Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) or Environmental Analysis

Meat consumption reduction in Italian regions: Health co-benefits and decreases in GHG emissions.

INTRODUCTION: Animal agriculture has exponentially grown in recent decades in response to the rise in global demand for meat, even in countries like Italy that traditionally eat a Mediterranean, plant-based diet. Globalization related dietary changes are contributing to the epidemic of non-communicable diseases and to the global climate crisis, and are associated with huge carbon and water footprints.

Nutritional Sustainability: Aligning Priorities in Nutrition and Public Health with Agricultural Production.

Nutrition science-based dietary advice urges changes that may have a great impact on agricultural systems. For example, the 2016 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends greatly increased fruit and vegetable consumption, but the present domestic production is insufficient to accommodate large-scale adoption of these guidelines. Increasing production to the extent needed to meet the DGA will necessitate changes in an already stressed agriculture and food system and will require nutrition and agriculture professionals to come together in open and collegial discourse.

Meat consumption reduction policies: benefits for climate change mitigation and health.

Agricultural food production substantially contributes to green house gas (GHG) emissions worldwide and 80% of the agricultural emissions arise from the livestock sector, in particular from ruminants. Meat consumption is generally above dietary recommendations in many countries, including Italy, and it is increasing in developing countries. Although meat is a source of essential nutrients, it provides large amounts of saturated fat, which is a known risk factor for obesity and for several diseases such as stroke, breast cancer and colon cancer.

Wholesome Nutrition: an example for a sustainable diet

'Wholesome Nutrition' is a concept of sustainable nutrition that was developed at the University of Giessen in the 1980s. In this concept, health and the ecologic, economic, social and cultural dimensions of nutrition are equally important. In 1992 at the UN-Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro the definition of 'Sustainable Development' comprised the dimensions environment, economy and society. Additionally to these three 'classical' dimensions of sustainability, we included 'health' as the fourth dimension because nutrition has far reaching effects on human health.

Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption

The consumption of animal-sourced food products by humans is one of the most powerful negative forces affecting the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems and biological diversity. Livestock production is the single largest driver of habitat loss, and both livestock and feedstock production are increasing in developing tropical countries where the majority of biological diversity resides. Bushmeat consumption in Africa and southeastern Asia, as well as the high growth-rate of per capita livestock consumption in China are of special concern.

A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System.

How we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on Americans' well-being than any other human activity. The food industry is the largest sector of our economy; food touches everything from our health to the environment, climate change, economic inequality, and the federal budget. From the earliest developments of agriculture, a major goal has been to attain sufficient foods that provide the energy and the nutrients needed for a healthy, active life. Over time, food production, processing, marketing, and consumption have evolved and become highly complex.


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