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Globally, two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, 151 million children under five suffer from stunting, and millions more have impaired cognitive development related to poor nutrition. This is partly due to insufficient consumption of animal-sourced foods (ASF), which supply multiple bioavailable nutrients that are lacking in the cereal-based diets of the poor. Yet, reports like the one recently published by the EAT-Lancet Commission, solely focus on the threat of ASF consumption on sustainability and human health, overestimate and ignore the tremendous variability in the environmental impact of livestock production, and fail to adequately include the experience of marginalized women and children in low- and middle-income countries whose diets regularly lack the necessary nutrients. Yet animal-source foods have been described by the World Health Organization as the best source of high-quality nutrient-rich food for children aged 6–23 months. Livestock and ASF are vital to sustainability as they play a critical role in improving nutrition, reducing poverty, improving gender equity, improving livelihoods, increasing food security, and improving health. The nutritional needs of the world's poor, particularly women and children, must be considered in sustainability debates.
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Global Food Security
journal homepage:
Animal source foods: Sustainability problem or malnutrition and
sustainability solution? Perspective matters
Adegbola T. Adesogan
, Arie H. Havelaar
, Sarah L. McKune
, Marjatta Eilittä
Georey E. Dahl
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, Department of Animal Sciences, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL,
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, Department of Animal Sciences, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, Department of Environmental and Global Health, The Center for African Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville,
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, Department of Agronomy, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, The Center for African Studies, University of
Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
Animal source foods
Globally, two billion people suer from micronutrient deciencies, 151 million children under ve suer from
stunting, and millions more have impaired cognitive development related to poor nutrition. This is partly due to
insucient consumption of animal-sourced foods (ASF), which supply multiple bioavailable nutrients that are
lacking in the cereal-based diets of the poor. Yet, reports like the one recently published by the EAT-Lancet
Commission, solely focus on the threat of ASF consumption on sustainability and human health, overestimate
and ignore the tremendous variability in the environmental impact of livestock production, and fail to ade-
quately include the experience of marginalized women and children in low- and middle-income countries whose
diets regularly lack the necessary nutrients. Yet animal-source foods have been described by the World Health
Organization as the best source of high-quality nutrient-rich food for children aged 623 months. Livestock and
ASF are vital to sustainability as they play a critical role in improving nutrition, reducing poverty, improving
gender equity, improving livelihoods, increasing food security, and improving health. The nutritional needs of
the world's poor, particularly women and children, must be considered in sustainability debates.
The notion that raising livestock and consuming animal-source food
(ASF; milk and dairy products, meat, sh, and eggs) is fundamentally
incompatible with sustainable development is awed. Negative per-
ceptions of the role of livestock in many sustainability debates arise
from overestimation of the environmental footprint of livestock pro-
duction (Steinfeld et al., 2006), a focus mainly on overconsumption of
ASF in middle-to high-income countries (MHIC) and, as demonstrated
recently by Poore and Nemeck (Poore and Nemecek, 2018), a narrow
interpretation of sustainability that focuses on one, albeit important,
indicator climate change (Steinfeld et al., 2006;Gerber et al., 2013;
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019).
Even the recent widely discussed EAT-Lancet Commission report
(Willet et al., 2019), which focusses on healthy dietsas well as cli-
mate change, uses a narrow interpretation that inadequately represents
the urgent dietary situation of many people living in low- and middle-
income (LMIC) countries. Both of these reports advocated substantial
reductions in consumption of ASF on the basis that existing diets
threaten sustainability because of their environmental footprint and/or
human health impacts. While the objectives of developing dietary
guidelines that safeguard human and planetary health are laudable, the
narrative of the EAT-Lancet Commission inadequately accounts for the
existing needs of many people and it has been criticized for various
reasons including unaordability (Hirvonen et al., 2019;Gupta and
Bharti, 2019), misleading environmental estimates (American Society
of Animal Science, 2019), nutritional inadequacies (Teicholz, 2019)
and overall omissions, including in areas relating to equity and liveli-
hoods (Hadaad, 2019). The EAT-Lancet Commission report re-
commendations can have a major negative impact on global apprecia-
tion of the importance of ASF in diets, even though it mainly considers
MHIC perspectives. There is a danger that it could be adopted without
further deliberations on the impacts in LMICs, endangering the health
and livelihoods of large sections of the populace.
Received 29 May 2019; Received in revised form 4 October 2019; Accepted 6 October 2019
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (S.L. McKune).
Global Food Security xxx (xxxx) xxxx
2211-9124/ © 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Please cite this article as: Adegbola T. Adesogan, et al., Global Food Security,
For the almost 800 million extremely poor people who live on less
than $1.90/day and subsist on a diet heavily based on starchy foods, as
well as for millions more who are slightly better o, more not less
ASF will be required for sustainable development, as ASF provide not
only calories but, more importantly, the nutrients required for
achievement of human development potential. Indeed, in many cases,
ASF are the only accessible source of such nutrients for the poor.
Though the EAT-Lancet Commission report briey states that more
meat and other major protein sources should be consumed by low in-
come populations that subsist on starch diets to mitigate malnutrition,
this critically important fact is contradicted in the key messages and
executive summary, which advocate low or less ASF consumption. If the
recommendations in the key messages of the EAT-Lancet commission
report to eat less ASF are adopted by poor pregnant and lactating
women in LMIC, they could maintain the current high stunting rates,
and the associated physical and cognitive development problems.
Furthermore, livestock and sh production meaningfully contribute to
the ability of these very vulnerable populations to achieve other equally
important targets of sustainable development, including income growth
and gender equality. Thus, eorts to achieve sustainable development
must include a more nuanced understanding of livestock and consider
their important implications on the lives of the poor.
Undernutrition causes almost half of child deaths globally and un-
dermines the long-term health of populations and the physical and
cognitive development of children (Black et al., 2008,2013;
Development Initiatives, 2018). According to WHO, stunting (low-
height-for-age), an important indicator of chronic undernutrition, af-
fected approximately 150.8 million (22.2%) of children under ve in
2017, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, where stunting rates
exceeding 30% still occur (UNICEF/WHO/World Bank, 2018). Stunting
begins in utero and is greatest during the rst 1000 days of life, from
conception to age 2 years (De Onis and Branca, 2016), though the ad-
verse eects persist for many more years later. This means that the rst
one thousand days post conception is a critical time for proper nutrition
for the mother and child (Victora et al., 2010). In the long term, chronic
malnutrition reduces cognitive and physical development, increases
rates of sickness and death from common illnesses, and reduces edu-
cational outcomes and lifelong productive capacity (Black et al., 2013).
Nutrient deciencies in infancy may trigger permanent epigenetic
changes in metabolism, which lead to poorer health later in life, when
stunted children go on to consume high-calorie, low-nutrient diets
common in developing countries. This combination of metabolic
changes and inadequate diets result in adults being at increased risk of
non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular dis-
ease, and Type 2 diabetes, compared to those who were not stunted
(Prendergast and Humphrey, 2014). Stunting also has intergenerational
eects: low birthweight is more common among infants whose mothers
and even grandmothers were stunted during early childhood (De Onis
and Branca, 2016). In addition, childhood stunting is estimated to de-
liver a per capita income penalty of 910% of gross domestic product
(GDP) in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (Galasso et al., 2016).
Key determinants of stunting include poor maternal health and
nutrition before and during pregnancy and lactation, inadequate
breastfeeding, inadequate maternal diets that compromise breastmilk
quality, poor feeding practices for infants and young children, and
unhealthy environments for children (Black et al., 2008;De Onis and
Branca, 2016;Sinha et al., 2018). Deciencies of vitamin A, iron, io-
dine, zinc, B
, and folic acid the most decient micronutrients
globally and particularly in diets of children and pregnant women
contribute to poor growth, intellectual impairment, perinatal compli-
cations, and increased risk of morbidity and mortality (Bailey et al.,
Animal-source foods are the best available sources of high-quality
nutrient-rich food for children aged 623 months (WHO, 2014). Com-
pared to plant foods, ASF supply greater quantities of higher quality
protein and more bioavailable vitamin A, vitamin D
, iron, iodine, zinc,
calcium, folic acid and key essential fatty acids. Animal source foods
(ASF) generally contain more bioavailable iron than plant foods, and
consuming ASF with plant-based foods increases the absorption of iron
in the latter (Englemann et al., 1998;Neumann et al., 2002;Navas-
Carretero et al., 2008). Similarly, consuming sh with vegetables in-
creases the absorption of vitamin A and some sh species contain twice
as high vitamin A concentration of vegetables as carrots or spinach
(Kawarazuka and Béné, 2010;Vilain et al., 2016). In addition, ASF are
the only natural source of vitamin B
, the deciency of which pre-
valent in individuals consuming low amounts of ASF in the developing
world is associated with developmental disorders, anemia, poorer
cognitive function, and lower motor development (Stabler and Allen,
2004). Based on their composition of micro- and macronutrients, as
well as essential amino acids, increasing ASF consumption is likely to be
more eective at reducing stunting than single nutrient supplementa-
tion, a strategy which is further complicated by the irregular and often
unsustained availability of nutrient supplements outside the main cities
of LMIC. A recent randomized controlled trial in Ecuador found that
providing one egg a day to children 69 months old for a year reduced
stunting and underweight (indicators of chronic and acute malnutrition
in infants) by 47 and 74%, respectively, and caused no allergies
(Iannotti et al., 2017). These nutritional benets are much greater than
those achieved by interventions not including ASF (Panjwani and
Heidkamp, 2017). Importantly, a recent attempt to validate the
Ecuador study in rural Malawi (Stewart et al., 2019) with 660 similarly-
aged infants failed to aect stunting. As indicated by authors, this may
have occurred because of the low stunting rates among the target po-
pulation and their frequent consumption of sh, another important
ASF, which would have supplied critical nutrients lacking in the basal
diet. A recent analysis of 130,432 children aged 623 months from 49
countries documented strong associations between stunting and a
generic ASF consumption indicator, as well as dairy, meat/sh, and egg
consumption indicators, and showed that consuming ASF was strongly
negatively associated with child stunting (Headey et al., 2018). In
particular, stunting levels were notably higher in regions where ASF
consumption was low such as South Central and SE Asia and West,
Central Eastern, and Southern Africa. Other research underscores the
importance of meat and milk in improving the growth outcomes of
children (Neumann et al., 2007;De Beer, 2012). A recent meta-analysis
involving 62 trials and 30,000 participants in 61 countries from ve
continents reported that ASF supplementation to pregnant mothers,
infants or children improved birth weight, children's weight and re-
duced stunting (Pimpin et al., 2019), though improvements in weight
were more pronounced than those in height. Interestingly, another re-
cent meta-analysis (Shapiro et al., 2019) with fewer (21) studies across
14 countries, found no consistent relationship between ASF consump-
tion and stunting, length/height, weight, head circumference, and an-
emia, and the authors attributed this to inconsistencies in the design of
the studies.
Deciencies of nutrients that are critical for neurological develop-
ment and present in ASF (vitamin B
, vitamin A, iron, zinc, doc-
osahexanoic acid, and iodine) have been associated with brain-related
disorders, including low intelligence quotient, autism, depression, and
dementia (Gupta, 2016). Supplementation of basal diets of Kenyan
school children with small amounts of meat or milk increased their test
scores by 45 and 28%, respectively, and an earlier studies by the same
group (Neumann et al., 2007) showed that meat supplementation was
associated with increased cognitive skills, leadership behavior, physical
activity, and initiative (Hulett et al., 2014). Maternal sh consumption
during pregnancy was associated with greater cognitive development in
infants postnatally (Daniels et al., 2004). Also, a recent review of the
evidence from eight intervention and 10 observational studies with data
from 61,066 adults and 26,299 children (age range:116 years) across
eleven countries, revealed that ASF supplementation or ASF based-diets
increased cognitive functions (test and exam scores) and uid in-
telligence and verbal skills by at least two-fold (Balehegn et al., 2019).
