Carbon footprint refers to the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere during the life cycle of any product or activity and is expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-e). For food items, the major activities included are production phase (cultivation of crops, fruits, etc. rearing of animals), processing, distribution, sales and sometimes to consumption.
Carbon footprints basically represent the greenhouse gas intensity of any activity and hence indicates contribution of any activity to global warming. Originally this term was derived from the concept of ‘Ecological Footprint’ and exclusively was concerned with carbon dioxide. But, it has evolved with a potential role as greenhouse gas intensity indicator. Therefore, now days, carbon footprints considers all significant greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide.