Evaluating the environmental impact of various dietary patterns combined with different food production systems. Eur J Clin Nutr

San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.71). 03/2007; 61(2):279-86. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602522
Source: PubMed


OBJECTIVE: Recent studies support the hypothesis that plant-based diets are environmentally better than meat-based diets. This study aims to further explore this topic and to compare different environmental impacts resulting from different dietary patterns (omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan) and methods of production (conventional farming and organic agriculture). DESIGN: Three weekly balanced diets, equivalent to one another for energetic and nutrient content, have been planned: an omnivorous one, a vegetarian one and a vegan one. For each one, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method has been applied in order to calculate the environmental impact, expressed in 'points'. INTERVENTIONS: The software we selected to carry out the Inventory Analysis and the Impact Assessment is SimaPro5. The Assessment phase has been conducted using Ecoindicator 99, a damage-oriented method, which analyses the impact according to three large damage categories, each of them subsuming various impact categories.

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Available from: Luciana Baroni, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "The data is usually scaled to one mass or volumetric unit. On the other hand, food and beverage consumption as a whole has been analyzed either on the basis of averages on capita or country levels (Tukker et al. 2006; Muñoz et al. 2010; Xue and Landis 2010; Meier and Christen 2012) or specific dietary plans (Carlsson-Kanyama et al. 2003; Baroni et al. 2007). Some studies apply the concept of households for the scope of the analysis, as households form the smallest organizational units in society. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Food consumption is one of the main drivers of environmental impacts. To develop meaningful strategies for the reduction of impacts, food consumption patterns need to be understood on the household level, as purchasing decisions are taken on this level. The goals of this study were to develop a model that estimates food demand and environmental impact as a function of household characteristics, to assess variability between households, and to provide a basis for the development of consumer-targeted political interventions. We titled the study BFoodPrints of households,^ as we assessed food consumption in terms of carbon footprint (in analogy to (Stoessel et al. Environ Sci Technol 46(6):3253– 3262 2012)). Methods We used data from the Swiss household budget survey and applied multiple linear regressions based on generalized linear models to quantify food and beverage demand of individual households. Seven household characteristics, such as size, income, and educational level, served as input variables for the regressions. In a case study, food and beverage demand of 3238 individual households of a Swiss municipality was environmentally assessed with life cycle assessment , and scenarios for different reduction strategies were evaluated. Results and discussion We found that the carbon footprints of in-home food consumption per household member and year vary from 0.08 t CO 2 eq. to 5 t CO 2 eq. with a median value of 1 t CO 2 eq. This variability is significantly smaller than the carbon footprint variability for the consumption areas of housing and mobility, where 25 % of the people are responsible for 50 % of the environmental impacts. Differences between high-and low-impact households can be primarily explained by differences in meat and dairy consumption. Conclusions This paper presents a model for quantifying food demand and impacts on a household level in Switzerland and represents a basis for developing targeted political measures to mitigate food consumption impacts. Household budget data is also available for many other countries, and the methods presented in this paper could therefore also be applied to other geographical regions.
    The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11367-015-0924-5 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    • "Key in this strategy is that products in unsustainable product categories are substituted by products in other product categories that have a lower sustainability impact (or not substituted at all, leading to a reduction in total food intake). Especially animal-based products (meat and dairy) are resourceintensive and therefore from a sustainability perspective a broad consensus exists about the benefits of less animal-based and more plant-based diets (Baroni et al., 2007; Garnett, 2011; Gezondheidsraad, 2011; Pimentel & Pimentel, 2003; Tilman & Clark, 2014; Tukker & Jansen, 2006; Tukker et al., 2011; Westhoek et al., 2011). The (non)consumption of meat takes a special position in food debates and receives growing attention in contemporary literature (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: In order to address sustainability problems in the food domain, food consumption needs to be taken into account. The present paper empirically explores different types of sustainable food behaviors. A distinction between sustainable product choices and curtailment behavior has been investigated empirically and predictors of the two types of behavior have been identified. Respondents were classified into four segments based on their sustainable food behaviors: unsustainers, curtailers, product-oriented consumers, and sustainers. Significant differences between the segments were found with regard to food choice motives, personal and social norms, food involvement, subjective knowledge on sustainable food, ability to judge how sustainably a product has been produced and socio-demographics. It is concluded that distinguishing between behavioral strategies towards sustainable food consumption is important as consumer segments can be identified that differ both in their level of sustainable food consumption and in the type of behavior they employ. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Appetite 04/2015; 91. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2015.04.055 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    • "foods that impact the environment more sharply , including animal products and some plant grown in monoculture , so no need to identify more favourable diets and , apparently , when it comes to health and environment , not there are great controversies , ie healthier dietary patterns also correlate with reduced environmental impacts . According to Baroni et al . ( 2007 ) comparing the omnivore , vegetarian and vegan dietary patterns based on intensive or organic food production in relation to impacts on resources , and the quality of ecosystems and human health , indicates that the patterns that include organic foods and suppress the meat and other animal products are the ones that cause minor environ"
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    ABSTRACT: Food security has been an important topic in Brazil in recent years when it comes to discuss effects of climate change. Main reason for the concern about food within this debate is the fact that Brazil’s economy is highly dependent on commodities. Despite that, in recent years the issues raised are changing the focus of the debate from the macro impacts in economy moving towards the capacity to secure food production not just in quantity but also in quality. In the midst of the issue figures the label of the organic and green production polarized by disputes between supermarkets chain approach and the more organic and local alternatives, represented by urban and local small farmers. The former argues in favour of its capacity of distribute food, equilibrating production and demand throughout the country while the latter argue for the sustainable local production reducing the cost of food and delivering a healthier food. Therefore even with climate change debate introducing gradually a change on consumptions patterns there is now a question on where to get food and what food. For that reason this paper seeks to present the state of the debate and propose further steps in dealing with promoting sustainable food security within the country.
    2014 Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, Chicago, USA; 05/2014
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