Illustration of fruits with the lowest carbon footprint

10 Fruits With the Lowest Carbon Footprint: The Full Life-Cycle Analysis

Fruit is one of the healthiest food groups, providing important nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, protein, and fiber. But, the growing, picking, transporting, and packaging processes of fruit can create significant carbon emissions. Some are higher emitters than others, but it can be difficult to determine which ones are the most environmentally friendly. So, we had to ask: What are the fruits with the lowest carbon footprints?

Illustration of fruits with the highest carbon footprint

10 Fruits With the Highest Carbon Footprint: The Full Life-Cycle Analysis

Fruit is one of the healthiest food groups, providing important nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, protein, and fiber. They are delicious too, useful as a quick snack and a popular ingredient in baked goods. But, the growing, picking, transporting, and packaging processes of fruit can create significant carbon emissions. Some are higher emitters than others, using more than their share of carbon to make it from farm to table. So, we had to ask: What are the fruits with the highest carbon footprints?

Illustration of sweet potatoes and their carbon footprint

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Sweet Potatoes? A Life-Cycle Analysis

Roasted, fried, boiled, or mashed, sweet potatoes are one of the more versatile vegetables, which is why the popularity of this crop has skyrocketed by over 40% in the last two decades. The US started growing sweet potatoes during WWII, but they were slowly fading from the American cookbook, until the popularity of sweet potato fries. However, much less is shared about the environmental impact, and especially the carbon emissions of sweet potatoes. So we had to ask: What is the carbon footprint of sweet potatoes?

Illustration of green onions and their carbon footprint

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Green Onions? A Life-Cycle Analysis

Green onions are immature bulb onions, harvested before the bulb has had a chance to swell. Filled with vitamin C, K, and calcium, the green onion is a nutrient-rich food. This ingredient is commonly found in Asian cooking, such as in Chinese scallion pancakes, or Korean pa muchim, and is often used as a garnish, or seasoning, similar to garlic. Yet, much less is shared about the environmental impact, and especially the carbon emissions of green onions. So we had to ask: What is the carbon footprint of green onions?

Illustration of garlic and their carbon footprint

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Garlic? A Life-Cycle Analysis

The average American eats two pounds of garlic a year, and 14% of us put garlic on nearly everything we cook. Garlic has a host of health benefits and medicinal properties, and could help reduce cholesterol and heart disease. Furthermore, it contains antioxidants that may prevent the common cold, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, much less is shared about the environmental impact, and especially the carbon emissions of garlic. So we had to ask: What is the carbon footprint of garlic?

Illustration of dates in a wooden platter

Is Eating Dates Ethical & Sustainable? Here Are the Facts

Dates are a sweet, often dried delicacy that’s popular in Middle Eastern desserts. They also have an ever-increasing global market, reaching over a million tons in volume in 2021. In terms of health benefits, dates pack a good amount of protein, potassium, and fiber. However, there are many aspects to the date industry that can be very unethical and unsustainable. So, we had to ask: Is eating dates ethical and sustainable?

Illustration of pomegranates in a wooden platter

Is Eating Pomegranates Ethical & Sustainable? Here Are the Facts

Pomegranates are a booming global business, valued at around $24 billion. They are especially popular as juices. Pomegranates are also a great source of antioxidants, fiber, and essential vitamins. However, there are many components of the pomegranate industry that can be very unethical and unsustainable. So, we had to ask: Is eating pomegranates ethical and sustainable?

Illustration of figs in a wooden platter

Is Eating Figs Ethical & Sustainable? Here Are the Facts

Figs are a sweet, squishy fruit popular in Italian cuisine. They are also becoming increasingly popular in the US, with the fresh fig market valued at around $1.5 billion. However, there can be some very unethical and unsustainable aspects of the fig industry. So, we had to ask: Is eating figs ethical and sustainable?

Illustration of chili peppers with their carbon footprint

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Chili Peppers? A Life-Cycle Analysis

Chili peppers were one of the first domesticated plants, farmed 6,000 years ago in Peru and Mexico. Since then, this spicy crop has found its way into many popular dishes, from Japanese ramens and Mexican burritos, to condiments like hot sauce. Yet, much less is shared about the environmental impact, and especially the carbon emissions of chili peppers. So we had to ask: What is the carbon footprint of chili peppers?

Illustration of eggplants with their carbon footprint

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Eggplants? A Life-Cycle Analysis

Known as the ‘King of Vegetables’ in India, or the ‘crazy apple’ in Renaissance Italy, the eggplant can be found in food from around the world. From moussaka, to ratatouille, to brinjal bhaji, this vegetable is nutrient-dense, and high in antioxidants. Yet, much less is shared about the environmental impact, and especially the carbon emissions of eggplants. So we had to ask: What is the carbon footprint of eggplants?

Illustration of apricots in a wooden platter

Is Eating Apricots Ethical & Sustainable? Here Are the Facts

Apricots are a booming American industry, with more than 40,000 tons produced each year. They also happen to be a delicious treat, popular in jams or as a dried fruit. However, there can be a significant amount of unethical and unsustainable qualities to the production of apricots. So we had to ask: Is eating apricots ethical and sustainable?

Illustration of kiwis in a wooden platter

Is Eating Kiwis Ethical & Sustainable? Here Are the Facts

Kiwis are a delicious tropical fruit. In popular culture, they are most associated with the nation of New Zealand and their birds of the same name. They are a lucrative industry too, with the global kiwi market worth almost $7 billion as of 2019. Moreover, they pack in a significant amount of fiber and vitamin C. But there can also be some significantly unsustainable and unethical aspects of kiwi production. So we had to ask: Is eating kiwis ethical and sustainable?

Illustration of bananas in a wooden platter

Is Eating Bananas Ethical & Sustainable? Here Are the Facts

Bananas are a very popular fruit, with over 100 billion consumed every year, especially considering their wide culinary uses, from banana bread to milkshakes. They also have some notable health benefits. They’re high in fiber, protein, and potassium. However, there can also be some extremely unethical and unsustainable components to banana production. So we had to ask: Is eating bananas ethical and sustainable?