A.T. Adesogan, et al. Global Food Security xxx (xxxx) xxxx
Clearly, ASF can be vital for meeting the rst global target of the WHO
Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant, and Young
Child Nutrition, which calls for a 40% reduction in the number of
stunted children under ve by 2025 (WHO, 2014).
While there is evidence that some individuals should decrease
consumption of certain types of ASF to improve their health (USHHS &
USDA, 2015), achieving and maintaining recommended daily allow-
ances of dierent food groups including ASF should be the target
(USHHS & USDA, 2015;Buttriss, 2016). To this end, increasing access to
and consumption of moderate amounts of ASF should simultaneously
be a global priority for people in areas where undernutrition remains a
persistent problem, particularly for infants and women of child bearing
age. Unfortunately, recent attention to and focus on the negative impact
of livestock production skews this discussion. By focusing on produc-
tion systems that service the ASF demand of high income countries and
the negative impact of overconsumption there, global attention and
dialogue neglects the perspective and needs of the large number of
people living in LMIC, among whom increasing ASF consumption could
prevent stunting and improve overall health and development out-
comes. Sustainability of the planet must consider nutritionally vulner-
able populations, women, and children, and the impact that low con-
sumption of ASF has on their lives and futures a perspective mostly
missing or underrepresented in scientic analyses or heated discussions
on the impacts of ASF production on climate change. What is also
missing is an understanding of how low the consumption of ASF is
among the poor, particularly in LMIC, where starch-based diets are
typical. For example, mean annual per capita meat consumption in the
bottom four meat-consuming countries (Sudan, India, Bangladesh, and
Ethiopia) is less than one-thirtieth of that in the top four (Brazil, Ur-
uguay, Australia, and USA; Fig. 1). There is a decreasing trend in the
proportion of stunted children in various countries across the world
with increasing per capita consumption of meat, based on the data in
Fig. 1. While this association at country level cannot be interpreted as
evidence of a causal relationship, and while it may reect the income
elasticity of certain ASF like meat, it further supports the study of
Heady et al. (Headey et al., 2018), the meta analysis of Pimpin et al.
(2019) and the hypothesis that ASF has benecial eects on child
growth, which requires further evaluation at the individual level in
diverse settings.
In 2015, the United Nations adopted a resolution to transform the
world by 2030 by achieving 17 ambitious Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs). These include no poverty; zero hunger; good health and
wellbeing; good-quality education; gender equality; decent work and
economic growth; aordable clean energy; and climate action, among
others (UN, 2018). Though the goals build on the historical Millennium
Development Goals, they have been expanded explicitly to include
goals and metrics to which developing countries need to strive. The new
goals illustrate clearly that all countries have important work ahead if
global sustainability is to be achieved, and that there are inherent and
important dierences in what work remains. It is important to note that
livestock are indispensable for the achievement of the SDGs, partly
because they play an essential role in the lives of the poor (Smith,
2017). Detailed descriptions of the role of livestock in achieving the
SDGs were given by LGA (2016) and FAO (2018a).Some of the main
highlights are as follows: Poverty elimination is highly unlikely without
attention to the livestock sector, the world's fastest growing agricultural
sub-sector, making up ve of the ten highest value commodities in the
world (LGA, 2016) and accounting for 40%, on average, of the global
agricultural GDP in developing countries (Steinfeld et al., 2006;LD4D,
2018;GLAD, 2018). Increasing food security and eliminating hunger
without livestock would be an even greater challenge than it already is
for over half of the world's poor people who rely on the sector for
subsistence, as well as income, insurance, and food (LGA, 2016;FAO,
2012;FAO, 2018a). Furthermore, livestock production allows food
production on 57% of the earth's land that cannot be used for crop
production (Mottet et al., 2017); and livestock production supplied 25%
of protein and 18% of calories consumed globally in 2016, both of
which are required for nutritional security (FAOSTAT, 2016-2018 cited
by Mottet et al., 2017). Livestock provided draught power.or traction
for about a third of farmers in developing countries (Bruinsma, 2003),
though a more recent estimate is 50% of the world's farmers (World
Bank, 2009). Livestock manure provides organic fertilizer for over 50%
most of the world's croplands, converting waste products into inputs for
production of high-value food (Bruinsma, 2003;FAO, 2018b). The
manure plays an important role in replenishing soil organic matter,
which is critical for maintaining soil health and quality and hence
sustaining crop productivity and restoring degraded soils (FAO, 2018b).
For millions, manure also serves as an important building material and
Fig. 1. Meat consumption per capita and stunting rate estimates in dierent countries (Adapted from OECD (2018) and UNICEF-WHO-World Bank (2017).
A.T. Adesogan, et al. Global Food Security xxx (xxxx) xxxx
an income source when sold for fuel. Achieving the SDG target for
gender equality without attention to livestock production would be
dicult, as nearly half of the world's farmers are women (Raney et al.,
2011), and livestock is especially important for those female small-
holder farmers who do not own land (Bravo-Baumann, 2000). Animal
source food production contributes meaningfully to goals for a sus-
tainable food system, by converting millions of tons of agroindustrial
by-products that cannot be consumed by humans into livestock feeds,
concomitantly reducing waste and environmental pollution and in-
creasing human-consumable food. It is critical to note also that globally,
only about 14% of the feed dry matter ingested by livestock is edible to
humans, based on recent FAO data (Mottet et al., 2017,Fig. 2), and the
gure is likely even lower in several developing countries where ru-
minant livestock subsist mainly on pastures or crop residues. These
aspects are often overlooked in discussions about livestock and sus-
tainability, such as in the recent Science article (Poore and Nemecek,
2018) that received global attention and unfortunately catalyzed
widely-circulated non-scientic media calling for less ASF consumption
in order to save the planet (Monbiot, 2018).
