Per 25g Protein Serving (4 ounces)
Carbon
Footprint
Square
Footprint
Water
Footprint
2.21 kg CO2e
22.93 ft2
59.69 Gallons
Monthly Choice
Weekly Choice
Daily Choice
Best Choice

Food Waste

Consumers are estimated to waste on average 35% of all Turkey purchased (USDA ERS, 2019).

Food waste increases the environmental impact of Turkey by 53.8%

Consumers are estimated to waste on average 35% of all Turkey purchased (USDA ERS).

Carbon Footprint

If you ate 4 ounces of Turkey every day for a year, you would use:

90.8

Gallons of Gasoline Equivalent

807.0

kg CO2e
If you ate 4 ounces of Turkey every day for a year, you would use:

90.8

Gallons of Gasoline Equivalent

807.0

kg CO2e

The Cradle to Grave Carbon Footprint of Turkey is 19.50 kg CO2e per kg. The greenhouse gas emissions of Turkey are 4.8 times lower than Beef.

  • 0.0901 g CO2e / g protein

  • 27.08 kg CO2e / 2,000 kcal

  • 8.84 kg CO2e / lb

  • 216.4 g protein / kg (USDA Food Data Central, 2019)

  • 1,440 kcal / kg (USDA Food Data Central, 2019)

Carbon Footprint of Gasoline: 8.89 kg CO2e / gallon

  • Based on EIA (2016)

Carbon Footprint of Turkey at Retail Gate: 14.20 kg CO2e / kg

  • Global weighted average reported by Poore & Nemeck (2018). The study is the most thorough meta-analysis for the environmental impact of food published to date. The value represents 3 Life Cycle Analyses (LCA), and 7 independent production systems modeled, mostly in the peer reviewed literature. Individual LCA studies are weighted according to their representativeness of the country they were performed in, as well as that country’s global production. The study re-samples the dataset to fill in gaps for missing data and uncertainty.

  • Carbon footprint with climate feedbacks includes all on-farm processes, land use change, transportation for processing and delivery to retail, packaging, retail storage, and all losses from processing and food waste.

Carbon Footprint of Transport From Retail to Home: 0.01 kg CO2e / kg

Carbon Footprint of Cooking: 0.14 kg CO2e / kg

  • Cooked from 40 degrees fresh to 180 degrees internal for 300 minutes in a 48.2 liter oven at 325 degrees.

  • Heat capacity of Turkey is 2.81 J / g*C (Engineering ToolBox, 2003)

  • Cooking time based on Recipe Tips (2020)

  • For energy use calculators and the proportion of US Household size used to determine cooking proportions, see the “Carbon Footprint of Cooking” page.

  • Source: Carbon Footprint of Cooking

Carbon Footprint of Consumer Food Loss: 5.02 kg CO2e / kg

Carbon Footprint of Disposal: 0.12 kg CO2e / kg

Cradle to Grave Carbon Footprint: 19.50 kg CO2e / kg

Additional Assumptions:

  • Energy use from refrigeration at home is not considered. The electricity load of a refrigerator is considered separate from the foods placed inside of it, because it is assumed that every household has a refrigerator, regardless of how much food is in it. The individual load of opening the refrigerator for one item has been estimated to be around 2 g CO2e / opening (0.02 MJ / opening; Terrell, 2006), and thus does not meet the cutoff for sensitivity of carbon footprints set at 2 significant digits for kg CO2e.

Square Footprint

If you ate 4 ounces of Turkey every day for a year, you would use:

58

Parking Spaces Equivalent

8,369

ft2
If you ate 4 ounces of Turkey every day for a year, you would use:

58

Parking Spaces Equivalent

8,369

ft2

The Cradle to Grave Square Footprint of Turkey is 202.20 ft2 per kg. The land use of Turkey is 14.8 times lower than Beef.

