Tiffanie Stone

Tiffanie Stone
Tiffanie Stone

Dept: Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM) and Env. Sci.
Projected Grad: 2023
Advisor: Janette Thompson

Presentation Title:

Climate-Smart Vegetables in the Midwest US


An LCA of carbon emissions, energy, and water use for 18 vegetable types under three food system scenarios in the rain-fed upper Midwest.

Our current global food system produces approximately 25% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In the US, about half of fresh-market vegetables sold are produced in California, spurring interest in increasing local production to reduce food miles. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was developed to understand the global warming potential (GWP), energy and water use under three food system scenarios: Large-scale conventional, mid-scale local (commercial), and small-scale home garden production across eighteen vegetable types using Des Moines, Iowa, USA, to represent the rain-fed upper Midwest. A strong correlation exists between GWP and energy use across scales and vegetable types, water usage was not significantly correlated. The large-scale scenario had significantly higher emissions than mid- and small-scale scenarios. There were also differences across vegetable types with the highest GWP in large-scale conventional production, romaine lettuce (1.82 CO2eq/ kg vegetable) producing approximately three times more than the lowest for onion (0.53 CO2eq/ kg vegetable). Tradeoffs between GWP, energy, and water use were assessed to inform climate-smart vegetable production and consumption by scale.

Poster link

3-Minute Video

Email: tstone@iastate.edu