Hannah H. E. van Zanten

Hannah H. E. van Zanten
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Department of Farming Systems Ecology

PhD

About

66
Publications
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Introduction
I’m Associate Professor at Wageningen University. My research focusses on the radical redesign of our food system with a focus on circular food systems and alternative protein sources. With my team, I developed and currently extend the circular food systems (CiFoS) model. The CiFoS model allows stakeholders to co-design and evaluate innovative yet attainable food systems that secure human and planetary health. https://www.circularfoodsystems.org/en/circularfoodsystems.htm

Publications

Publications (66)
Article
Full-text available
CONTEXT Regenerative agriculture is a farming approach that uses soil health as the entry point to contribute to multiple objectives, such as improved nutrient cycling and climate regulation. To reach these objectives farmers can apply different practices. The objectives and practices, however, are not equally relevant or applicable for every farmi...
Article
Reducing food waste and reusing it as animal feed are often regarded promising solutions to enhance sustainability. Hitherto, food waste policy assessments rarely account for interdependencies between reduction and reuse interventions, and how their market - including trade - feedbacks influence sustainability outcomes. Here, we apply a global agri...
Article
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Background National food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) are generally designed from a human health perspective and often disregard sustainability aspects. Circular food production systems are a promising solution to achieve sustainable healthy diets. In such systems, closing nutrient cycles where possible and minimising external inputs contribute...
Article
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CONTEXT Well-managed agricultural land can provide ecosystem services and contribute positively to the environment. Many of these services are mediated through the soil and are referred to as soil functions. Regenerative agriculture is a mode of agriculture that uses soil conservation as the entry point to regenerate and contribute to these ecosyst...
Article
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It is not known whether dietary guidelines proposing a limited intake of animal protein are compatible with the adoption of circular food systems. Using a resource-allocation model, we compared the effects of circularity on the supply of animal-source nutrients in Europe with the nutritional requirements of the EAT-Lancet reference diet. We found t...
Chapter
In this chapter we discuss how methodological choices can lead to different solutions when assessing land use. We focus on the following three methodologies: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Land Use Ratio (LUR), and the food systems approach. Each method has its own strengths. LCA offers the best estimates of how we should change our diets at the marg...
Article
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Background To improve the sustainability performance of food systems, consumption- as well as production-side changes are needed. Objective To this end, we assessed multiple sustainability impacts of six consumer strategies for Switzerland. Design Two strategies encompassed dietary changes: following a pescetarian diet and adhering to the nationa...
Article
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If current food consumption patterns continue, the agriculture sector must provide significantly more food in the coming years from the available land area. Some livestock systems engage in feed–food competition as arable land is used for livestock feed rather than as crops for food; reducing the global supply of food. There is a growing argument t...
Article
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In Tanzania, diets are dominated by starchy staple crops such as maize, levels of malnutrition are high and largely attributed to lack of dietary diversity. We employed fuzzy cognitive mapping to understand the current soybean, maize and chicken value chains, to highlight stakeholder relationships and to identify entry points for value chain integr...
Article
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A circular, bio-based economy could provide the pathway to a sustainable future. Here we present five ecological principles to guide biomass use towards a circular bioeconomy: safeguarding and regenerating the health of our (agro)ecosystems; avoiding non-essential products and the waste of essential ones; prioritizing biomass streams for basic huma...
Technical Report
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Livestock are a critically important component of the food system, however, the sector needs a profound transformation to ensure that it contributes to a rapid transition towards sustainable food systems. This paper reviews and synthesizes the evidence available on changes in demand for livestock products in the last few decades, and the multiple s...
Article
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There is an increased interest for using insects, such as the black soldier fly, to treat surplus manure and upcycle nutrients into the food system. Understanding the influence that BSFL have on nutrient flows and nutrient losses during manure bioconversion is key for sustainability assessments. Here we quantified and compared nutrient balances, nu...
Article
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While the production of food causes major environmental impacts and poses social risks, consumption of healthy and nutritious food is essential for human wellbeing. Against this background, action to make current diets more sustainable is needed, which in turn requires knowledge on possibilities for improvement. In this study, we investigated how s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Several dietary guidelines are developed that propose limiting the intake of animal protein to stay within planetary boundaries and improve human health. Simultaneously, circular food systems are receiving significant attention in the European Union as an option to improve the current food system. In a circular system, animals are solely fed with l...
Article
Full-text available
The European Union (EU) livestock sector relies on imported soybean as a feed source, but feeding soybean to animals leads to a loss of macronutrients compared to direct human consumption, and soybean production is associated with deforestation. Here we show that 75–82% of current EU animal fat and protein production could be sustained without soyb...
