The Food Carbon Footprint Index (FCFI) invites participants to engage in a social experiment wherein their food choices are monitored and indexed based on their daily carbon footprint. Participants will receive a daily allotment of 100 CO2 points, and will be asked to log their meal choices via a web application. Meals with a higher carbon footprint will require more CO2 points, while carbon-friendly meals will require far fewer. Participants will be graded based on their food choices, and their rank will be displayed on a leaderboard projected at Emerge 2020. Those who exceed their daily carbon allotment will be “fined” and subject to public shame.
FCFI seeks to complicate our relationship with the “power of individual choice” in the face of a looming global environmental devastation. When capitalism requires that the individual bear the burden of responsibility in making smart, moral decisions with the low-burning hope of a share in prosperity, who benefits and who loses? Do these efforts actually encourage self-development for the collective good, or is there another way? Should each of us individually bear the brunt of environmental responsibility? With the future of our species hanging in the balance, what is the best way forward?