Good food and beverage are a staple of any great celebration and UA Homecoming is no exception. During Homecoming 2012 over 2100 meals were served at auxiliary events, 4290 hotdogs were sold at the football game, and thousands of UA fans enjoyed traditional tailgate feasts on the UA Mall.
What are the total impacts of growing, processing, transporting, and preparing all of these foods? Specialized LCA databases exist that include generalized life cycle models for many types of foods. When a type of food was not found in these databases we created a new model using results from peer-reviewed LCA journal articles.
Most environmental impacts are incurred before food leaves the farm gate, making the choice of food type and farming style most important for reducing overall impacts. For instance, vegetables and fruit produce fewer impacts than meat and dairy, and grass-fed range cattle produce fewer impacts than grain-fed feedlot cattle. Furthermore, buying local and diverting the waste from the landfill reduces environmental impact considerably.