BBC News recently mentioned a family that was changing its diet to help reduce the amount of methane (CH4) and CO2 it produces and it was something that we should all consider.

While the methane is over 20 times more effective as a climate change gas than CO2 it only lasts about 10 years before turning into CO2 and water, and there’s less of it. The CO2, however, can last for centuries.

It’s not a straightforward matter of becoming a vegetarian, with no meat eating at all, as cows fed just on grass, rather than with added grains, produce less methane, though as the major ruminant, with four stomach compartments, it’s still around 100 kg annually. Sheep, goats and deer, similarly constructed, only produce less because of their size.

Meat eaters would do well to restrict their menu to non ruminant animals, such as pigs and chickens, and their smaller methane output is mainly from the waste left behind and the housekeeping competence. Surprisingly, all the world’s camels produce more methane than all the pigs, and the odd plate of fish would do even less harm as they tend to use the methane in the water to help growth rather than produce it.

Rice, with wheat and maize, is the major grain foodstuff and unfortunately the way that it's farmed means it produces at least one fifth of all the world’s man made methane. It would be really helpful if we could ensure that the paddy fields weren’t flooded just to control weed growth as that would reduce the amount of methane significantly.

We can all grow seasonal fruit and veg in our gardens, from apples, plums, a range of berries, all the leafy veg and root crops like beetroot and turnips, as well as potatoes and carrots. It should be a mandatory part of the school curriculum.

Food in the UK now travels 50 per cent further than in 2000, and we certainly shouldn’t buy out of season products that are imported from places such as South Africa, Cambodia, Chile and Thailand.

Bon appetit!