Though less pronounced in developed countries, the current in-
creasing global demand for ASF is widespread in LMICs (WHO, 2013;
Livestock Dialogue, 2014;Turk, 2016;LGA, 2016). With increasing
urbanisation, education levels, and auence in LMICs, the demand for
ASF rises and this is likely to continue (Bruinsma, 2003;WHO, 2013;
Zhang et al., 2017). This partly because as populations develop eco-
nomically, they and their families become more food and nutritionally
secure, including having increased dietary diversity from fruits and
vegetable consumption (Mayen et al., 2014), as well as ASF (Agrawal
et al., 2019). Sustainable intensication of livestock production, which
involves improved resource use eciency with environmental stew-
ardship, can foster a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while
meeting this growing global demand for livestock products, which is
expected to increase by 70% by 2050 (FAO, 2019). Several reviews
have described how adverse environmental impacts of livestock
production can be signicantly curtailed using strategies such as im-
proving herd eciency and health and genetics; improving feed pro-
duction and feeding practices including grazing management; heat
abatement, fertility management, and facility design; reducing herd
sizes to retain only productive and ecient animals; ensuring attaine-
ment of market size or weight earlier, and manure management to re-
cover and recycle nutrients and energy, etc. (Hristov et al., 2013a,b,c;
Knapp et al., 2014;FAO, 2018b). These approaches can reduce green-
house gas emissions by up to 30% (FAO, 2013;Knapp et al., 2014;LGA,
2016)and they have reduced greenhouse gas emissions in intensive
dairy farms to as low as 1 kg of CO
equivalents (CO2e)/kg of energy-
corrected milk (ECM), compared with > 7 kg of CO
e/kg of ECM in
extensive systems. Further, strategic integration of other operations into
livestock production can severely curtail greenhouse gas emissions, and
even result in net sequestration of carbon. For instance, a recent meta-
analysis of 86 studies concluded that silvo-pastoral systems, which in-
volve livestock production in forests, resulted in the greatest net ac-
cumulation of soil carbon or net sink of greenhouse gases among
agroforestry systems studied (Feliciano et al., 2018). In addition,
widespread adoption of anaerobic digestion of manure to produce
biogas in the US and the resultant reductions in coal and manure
greenhouse gas emissions, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
99 + 59 metric tons and produce 0.6% of the annual electricity con-
sumption (DCuéllar and Webber, 2008).
Like other agricultural systems, all livestock systems contribute to
environmental pollution in dierent ways and to varying degrees. Each
livestock system should critically examine which of the above practices
it should adopt to improve environmental stewardship.
The current low productivity of livestock relative to their green-
house gas emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia results in
higher greenhouse gas emission intensities. For example, to produce as
much milk as the average US dairy cow in a year (10,000 L), about 8
Indian dairy cows (producing an average of 1200 L annually) would be
required, generating nine times as much methane from gastrointestinal
Fig. 2. Global livestock feed dry matter intake [Adapted from FAO, 2017 (Adpated from Mottet et al., 2017)].
A.T. Adesogan, et al. Global Food Security xxx (xxxx) xxxx
sources (Mitloehner, 2016). In LMICs, where emissions of greenhouse
gases per unit of food produced, are generally higher, sustainable in-
tensication will require practices such as feeding energy dense, nu-
tritionally balanced rations, culling unproductive animals, fertility
management, improving genetics, decreasing herd size to retain only
productive animals, using appropriate mechanization, heat abatement
and improving herd health.
Sustainable intensication of livestock production contributes to
achievement of the SDG goals of responsible consumption and pro-
duction; sustainable cities and communities; and climate action.
Indeed, among agricultural strategies to achieve the climate action goal
of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sustainably intensifying livestock
production may be the strategy with the greatest potential (FAO,
2018a). This emphasizes the need for signicant additional investments
in research and development to curtail greenhouse gas emissions from
livestock systems, particularly from the ruminant production systems
that contribute the most emissions. Such investments are greatly
needed to increase sustainably productivity and production eciency
and thereby reduce emissions per unit of food produced from such
In addition to consideration of agricultural strategies to minimize
negative environmental impacts of livestock production, attempts to
increase ASF consumption must also reduce the risks from acute and
chronic human diseases associated with their production and con-
sumption, especially in smallholder livestock systems in developing
countries. Infectious diseases at the animal-human interface are highly
dynamic and livestock are an important reservoir of zoonotic diseases.
To date, control of these infectious diseases has had limited success in
low- and middle-income countries, resulting in a high burden of human
gastrointestinal disease (Havelaar et al., 2015). Environmental enteric
dysfunction (EED) an important risk factor for stunting is associated
with chronic inammation in the intestines of young children and
asymptomatic infections by diverse enteric pathogens including those
present in livestock manure (Platts-Mills et al., 2017). In developed and
developing countries alike, antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, often
associated with intensication of production systems, are commonly
found in animals, animal food products, and agro-food environments
(Schwarz et al., 2018). These risks highlight the need for improved
management practices to increase food safety and mitigate disease risks
from livestock. Finally, overconsumption of certain ASF may increase
the risk of developing of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes
(Battaglia et al., 2015). Thus, while eorts should be made to increase
consumption of ASF among the poorest, the general goal needs to
emphasize moderation in ASF consumption and adherence to re-
commended daily intakes (Buttriss, 2016;USHHS & USDA, 2015).