Article
Full-text available
Food system innovations will be instrumental to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, major innovation breakthroughs can trigger profound and disruptive changes, leading to simultaneous and interlinked reconfigurations of multiple parts of the global food system. The emergence of new technologies or social solutions, the...
Article
Full-text available
Regenerative agriculture (RA) is proposed as a solution towards sustainable food systems. A variety of actors perceive RA differently, and a clear scientific definition is lacking. We reviewed 28 studies to find convergence and divergence between objectives and activities that define RA. Our results show convergence related to objectives that enhan...
Article
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Grazing systems emit greenhouse gases, which can, under specific agro-ecological conditions, be partly or entirely offset by soil carbon sequestration. However, any sequestration is time-limited, reversible, and at a global level outweighed by emissions from grazing systems. Thus, grazing systems are globally a net contributor to climate change and...
Article
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The attention for black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as an alternative ingredient for food and feed products is on the rise. While many studies have reported the efficiency of BSFL to bio‐convert a wide range of organic waste streams into larval biomass, so far, it is unknown whether BSFL prefer certain waste streams over others when they have the pos...
Article
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Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) are acknowledged for their potential to upcycle waste biomass into animal feed, human food or biofuels. To ensure sustainable BSFL rearing, insight into nutrient bioconversion efficiencies and nutrient losses via gaseous emissions is key. This study used a mass balance approach to quantify nutrient bioconversion effi...
Article
Future technologies and systemic innovation are critical for the profound transformation the food system needs. These innovations range from food production, land use and emissions, all the way to improved diets and waste management. Here, we identify these technologies, assess their readiness and propose eight action points that could accelerate t...
Article
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Sustainable development goal 2 (SDG 2) challenges the world to connect food production and consumption in away that matches local contexts and enables everyone to enjoy a healthy diet that is produced sustainably andcontributes to the other SDGs. We identify a Missing Middle between food production and consumption, andbetween globally defined goals...
Article
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Much scientific literature proposes reduction of animal-source foods to reduce environmental impacts of the food system. However, these dietary solutions differ regarding level and type of animal-source foods. We review this literature and our results show that these differences relate to differences in employed methodological approaches. Approache...
Article
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To initiate the achievement of an European-wide applicable public database for indicators of environmental sustainability of the diet, we developed the SHARP Indicators Database (SHARP-ID). A comprehensive description of the development of the SHARP-ID is provided in this article. In the SHARP-ID, environmental impact assessment was based on attrib...
Conference Paper
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In Tanzania, there is a large gap between food production and consumption, which contributes to high rates of undernourishment and micronutrient deficiencies. The dietary problems are mainly due to limited dietary diversity among households. Furthermore, increased urbanisation leads to an increase in demand for poultry products which is difficult t...
Article
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Effective food policies in Europe require insight into the environmental impact of consumers’ diet to contribute to global nutrition security in an environmentally sustainable way. The present study therefore aimed to assess the environmental impact associated with dietary intake across four European countries, and to explain sources of variations...
Article
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p>If we use farm animals for what they are good at - converting by-products from the food system and grass resources into valuable food and manure - they can contribute significantly to human food supply, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of the entire food system. By converting these so-called low-opportunity-cost feeds, far...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-019-0268-4 In the version of this Article originally published, in Supplementary Table 7, the energy and land-use values for mealworms in Thevenot et al. were mistakenly swapped. The correct values are 65.39 MJ for energy use and 4.31 m2...
Article
To meet the projected substantial growth in the global demand for meat, we are challenged to develop additional protein-rich feed ingredients while minimizing the use of natural resources. The larvae of the black soldier fly (BSF) have the capacity to convert low-value organic resources into a high quality protein source for pigs, chickens and fish...
Article
Consumption of animal-source food is criticised, among other reasons, for its relatively high environmental impact. It is, however, increasingly acknowledged that livestock can contribute to nutrition security if they upcycle low-opportunity-cost feed (LCF) – food waste, food processing by-products and grass resources – into nutritious animal-sourc...
Article
Full-text available
Free access to the article here: https://rdcu.be/bdq1i Altering diets is increasingly acknowledged as an important solution to feed the world’s growing population within the planetary boundaries. In our search for a planet-friendly diet, the main focus has been on eating more plant-source foods, and eating no or less animal-source foods, while the...
Article
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One of the main challenges for the 21st century is to balance the increasing demand for high-quality proteins while mitigating environmental impacts. In particular, cropland-based production of protein-rich animal feed for livestock rearing results in large-scale agricultural land-expansion, nitrogen pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here we...
