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Environmental impacts of changes to healthier diets in Europe

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Author Info

  • Tukker, Arnold
  • Goldbohm, R. Alexandra
  • de Koning, Arjan
  • Verheijden, Marieke
  • Kleijn, René
  • Wolf, Oliver
  • Pérez-Domínguez, Ignacio
  • Rueda-Cantuche, Jose M.

Abstract

Food consumption causes, together with mobility, shelter and the use of electrical products, most life cycle impacts of consumption. Meat and dairy are among the highest contributors to environmental impacts from food consumption. A healthier diet might have less environmental impacts. Using the E3IOT environmentally extended input output database developed in an EU study on Environmental Impacts of Products (EIPRO), this paper estimates the difference in impacts between the European status quo and three simulated diet baskets, i.e. a pattern according to universal dietary recommendations, the same pattern with reduced meat consumption, and a 'Mediterranean' pattern with reduced meat consumption. Production technologies, protein and energy intake were kept constant. Though this implies just moderate dietary shifts, impact reductions of up to 8% were possible in reduced meat scenarios. The slightly changed food costs do not lead to significant first order rebound effects. Second order rebounds were estimated by applying the CAPRI partial equilibrium model. This analysis showed that European meat production sector will most likely respond by higher exports to compensate for losses on the domestic meat market. Higher impact reductions probably would need more drastic diet changes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 10 (August)
Pages: 1776-1788

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:10:p:1776-1788

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Food Meat Dairy Life cycle impacts Environmentally extended input output analysis;

References

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  1. Goodland, Robert, 1997. "Environmental sustainability in agriculture: diet matters," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 189-200, December.
  2. Biesiot, Wouter & Noorman, Klaas Jan, 1999. "Energy requirements of household consumption: a case study of The Netherlands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 367-383, March.
  3. Huppes, G. & Davidson, M.D. & Kuyper, J. & van Oers, L. & Udo de Haes, H.A. & Warringa, G., 2007. "Eco-efficient environmental policy in oil and gas production in The Netherlands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 43-51, February.
  4. Faye Duchin, 2004. "Sustainable Consumption of Food," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0405, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  5. de Boer, Joop & Helms, Martine & Aiking, Harry, 2006. "Protein consumption and sustainability: Diet diversity in EU-15," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 267-274, September.
  6. Berkhout, Peter H. G. & Muskens, Jos C. & W. Velthuijsen, Jan, 2000. "Defining the rebound effect," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 425-432, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. de Ruiter, Henri & Kastner, Thomas & Nonhebel, Sanderine, 2014. "European dietary patterns and their associated land use: Variation between and within countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 158-166.
  2. Xavier Irz & Pascal Leroy & Vincent Requillart & Louis Georges Soler & Olivier Allais, 2013. "Identifying sustainable diets compatible with consumer preferences," Working Papers 185106, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.

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