Sustainable development strives to meet the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their
own needs(Bruntland Commission, 1987). The current rate of ASF
consumption among the world's poorest people meets neither their
nutritional needspresent or futurenor those of their children and
children's children; rather it results in poor nutrition and health, poor
educational achievements, and lifelong restrictions of economic pro-
ductivity, with all the attendant intergenerational harms these can
cause. Conversely, evidence suggests that well-timed, modest increases
in the amounts of milk, sh, meat, and egg consumption among the
poorest people could signicantly improve their nutritional status, as
well as their educational and economic successes. This highlights the
fundamental problem of advocating dietary change towards less ASF
consumption (Willet et al., 2019): it is an unbalanced view of sustain-
ability that does not adequately address the needs of the most vulner-
able. While vegetarianism or veganism may be nutritionally feasible in
the very places where ASF is overconsumed, the recommendation
overlooks the risk of a vegetarian or vegan diet to those on whom it is
unwillingly imposed and where micronutrient supplements are un-
available. Without doubt, increases in ASF consumption among the
global poor needs to be achieved while safeguarding the health and
wellbeing of people, animals, and the environment. This will require
smart, intentional, and enduring collaborations among livestock and
human nutrition and health practitioners, as well as policymakers and
environmentalists. It will also necessitate a nuanced understanding of
and attention to the disparate needs and perspectives of a global po-
pulation. Only with eective multidisciplinary partnerships will we
improve the accessibility and aordability of nutrient-dense ASF in low-
income countries while maximizing the benets and minimizing the
adverse eects environmental and otherwise of ASF production
Declaration of competing interest
Authors acknowledge no conict of interest to report.
This work was funded in whole or part by the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Food Security under
Agreement # AID-OAA-L-15-00003 as part of Feed the Future
Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. Any opinions, ndings, conclu-
sions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors
The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not ne-
cessarily reect the views of [REMOVED FOR BLIND REVIEW]. We
thank those who provided comments on the manuscript including
[REMOVED FOR BLIND REVIEW] for assistance with the data collation.
Authors contributed equally to this paper.
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... Achieving the mentioned goal is not possible only through the supply of plant-based food, but it requires equal contribution from animal source food (meat, dairy, and eggs) (Henchion et al., 2021). The world's total demands for animal source food are expected to from 1.4 billion tonnes to 2.0 billion tonnes by 2050 (Adesogan et al., 2020). Using animal source foods increases protein quantity and quality. ...
Globally agricultural production system generates a huge amount of solid waste. Improper agri-waste management causes environmental pollution which resulted in economic losses and human health-related problems. Hence, there is an urgent need to design and develop eco-friendly, cost-effective, and socially acceptable agri-waste management technologies. Agri-waste has high energy conversion efficiency as compared to fossil fuel-based energy generation materials. Agri-waste can potentially be exploited for the production of second-generation biofuels. However, composted agri-waste can be an alternative to energy-intensive chemical fertilizers in organic production systems. Furthermore, value-added agri-waste can be a potential feedstock for livestock and industrial products. But comprehensive information concerning agri-waste management is lacking in the literature. Therefore, the present study reviewed the latest advancements in efficient agri-waste management technologies. This latest review will help the researchers and policy planners to formulate environmentally clean residue management practices for achieving a green economy in the agricultural production sector.
... In this regard, dairy products of hyper-immunized (creating an immune state greater than normal) dairy cows not only will provide massive specific immune components to the consumers, very high biological values of milk and colostrum, but can also enhance the host immune response to the infection. Considering the fact that people, especially children and elderly, in many undeveloped countries, are suffering from a poor diet with low protein and vitamin contents (6). Milk contains essential nutrients like highquality protein, calcium, and potent antioxidants like vitamins A, D, and more (7). ...
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Many different strategies have been used to fight against the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as a therapeutics or prophylaxis approaches. However, not enough attention has been paid to general and specific immune factors and nutritional components found in hyper-immunized dairy products. Hyper-immune bovine colostrum (HBC) has been used against many different respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts infections during past decades. An isolated dairy farm was established, and nine mixed Holstein X Simmental dairy cattle in their 6–7 months of gestation period were chosen for hyper-immunization with inactivated Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). For this, six cows were inoculated with 2 ml of 10 9.4 /ml (TCID 50 ) of the virus. As a control group, three cows were inoculated with the carrier without virus. Specific IgG level against the SARS-CoV-2 was measured before and after immunization in the sera, and in the colostrum and milk following parturition in hyper-immunized cows using indirect Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Neutralizing antibodies in the serum and colostrum was measured by a quantitative ELISA. The safety of the product was determined in40 healthy volunteers aged between 18–65 years old (13 females and 27 males) in the phase 1 clinical trial ( ). No adverse effects were observed in the experimental cows. A very high level of IgG was observed in the first colostrum that sharply decreased in the following 7 days in the milk. The titer of specific neutralizing antibody in the colostrum samples was 69 times higher than the sera. No adverse effects and clinical complications were reported by the authorized ethics committee, and an official certificate on the safety of the product was issued. Beside other strategies, this approach could be used for large-scale and low-cost production of immune components to be used as a nutritional supplement to confront current SARS-CoV-2 and future pandemics. Clinical Trial Registration [ ].
... Major shifts to fish-based and vegetarian and vegan diets would be needed to eradicate animal-related GHGs, following the EAT-Lancet approach, which emphasizes the need for much greater consumption of plant-based foods and lower consumption of ASFs, particularly red meat (Poore and Nemecek, 2018). Some oppose the EAT-Lancet approach, claiming it is focused solely on the threat ASF consumption poses for sustainability and human health, ignoring variability in the environmental impact of livestock production and failing to adequately include the experience of marginalized women and children in low-and middle-income countries whose diets regularly lack the necessary nutrients (Adesogan et al., 2020). ...
Technical Report
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Ifad flagship publication: transforming food systems for rural prosperity
... Furthermore, the introduction of a slight amount of ASF in a diet can enhance the nutritional enactment of plant-based foods and consumers' nutritional status [11,12]. Nevertheless, there are yet many communities globally that have low or marginal access to ASF [13]. Numerous food consumed by developing countries are lacking an essential quality and the quantities of energy, protein, and other nutrients to suggestions [14]. ...