Article
Full-text available
The need for more sustainable production and consumption of animal‐source food is central to the achievement of the sustainable development goals: within this context, wise use of land is a core challenge and concern. A key question in feeding the future world is: how much animal‐source food should we eat? We demonstrate that livestock raised under...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeFeed production is responsible for the majority of the environmental impact of livestock production, especially for monogastric animals, such as pigs. Some feeding strategies demonstrated that replacing one ingredient with a high impact, e.g. soybean meal (SBM), with an alternative protein source, e.g. locally produced peas or rapeseed meal,...
Book
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The report dissects claims made by different stakeholders in the debate about so called ‘grass-fed’ beef, the greenhouse gases the animals emit, and the possibility that, through their grazing actions, they can help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It evaluates these claims and counterclaims against the best available science, providing a...
Article
One widely recognized strategy to meet future food needs is reducing the amount of arable land used to produce livestock feed. Of all livestock products, beef is the largest land user per unit output. Whether beef production results in feed-food competition or a net positive contribution to the food supply, however, may depend largely on whether ma...
Article
Alternative feed sources are required to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of current pig production systems and to reduce the competition for cropland between the feed and food sectors. The objective of this study was to assess the environmental and economic impacts of utilizing existing and new co-products in the diets of pigs...
Article
This study aimed to identify the most essential input parameters in the assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions along the pork production chain. We identified most essential input parameters by combining two sensitivity-analysis methods: the multiplier method and the method of elementary effects. The former shows how much an input parameter in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Livestock directly contribute to food supply by providing essential nutrients to humans, and indirectly support cultivation of food crops by providing manure and draft power. Livestock, however, also consume humanedible food or graze on land suitable for cultivation of food crops. As we face the challenge of feeding 9.7 billion people by 2050, pref...
Article
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In 2000, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) projected that global demand for animal source food (ASF) would double by 2050 (Alexandratos and Bruinsma, 2012). Although these projections were revised slightly during recent years, they form the basis of many scientific and policy documents related to livestock production. Those projections,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the years to come global pressure on land use will intensify. Livestock production currently uses about 70% of the agricultural land, mainly for pasture and production of feed crops. Feeding nine billion people the required protein content of 57 g/day in 2050, is only possible when resources are used efficiently. From a land use perspective, thi...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Livestock already use most global agricultural land, whereas the demand for animal-source food (ASF) is expected to increase. To address the contribution of livestock to global food supply, we need a measure for land use efficiency of livestock systems. Methods Existing measures capture different aspects of the debate about land use efficie...
Article
Full-text available
The major impact of the livestock sector on the environment may be reduced by feeding agricultural co-products to animals. Since the last decade, co-products from biodiesel production, such as rapeseed meal (RSM), became increasingly available in Europe. Consequently, an increase in RSM content in livestock diets was observed at the expense of soyb...
Article
De grootschalige productie van on- ze huisvlieg voor veevoer levert nog geen betere klimaatscore op dan soja. Dat blijkt uit onderzoek van Hannah van Zanten, promovendus bij Dierlijke Productiesystemen en Livestock Research.
Article
Purpose The livestock sector has a major impact on the environment. This environmental impact may be reduced by feeding agricultural co-products (e.g. beet tails) to livestock, as this transforms inedible products for humans into edible products, e.g. pork or beef. Nevertheless, co-products have different applications such as bioenergy production....
Article
Full-text available
The livestock sector is searching for alternative protein sources, because of the expected increase in demand for animal products. Insects are such a protein source. Use of insects may reduce environmental impact as they have potential to turn organic waste into high quality insect-based feed products. The aim of this study was to explore the envir...
Article
Full-text available
In broiler houses, ventilation removes moisture and maintains ambient temperature and air quality. During cold weather conditions, ventilation can result in undesirable heat loss from the house. Extra input of energy for heating the building is needed then, resulting in extra CO2 emissions when fossil fuels are used for this purpose. In such a situ...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
While livestock production has negative environmental impacts, a certain amount of livestock production fed with low-opportunity-cost-feedstuff (grasslands, by-products and food waste) can minimize land use. This project aims to find which is the best compromise between food production from animal source foods and its environmental impacts. My main role in the project is to investigate the potential of global grasslands (rangelands and improved pastures) in producing protein and its associated environmental impact.
Project
The overall objective of this study is to develop pathways, by means of a ‘proof of principle’, towards regenerative farming in the Netherlands, with a focus on dairy and arable farming by 2050.
Project
The overall objective of this study is to explore the potential of the maize-soybean-chicken value chains in sustainable food systems and assess its contribution to achieving the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2) in the case of Southern Agricultural