  • 0.934 ft2 / g protein

  • 280.83 ft2 / 2,000 kcal

  • 91.72 ft2 / lb

  • 216.4 g protein / kg (USDA Food Data Central, 2019)

  • 1,440 kcal / kg (USDA Food Data Central, 2019)

Square Footprint of Turkey at Retail Gate: 131.43 ft2 / kg

  • Global weighted average reported by Poore & Nemeck (2018). The study is the most thorough meta-analysis for the environmental impact of food published to date. The value represents 3 Life Cycle Analyses (LCA), and 7 independent production systems modeled, mostly in the peer reviewed literature. Individual LCA studies are weighted according to their representativeness of the country they were performed in, as well as that country’s global production. The study re-samples the dataset to fill in gaps for missing data and uncertainty.

  • Value reported includes on farm post-harvest handling and storage losses reported by Poore & Nemeck (2018). Land use required for seed and fallow land is added to the final yield to reflect all land required.

  • Value reported includes all processing losses and food wasted.

  • Original value reported as 12.21 m2 / kg

Square Footprint After Consumer Food Waste: 202.20 ft2 / kg

  • The USDA ERS Loss Adjusted Food Availability (2019) reports a consumer loss of 35% for Turkey in the United States.

  • Total consumer food loss of 35% increases the Square Footprint by 70.77 ft2 / kg, or 53.8%.

Water Footprint

If you ate 4 ounces of Turkey every day for a year, you would use:

145.2

Hours in the Shower Equivalent

21,787

Gallons of Water
If you ate 4 ounces of Turkey every day for a year, you would use:

145.2

Hours in the Shower Equivalent

21,727

Gallons

The Cradle to Grave Water Footprint of Turkey is 526.4 gallons per kg. The water use of Turkey is 1.4 times lower than Beef.

  • 2.432 gallons / g protein

  • 731.1 gallons / 2,000 kcal

  • 526.4 gallons / kg

  • 238.8 gallons / lb

  • 216.4 g protein / kg (USDA Food Data Central, 2019)

  • 1,440 kcal / kg (USDA Food Data Central, 2019)

Water Footprint of Turkey at Retail Gate: 342.15 gallons / kg

  • Global weighted average reported by Poore & Nemeck (2018). The study is the most thorough meta-analysis for the environmental impact of food published to date. The value represents 3 Life Cycle Analyses (LCA), and 7 independent production systems modeled, mostly in the peer reviewed literature. Individual LCA studies are weighted according to their representativeness of the country they were performed in, as well as that country’s global production. The study re-samples the dataset to fill in gaps for missing data and uncertainty.

  • Water use includes all irrigation water, water extracted for processing, and food wasted.

  • Original value reported as 1,295.03 L / kg.

Water Footprint After Consumer Food Waste: 526.4 gallons / kg

  • The USDA ERS Loss Adjusted Food Availability (2019) reports a consumer loss of 35% for Turkey in the United States.

  • Total food loss of 35% increases the Water Footprint by 184.23 gallons / kg, or 53.8%.

  • Does not include water used for cooking.

References

Energy Information Administration (EIA; February 2, 2016). Carbon Dioxide Emissions Coefficients. See Link to Source

Home Water Works. (2019). Showers. See Link to Source

Franklin Street. (May 23, 2019). How Large is a Parking Space? See Link to Source

Poore, J., & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 360(6392), 987-992.

Recipe Tips. (2020). Turkey Cooking Times. See Link to Source

Terrell, W. (2006). Energy Requirements of Refrigerators Due to Door Opening Conditions. International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference. Paper 836.

The Engineering ToolBox. (2003). Specific Heat of Food and Foodstuff. See Link to Source

USDA ERS: US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. (2019). Loss-Adjusted Food Availability. See Link to Source

USDA Food Data Central: US Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service. (April 1, 2019). Turkey, whole, meat and skin, raw. See Link to Source

USDA NASS: US Department of Agriculture – National Agricultural Statistics Service. (May, 2019). Poultry – Production and Value 2018 Summary. See Link to Source