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Introduction: Animal source foods contain quality nutrients, immunity, and behavioral outcome and are important for growth, and development. However, evidence on the level of animal source food consumption frequency and associated factors among pregnant women in Ethiopia, particularly rural residents are limited. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the consumption frequency of animal source food and to identify associated factors among pregnant women in the Haramaya district. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 448 pregnant women. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews by trained research assistants, using a validated frequency questionnaire. Consumption of animal food sources was assessed by counting the frequency of each food from animal sources that pregnant women ate over a seven-day reference period. The highest tertile for animal source food consumption was considered as the high frequency of animal source food consumption; whereas the two lower tertiles were taken as the low frequency of animal source food consumption. A binary logistic regression model was used to investigate the association of the independent variables with the animal source food consumption. An adjusted odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval was reported to show an association using a p-value <0.05. Results: The high frequency of animal source food consumption among the study participants was 24.78% (95% CI = 21%-29%). High animal source food consumption was more likely higher among respondents who were literate (AOR = 1.80; 95% CI = 1.048-3.095), and those who owned milk cows (ARO = 1.70; 95% CI = 1.003-2.863). However, respondent who reported chewing khat (AOR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.313-0.805) (AOR = 0.56; 95% CI = 0.349-0.903), were less likely experienced animal source food consumption. Conclusion: We found low animal source food consumption among pregnant women in this predominantly rural setting. Women's educational level and milk cow ownership were positively associated with animal source food consumption. Additionally, a lower frequency of animal source food consumption was observed among women who reported chewing khat. Therefore, nutrition policy programs and interventions aimed at encouraging maternal nutritional guidance and counseling are recommended.
... Along with protein, animal products contain multiple essential nutrients for humans, such as essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D3, and B12, calcium, iron, and zinc. 23 To take the specific nutritional functions of animal products in the diet into account, we used three scenarios that put different emphasis on three main nutrient groups: omega-3 fatty acids (scenario MaxFattyAcids), minerals (scenario MaxMinerals), and vitamins (scenario MaxVitamins). In each of these scenarios, one of the respective groups of nutrients was maximised instead of protein. ...
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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 to reducing environmental impacts. This change could be made by limiting livestock feed to available low-opportunity-cost biomass (LOCB). We examined the compatibility of national dietary guidelines for animal products with livestock production on the basis of the feed supplied by available LOCB. Methods We investigated whether the national dietary recommendations for animal products for Bulgaria, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland could be met with domestically available LOCB. We used an optimisation model that allocates feed resources to different species of farm animals. Of the resulting scenarios, we assessed the nutritional feasibility, climate impact, and land use. Findings Our results showed the environmental benefits of reducing the recommended animal products in the FBDGs, and that animal products from LOCB could provide between 22% (Netherlands) and 47% (Switzerland) of total protein contributions of the FBDGs. This range covers a substantial part of the nutritional needs of the studied populations. To fully meet these needs, consumption of plant-based food could be increased. Interpretation Our results contribute to the discussion of what quantities of animal products in dietary guidelines are compatible with circular food systems. Thus, national dietary recommendations for animal products should be revised and recommended quantities lowered. This finding is consistent with recent efforts to include sustainability criteria in dietary guidelines. Funding Swiss National Science Foundation and the Dutch Research Council.
... While the nutrition transition has resulted in the increased consumption of terrestrial ASFs in urban centres (Popkin et al., 2012;Delgado, 2003;Bett et al., 2012), many rural poor communities still rely heavily on predominantly plant-based diets (Henjum et al., 2015;Torheim et al., 2010;Becquey and Martin-Prevel, 2010). In these communities, the low or zero consumption of ASFs results in an inadequate food intake and a low absorption (or bioavailability) of important micronutrients such as zinc, iron and vitamin A. These micronutrients are often deemed "problem nutrients", as they are deficient in the diets of more than two billion people globally (Adesogan et al., 2019;Barré et al., 2018;Thilsted et al., 2014;Ferguson et al., 2006). ...
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ABSTRACT The study presented in this chapter sought to assess the sustainability outcomes of different procurement models for primary school meals services in five European countries. Based on environmental impact analysis, this chapter reports on the size and composition of the carbon footprints of the procurement models and analyses the contributions to overall carbon emissions of the various activities in the supply chains for meals services. It was found that while the transportation of food by suppliers to schools contributed somewhat to overall carbon footprints, other variables have a more significant impact, in particular the amount of meat on the menu and the choice of waste disposal method. The chapter concludes by discussing which actions stakeholders should prioritize to improve the environmental impacts of public food procurement. The research for this chapter was funded under European Union H2020 grant agreement 678024.
... However, the type and content of nutrients may not be enough to reflect the nutritional value of the food. Furthermore, nutrition practitioners and researchers emphasize the final effects of the nutrients or the food system on human health [27][28][29][30][31][32], and thus the nutritional value of a food should be evaluated through another systematic evaluation scheme. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish the different methods used for evaluation of the nutritional value of food. ...
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There are many methods or indicators used for evaluating the nutritional value of foods; however, it is difficult to accurately reflect the comprehensive nutritional value of a food with a single indicator, and a systematic evaluation system is lacking. In this article, we systematically summarize the common evaluation methods and indicators of the nutritional value of foods. The purpose of this review was to establish an evaluation procedure for nutritional properties of foodstuffs and to help scientists choose more direct and economical evaluation methods according to food types or relevant indicators. The procedure involves the selection of a three-level evaluation method that covers the whole spectrum of a food’s nutritional characteristics. It is applicable to scientific research in the fields of agricultural science, food science, nutrition, and so on.
