User Guide

Food for Synagogues

This section covers the food and drink that you serve in your synagogue. It is broken into two parts:

Kiddush and Yom Tovim Meals

The emissions factors for Kiddush meals are based on data supplied by Eco Synagogue for a typical Kiddush meal served to 200 people after a Shabbat service.

ItemEmissions per item (kgCO₂)Emissions per person (kgCO₂)
3.6 kg (8 lbs) of fishballs19.750.099
8 × 350g Packs (6 per pack) pitta bread2.410.012
12 × 150g tray of herring4.180.021
3 kg of cheesecake5.100.026
1.8 kg (4 lbs) chopped herring4.210.021
1.8 kg (4 lbs) egg mayonnaise4.010.020
2 kg of apple cake4.660.023
3 kg assorted biscuits2.610.013
12 × 200g packets crackers 4.490.022
6 × 175g crisps2.350.012
1.4 kg (3 lbs) smoked salmon6.730.034
7 tubs hummous (200g per tub)1.360.007
2 × 750g jars pickled cucumber7.290.036
2 × 1 kg large jars olives1.860.009
2 large bags of popcorn (2×150g)0.190.001
Cakes cut into squares in fairy cake holders8.050.040
4 bottles of wine3.660.018
3 bottles of whiskey2.580.013
½ Litre bottle orange squash0.530.003
Total for Kiddush Meal86.010.430
Yom Tovim additional items
14 platters of filled bridge rolls (50 halves per platter)54.330.272
7 plates of individual cream cakes 14 on a plate15.190.076
Total for Yom Tovim Meal155.530.778

The emissions factors for the different foods are taken from Agribalyse, the factors from Agribalyse are kgCO₂ per kg of product. Liquid quantities have been converted from litres to kg.

Other Meals

As well as Kiddush and Yom Tovim meals, other types of meals can be added to the synagogues carbon footprint. The emissions estimate given for meals is from “farm to fork” and includes packaging and transport to the supermarket.

The data we use for estimating the carbon footprint of your synagogues's other food comes from a study conducted by Dr Peter Scarborough of Oxford University called “Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK” (available here).

The study was based on data from the UK and each factor covers a day's food – 2,000 kcal diet. Churches don't tend to serve three meals a day so for the purposes of estimating emissions for churches we have taken a proportion of Dr Scarborough's figure in line with NHS guidance about how we should split our calories across meals in a day (excluding drinks). The NHS suggests a 400-600-600 split between breakfast, lunch and dinner. This gives a “weighting” for a single meal – lunch or dinner – of 0.375, which we have used for the six meal factors.

The emissions factors we have used are:

Meal typeFactor (kgCO₂/meal)Notes
High meat-eater2.696More than 100g per day
Medium meat-eater2.111Between 50g and 100g per day
Low meat-eater1.751Less than 50g per day

Some average weights for meat products:

  • Quarter pounder burger – 227g
  • Rump steak – 200g
  • Lamb chop – 150g
  • Chicken drumstick – 85g

Even within the UK there are many factors that can affect your food carbon footprint. For example:

  • Food that is bought locally will typically (but not always) have a smaller footprint than food that comes from abroad.
  • Produce that is “in season” will have a smaller footprint than “out of season” produce because it will usually have been produced in the country where it will be consumed – so it will travel less.
  • Different supermarkets have different supply chains and those supply chains will have different carbon footprints depending on how efficient they are and where the supermarket sources goods.
  • How far you travel to buy food – your carbon footprint from getting your food home isn't included here, but should be entered in the Travel tab.