Skip to content

The Hidden Costs of Food


accumulated since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016

The counter shows the accumulated hidden costs of our current food systems since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016, taking into account greenhouse gas emissions, blue water use, land use conversion, nitrogen emissions, undernourishment, poverty, and dietary risk.

6 seconds

The amount of time it takes for the counter to rise by $1,000,000


14 days

The time it takes the counter to accumulate the wealth of Elon Musk


80 hours

The time it takes to generate enough to vaccinate the entire world against Covid

The Hidden Costs of Food

Today’s food system has profound implications on the climate, biodiversity, social and economic inequality, human health, and our ability to ensure healthy, environmentally sustainable, and economically accessible food for all people on the planet.

Learn more

Translating the number

Blue Overlay

What can be done

Numbers such as these, about the state of the climate and systems of inequality, can be overwhelming and a cause for anxiety. A major cause for anxiety is often the feeling of doom, without solutions, without action. Calculating this number is only FSEC’s first step. What comes next is series of policy bundles and pathways. An essential part of FSEC’s research is to equip citizens, governments, policymakers, and economic decision makers with the tools needed to take action to change the current path, and transform food systems to be more economically just, stay within planetary boundaries, and provide healthy food for all.

For more information on how to cope with climate anxiety, see this article by Harvard Health Publishing (external link), the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School.

Our partners

The Food System Economics Commission is a joint initiative of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Food and Land Use Coalition, and EAT. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Food and Land Use Coalition are lead research partners and EAT is the lead communications and engagement partner.