... Meat and animal products play an important role in global food security, giving a significant contribution to both protein and calorie supply, as well as micronutrients, in human diets (Henchion et al 2017). However, the production of animal source foods (ASFs) is often also related to food security and food safety issues (Adesogan et al 2020). ...
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Growing population and rising incomes are leading to an ever-increasing demand for animal-based foods. Pigmeat is currently the most consumed meat globally, even exceeding the consumption of poultry meat. Despite the disproportionate environmental burden of animal production – mostly attributable to associated feed demand, up-to-date country-scale quantifications of the land and water impacts of the concentrate feed (mainly cereals and soybean) and co-products required to support pig production are still missing. In addition, the specific role that international feed trade plays in separating resource use from consumption and in altering resource use efficiencies remains unclear. This paper analyses at a country-scale the internal and external consumption of natural resources (i.e., land and water) to support pig feed production in 2018. Combining data on the country- and production system-specific diets and crop-specific yields with an agro-hydrological model, we find that 64.1 Mha of agricultural land (5% of all croplands) and 332.6 km3 of water (both green and blue) (6% of all agricultural water use) were utilized by China, EU-27 and the United States (accounting for 70% of pigmeat production) to produce pig feed alone. Comparing domestic feed production scenarios with those that also consider the feed trade, we show that global resource consumption tends to be more efficient when considering international feed trade, especially in China and EU-27, while sometimes causing significant environmental impacts. This demonstrates the need to investigate the environmental effects of pig feed associated both with the domestic use of natural resources, but also to the ones displaced by international trade.
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Most existing poverty research focused on the identification of households in absolute poverty; few studies attempted to identify households in relative poverty (HRP). In this paper, we first developed an improved Bayes’s theorem algorithm to sense individuals’ spatio-temporal behavior characteristics via integrating mobile phone signaling, electricity consumption, and Points of Interest. We then utilized the improved random forest to identify HRP based on individuals’ spatio-temporal behavior characteristics and building properties. A total of 29,370 urban households in Fengchan community, Zhengzhou, China, were selected to conduct this study. The accuracy rate was about 90% when it was verified against the household survey data. Three conclusions can be drawn from our analysis: (1) the individuals’ spatio-temporal behavior characteristics played a more critical role in identifying HRP than building properties, (2) the identification accuracy of multi-source data is higher than that of single-source data, (3) mobile phone signaling records and building footprints data are more important in identifying HRP in low-rise buildings, while electricity consumption data is more crucial in the identification in high-rise buildings. Our proposed methods can accurately identify urban HRP, which is helpful to target interventions in the most needed areas. Our findings can inform relief policies in similar cities.
This review aimed to compare alternative protein sources in terms of nutritional composition and health benefits with the purpose of disseminating up-to-date knowledge and contribute for diversification of the food marked and consumers decision-making. Plant-based is the most well-established category of alternative proteins, but there is still room for diversification. Less conventional species such as chia seeds are prominent sources of ω-3 (∼60% total lipids), while hempseed and quinoa are notable sources of ω-6 (up to 58% and 61%, respectively). Edible insects and microalgae are alternative foods rich in protein (up to 70%), fibers (∼30%), as well as peptides and polysaccharides with antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-hypertensive, antidiabetic, antidepressant, antitumor, and immunomodulatory activities. Additionally, lipid contents in insect larvae can be as high as 50%, on a dry weight basis, containing fatty acids with anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties. In contrast, edible fungi have low lipid contents (∼2%), but are rich in carbohydrates (up to 79%) and have balanced amino acid profiles. The results suggest that food formulations combining different alternative protein sources can meet dietary requirements. Further studies on flavoring and texturing processes will help to create meat and dairy analogs, thus helping to broaden acceptance and applicability of alternative protein sources.
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Animal-sourced foods are the best source of nutrientrich foods for children aged 6 to 23 mo according to the World Health Organization. • Studies on the role of animal-sourced foods on cognitive functions are limited, but consistently show compelling benefits. • Animal-sourced food consumption can positively contribute to school performance in children, lifelong achievement, economic productivity, and social and community outcomes. • More large-scale randomized controlled longitudinal studies are required to fully understand the link between consumption of animal-sourced foods and cognitive development. • Improving production of animal-sourced foods does not guarantee increased consumption by children. Complex health, gender, cultural, financial, and religious barriers limit the consumption of animal-sourced food by children, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. • To increase consumption of animal-source food by vulnerable children, affordability, acceptance, and access must be increased.
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Background: Stunted growth is a significant public health problem in many low-income countries. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of 1 egg per day on child growth in rural Malawi. Design: We conducted an individually randomized controlled trial in which 660 children aged 6-9 mo were equally allocated into an intervention (1 egg/d) or control group. Eggs were provided during twice-weekly home visits for 6 mo. Control households were visited at the same frequency. Assessors blinded to intervention group measured length, weight, head circumference, and midupper arm circumference at baseline and the 6-mo follow-up visit. To assess adherence, multipass 24-h dietary recalls were administered at baseline, 3-mo, and 6-mo visits. Results: Between February and July 2018, 660 children were randomly assigned into the intervention (n = 331) and control (n = 329) groups. Losses to follow-up totaled 10%. In the intervention group, egg consumption increased from 3.9% at baseline to 84.5% and 70.3% at the 3-mo and 6-mo visits, whereas in the control group, it remained below 8% at all study visits. The baseline prevalence of stunting was 14%, underweight was 8%, and wasting was 1% and did not differ by group. There was no intervention effect on length-for-age, weight-for-age, or weight-for-length z scores. There was a significantly higher head circumference for age z score of 0.18 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.34) in the egg group compared with the control group. There was a significant interaction with maternal education (P = 0.024), with an effect on length-for-age z score only among children whose mothers had higher education. Conclusions: The provision of 1 egg per day to children in rural Malawi had no overall effect on linear growth. A background diet rich in animal source foods and low prevalence of stunting at baseline may have limited the potential impact. This trial was registered at as NCT03385252.
