Infographic Of The Day: What’s The Most Eco-Friendly Way To Eat A Hot Dog?

Kajsa Westman posted a larky infographic on Frog design’s blog that tries to settle, once and for all, the question that has vexed eco-minded hot-dog connoisseurs since time immemorial: Which is better for the environment, a bun or a fork?

[Bun for the win! Yay! Wheeee! Hooray!]

Obviously, the whole thing’s pure guesswork. (Westman calls it a “guesstimation.”) But that’s exactly the point. Data for lifecycle assessments is notoriously difficult to track down. As she writes: “It’s next to impossible to locate the hidden toxic traps, logistic nightmares, and energy thieves without expensive testing of the supply chain form start to finish.”

That’s not to suggest that we should ignore the impact of what we consume. The point is that even if we don’t have every last tool at the ready to weigh products’ environmental credentials, we can use common sense as a guide for shrinking our carbon footprint. Granted, this is bound to be error prone. But the root insight is a good one: Making green decisions shouldn’t be daunting, and simply enumerating something like a supply chain can demystify the process.

Who uses a fork to eat hot dogs, anyway!??

[Top image by Steven Depolo]

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  • Angela

    Why is the hotdog process not considered?...if you're eco-friendly, making a hotdog is a crazy process.  And then all the health implications of refined good us all being concerned with the environment if we are not prepared to consider the impact on our bodies.
    The logic here reminds me of the logic in schools - they give points to kids who bring in newspapers for recyling, but no points to kids who don't buy newspapers in the first place.....reduction is always better than recycling, recycling is always better than dumping.....

  • Bette Boomer

    uhhh...might also factor in the knowledge of consumable content variable: hotdogs contain slivers of nose, ear, lip cartilage & hair & more delightful bits. Consumer turned off, doesn't consume thereby reducing carbon footprint & contributing to reduction of obesity epidemic in U.S.

  • Seriously?

    Must mean a plastic fork. And last I checked buns come in a plastic bag so you'd have the same petro/landfill steps on the bun side. Silly greenie hand wringing.

  • Eric Scoles

    am I missing something? Shouldn't the whole trash-can through landfill process be on the bun-side, also? If not, then why is it even on the fork side at all? What is there to throw away after you eat the hot dog with a fork -- that's also not there to throw away after you eat it with a bun? 

    This isn't an "infographic" -- it's an "info-obfuscation-graphic."

  • Jeffrey

    Not to nitpick, but it seems to me that the real versus here is hot dog + bun vs. hot dog + fork + knife + plate.  Besides, with the exception of cartoons, I've literally never seen a person eat a hot dog off of a fork, while the hot dog just remained skewered until it was completely finished.  I'm not arguing the point, just the examples' existence in reality; and obviously the introduction of knife and plate would even further the argument of bun over utensil(s). Unless...  you were using non-disposable dishes and silverware.  In that case, though, the infographic should illustrate the shame you'd bring upon your family by eating a hot dog with utensils. And probably ketchup too.

  • Guest

    Fun graphic, but forgets the fuel sources that go into providing the "renewable resource" of wheat.

  • Michael

    They forgot that the fork can be used for eating cole slaw, roasting marshmallows, grilling the hot dog, etc. I'm still glad the bun wins though.

  • Eologist777

    Walk cattle to store, slsaughter around the corner due to sensitivity and wonder why sales reduced. Me I like a hot dog hog dog whatever