This recipe has a carbon footprint of 688 g CO2-eq (per serving, the footprint is 115 g CO2-eq). A traditional recipe using dairy butter rather than vegan butter (but otherwise the same recipe) has a total footprint of 1,871 g CO2-eq (or 312 g CO2-eq per serving). So, you can see the large reduction in carbon footprint that comes from using a vegan butter like Earth Balance or Melt rather than dairy butter.
See below for the breakdown:
|This recipe||Carbon footprint
|Traditional recipe||Carbon footprint
|1/2 cup vegan butter||152||1/2 cup butter||1,335|
|1/2 cup brown sugar||31||1/2 cup brown sugar||31|
|2 cups rolled oats||112||2 cups rolled oats||112|
|6 apples||393||6 apples||393|
Conventional butter has a high carbon footprint for a few reasons:
1) dairy cows require feed crops, which in turn require fossil fuels for fertilization, production, and transport.
2) the natural metabolism of cows results in production of methane, and
3) cow manure emits methane and nitrous oxide—both greenhouses gases
In addition, the dairy industry has close ties to the veal industry. Both male and female calves are taken away from mothers soon after birth, and even from organic farms, male calves typically are raised for veal. Females are raised with other female calves for use as dairy cows.
The greenhouses gas emissions saved per recipe is equivalent to avoiding a 5.3 mile drive in a 40 MPG car. A similar shift every day for a year would save the equivalent of GHG emissions from 1,943 miles driven. Putting this reduction in terms of the per capita reduction required to meet the Paris Climate Accord targets (see the article Taking Climate into our Own Hands for more information), it amounts to 32% of the daily per capita reduction.
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Source for conversion factors:
Heller, M.C. and G.A. Keoleian, G.A. (2014) Greenhouse gas emission estimates of U.S. dietary choices and food loss. Journal of Industrial Ecology.