The definitive carbon ranking of Super Bowl snacks

Want to trim the footprint of your wings ’n’ things? It’s easier than you think.


Hey team, and welcome to a special Friday edition of one5c! Today, we’re bringing you a collab post with our sustainable eating newsletter Cool Beans. Sunday is the Super Bowl, and it’s also the biggest snacking day of the yearSo, we figured we’d crunch the numbers on the impact of all those party platters. Good news is, most Super Bowl fare is in play if you’re working saving the world into your daily diet (hummus, FTW!). And the ones that run afoul of the climate are easily tweakable. 

A big thank-you to the team at CarbonCloud, who jumped in to help us run down these stats. Share ’em with the guac-o-philes in your life. —Corinne


While folks sweat Taylor Swift jetting from her concert in Tokyo to Las Vegas in time for the big game, we got to wondering about the footprint of a kind of wings: the Buffalo variety. Along with other essential football-watching fare, Americans will down almost 1.5 billion of ’em this weekend.

With so much snackin’ goin’ on—and in our ongoing quest to help mind the footprint of what we put in our faces—we decided to pair up with CarbonCloud to help you choose your tasty treats wisely. Their tools calculate the impacts of packaged foods and recipes, with the goal of making emissions data as transparent to consumers as nutritional info is now. 

We fed 13 of the country’s go-to game-day foods into their ClimateHub dashboard and tallied up the emissions per serving of each. Check out the chart below, where you’ll see how their footprints compare to a 5-mile drive—and what small tweaks you might want to make to the top emitters to lessen their impact on the planet.

How we got these numbers: ClimateHub provides the footprint of foods in kilograms of CO2e per kilogram of food. We took those outputs, and used the total weight and recommended serving size of each foodstuff to calculate estimates for kilos of CO2e per serving. Illustration credit: Jason Reed

Liza Schoenfein is a core contributor to Cool Beans and a longtime food editor and writer. She’s been executive editor of Saveur and a contributor to Epicurious, Civil Eats, and more. She writes about iconic Jewish ingredients for The Forward and blogs about food and gardening at lifedeathanddinner.com

In the news this week

  • Parisians passed a referendum aimed at keeping more large, polluting SUVs out of the center of the city: The measure will raise the on-street parking fee for bigger vehicles to 100 Euros (about $108), triple the rate for smaller passenger cars. 
  • A new investigation from USA Today found that counties across the U.S. are banning green energy projects faster than they’re being built, despite nationwide clean-energy goals. Wind power, specifically, is being “boxed out” of regions where it has the most potential.
  • Bank of America is backing away from its promise to stop financing coal, saying that coal projects will instead be subject to “enhanced due diligence.” It’s a good reminder that—if you can swing it—breaking up with big banks can keep your money from funding fossil-fuel expansion. 
  • A Waffle House location in Tennessee is getting outfitted with four fast electric vehicle charges—part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program. Casting the 24/7 chain as a potential EV backbone of the southeastern U.S. makes sense: There are nearly 2,000 locations. 
  • According to a report in The New York Times, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 private jets will fly into Las Vegas this weekend, ferrying well-heeled fans to the Super Bowl. For comparison, a similar number of jets going to the World Economic Forum in 2023 produced emissions equivalent to 350,000 cars driving for a week.