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Animal-source foods (ASFs) are a food group of interest for interventions aimed at reducing stunting and other inadequate growth measures in early childhood. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the relation between ASF consumption and stunting in children aged 6-60 mo in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The secondary aim was to examine the relation between ASF consumption and other indicators of growth and development (length/height, weight, head circumference, and anemia). A search of the peer-reviewed and grey literature published from January 1980 to June 2017 was conducted. Databases searched included CINAHL, Embase, Global Index Medicus, PubMed, and Web of Science. There were 14,783 records and 116 full text articles dual screened; 21 studies were included in the review and were dual evaluated for risk of bias (RoB). The relation between ASF and stunting (length- or height-for-age z-score←2) was examined in randomized-controlled trials [(RCTs), n = 3] and cross-sectional studies (n = 4) only; ASF reduced stunting in 1 RCT and was associated with reduced stunting in 1 cross-sectional study. We did not identify any longitudinal cohorts that examined this relation. The relation between ASF and secondary indicators length/height, weight, head circumference, and anemia were largely nonsignificant across study designs. The intervention/exposure, comparator, outcome measures, methods, and analyses were highly heterogeneous. Although we did not find a consistent relation between ASF consumption and our primary and secondary outcomes, this may have been a function of inconsistencies in study design. Foods in the whole diet, particularly combination dishes, are inherently difficult to assess. To quantitatively assess the relation between ASF and stunting and other indicators of growth and iron status in early childhood, future research should provide consistency in the definition and quantification of the exposure and outcomes allowing for interstudy quantitative comparisons.
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Background: Child stunting is a major public health problem, afflicting 155 million people worldwide. Lack of animal-source protein has been identified as a risk, but effects of animal protein supplementation are not well established. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate effects of animal protein supplementation in mothers, preterm infants, and term infants/children on birth and growth outcomes. Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, Web of Science, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature were searched for randomized controlled trials of animal protein supplementation in mothers or infants and children (≤age 5 y), evaluating measures of anthropometry (≤age 18 y). Main outcomes included birth weight, low birth weight, small for gestational age at birth; height, height-for-age, weight, weight-for-age, weight-for-length, stunting, and wasting ≤18 y of age. Data were extracted independently in duplicate, and findings pooled using inverse variance meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was explored using I2, stratified analysis, and meta-regression, and publication bias by funnel plots, Egger's test, and fill/trim methods. Results: Of 6808 unique abstracts and 357 full-text articles, 62 trials were included. The 62 trials comprised over 30,000 participants across 5 continents, including formula-based supplementation in infants and food-based supplementation in pregnancy and childhood. Maternal supplementation increased birth weight by 0.06 kg, and both formula and food-based supplementation in term infants/young children increased weight by ≤0.14 kg. Neither formula nor food-based supplementation for term infants/young children increased height, whereas the height-for-age z-score was increased in the food-based (+0.06 z-score) but not formula-based (-0.11 z-score) trials reporting this outcome. In term infants, the weight-for-length z-score was increased in trials of formula (+0.24 z-score) and food supplementation (+0.06 z-score), whereas food supplementation was also associated with reduced odds of stunting (-13%). Conclusions: Supplementation of protein from animal-source foods generally increased weight and weight-for-length in children, but with more limited effects on other growth outcomes such as attained height.
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Background/objectives: Most interventions to foster child growth and development in India focus on improving food quality and quantity. We aimed to assess the pattern in food consumption and dietary diversity by socioeconomic status (SES) among Indian children. Subjects/methods: The most recent nationally representative, cross-sectional data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4, 2015-16) was used for analysis of 73,852-74,038 children aged 6-23 months. Consumption of 21 food items, seven food groups, and adequately diversified dietary intake (ADDI) was collected through mother's 24-h dietary recall. Logistic regression models were conducted to assess the association between household wealth and maternal education with food consumption and ADDI, after controlling for covariates. Results: Overall, the mean dietary diversity score was low (2.26; 95% CI:2.24-2.27) and the prevalence of ADDI was only 23%. Both household wealth and maternal education were significantly associated with ADDI (OR:1.28; 95% CI:1.18-1.38 and OR:1.75; 95% CI:1.63-1.90, respectively), but the SES gradient was not particularly strong. Furthermore, the associations between SES and consumption of individual food items and food groups were not consistent. Maternal education was more strongly associated with consumption of essential food items and all food groups, but household wealth was found to have significant influence on intake of dairy group only. Conclusions: Interventions designed to improve food consumption and diversified dietary intake among Indian children need to be universal in their targeting given the overall high prevalence of inadequate dietary diversity and the relatively small differentials by SES.
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Objectives Prevalence of under-nutrition is very high in India. Under-nutrition is a result of interplay between different immediate, underlying, and basic causes. The study was conducted with the objective to identify significant predictors of stunting, wasting, and underweight. Methods Cross-sectional studies with 2299 children from five high-burden pockets of four Indian states were conducted. Primary data on their anthropometric measurements along with their households' demographic and socioeconomic characteristics were collected. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the predictors of stunting, wasting, and underweight. Results Results show very high prevalence of stunting, wasting, and underweight in all five regions covered in the study. Multivariate analyses show that food security, use of toilets, and low body mass index status of mothers were the major predictors of stunting and underweight among children. Acute respiratory infection disease was the major predictor of underweight and diarrhea was the major predictor of stunting. Younger children (<24 months) had lower odds of underweight and stunting compared to older children (24–59 months). The analyses showed higher odds of wasting among male children. Regional variations were also seen in the study with higher odds of underweight and wasting in Khuntpani block and higher odds of stunting in Naraini block. Conclusion The above findings indicate that for comprehensively addressing child under-nutrition, it is very important to address maternal nutrition, improve food security, and reduce poverty status, provide better water and sanitation facility to the community, control infections, and address regional disparity.