Burrito Gases

Download the Video Teaching Guide PDF/Word

MAIN TOPIC OF VIDEO:  Greenhouse emissions associated with food choices.

Linked Image Burrito Gases

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Frame:

  1. The burrito “gas” that is referenced in the video is called “greenhouse gas.” What are greenhouse gases?
  2. What do greenhouse gases have to do with climate change?
  3. What are fossil fuels and how are they connected to climate change?

Focus:

  1. Dr. Burrito said that on a burrito farm, there are three types of gases emitted. What are they and what causes them to be released?
  2. The food gas meter measures the amount of greenhouse gases released at each type of burrito farm. Keep track of the emission level by filling in the chart with “low,” “medium,” and “high.”

carbon dioxide

CO2

methane

CH4

nitrous oxide

N2O

veggie burrito farm
chicken burrito farm
beef burrito farm

3.  Which burrito farm has the least environmental impact? Which has the most environmental impact?

Follow-up:

  1. Describe a typical dinner-time meal at your household. Which foods are included in your meal and how do you think they rank in greenhouse gas emissions?
  2. Peruse the information from the following webpages to see why many meat products are associated with higher greenhouse gas emissions. Explain the reasoning in your own words and list at least three factors that causes this.

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/986252/lamb_beef_and_cheese_have_largest_food

_footprint.html

http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/frequently-asked-questions/

3.  Looking back at your answer to #1, how might you alter a typical dinner-time meal at your household to reduce your carbon footprint?

 

ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Frame:

  1. The burrito “gas” that is referenced in the video is called “greenhouse gas.” What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases are gases in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing infrared radiation, which traps heat in the atmosphere (greenhouse effect).

2.  What do greenhouse gases have to do with climate change?

Because greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, it is responsible for the overall global temperature rise (climate change).

3.  What are fossil fuels and how are they connected to climate change?

Fossil fuels include coal, natural gas, and oil, and are important energy sources. They need to be burned in order to become usable energy for various human needs. However, the burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases.

Focus:

  1. Dr. Burrito said that on a burrito farm, there are three types of gases emitted. What are they and what caused them to be released?

Nitrous oxide is emitted from the use of commercial fertilizers, methane is released when farm animals burp and pass gas, and carbon dioxide comes from burning of fossil fuels by farm equipment and vehicles during farm transportation.

2.  The food gas meter measures the amount of greenhouse gases released at each type of burrito farm. Keep track of the emission level by filling in the chart with “low,” “medium,” and “high.”

carbon dioxide

CO2

methane

CH4

nitrous oxide

N2O

veggie burrito farm

low

low

low

chicken burrito farm

medium-high

low

low-medium

beef burrito farm

high

high

high

3.  Which burrito farm has the least environmental impact? Which has the most environmental impact?

The veggie burrito farm causes the least greenhouse gas emissions and the beef burrito farm causes the most greenhouse gas emissions.

Follow-up:

  1. Describe a typical dinner-time meal at your household. Which foods are included in your meal and how do you think they rank in greenhouse gas emissions?

Answers may vary, but in general meat products are associated with a lot more greenhouse gas emissions than plant products. See the chart on this webpage as a reference:

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/986252/lamb_beef_and_cheese_have_largest_food

_footprint.html

2.  Peruse the information from the following webpages to see why many meat products are associated with higher greenhouse gas emissions. Explain the reasoning in your own words and list at least three factors that causes this.

 

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/986252/lamb_beef_and_cheese_have_largest_food

_footprint.html

http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/frequently-asked-questions/

Answers may vary, but three top factors are listed here:

http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/frequently-asked-questions/#question_2

3.  Looking back at your answer to #1, how might you alter a typical dinner-time meal at your household to reduce your carbon footprint?

Answers may vary, but should mention less consumption of meat products, especially beef and lamb.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES AND RESOURCES

Learn how to reduce your carbon “foodprint” at:

  • http://www.eatlowcarbon.org

Scientific fact and culinary art. Check out the book:

  • Cool Cuisine: Taking The Bite Out of Global Warming by Laura Stec and Eugene
    Cordero

 

 

Credit: This teacher resource has been adapted from content originally developed by Hannah Sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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