Environmental and Agricultural Health

Environmental health relates dietary choices to their impact on energy use in producing and transporting food, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and agricultural sustainability.

The opportunity cost of animal based diets exceeds all food losses.

Food loss is widely recognized as undermining food security and environmental sustainability. However, consumption of resource-intensive food items instead of more efficient, equally nutritious alternatives can also be considered as an effective food loss. Here we define and quantify these opportunity food losses as the food loss associated with consuming resource-intensive animal-based items instead of plant-based alternatives which are nutritionally comparable, e.g., in terms of protein content.

Carbon footprint and nutritional quality of different human dietary choices.

Apart from industrial activities, our eating habits also have a significant environmental cost associated with crop cultivation, manufacturing processes, packaging, refrigeration, transport cooking and waste management. In a context of growing social awareness of the role of different dietary choices in the environment, the review of different alternatives on the road to a healthy and sustainable diet should integrate relevant information on the nutritional quality of different eating habits.

Equivalent Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Mahayana Buddhists Practicing Vegetarian Diets.

The equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs) by Mahayana Buddhists with vegetarian diets is quantitatively evaluated. The Buddhists in seven Mahayana-dominated countries or regions, i.e., China, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, are studied. Assessments of the vegetarian population among these Mahayana-dominated countries or regions are performed. Correlation formulas based on data from a national survey are developed to quantify the GHGEs of various dietary groups by using the meat consumption as the only required input.

Dietary Strategies to Reduce Environmental Impact: A Critical Review of the Evidence Base.

The food system is a major source of environmental impact, and dietary change has been recommended as an important and necessary strategy to reduce this impact. However, assessing the environmental performance of diets is complex due to the many types of foods eaten and the diversity of agricultural production systems and local environmental settings. To assess the state of science and identify knowledge gaps, an integrative review of the broad topic of environment and diet was undertaken, with particular focus on the completeness of coverage of environmental concerns and the metrics used.

Climate change mitigation opportunities based on carbon footprint estimates of dietary patterns in Peru.

Food consumption accounts for an important proportion of the world GHG emissions per capita. Previous studies have delved into the nature of dietary patterns, showing that GHG reductions can be achieved in diets if certain foods are consumed rather than other, more GHG intensive products. For instance, vegetarian and low-meat diets have proved to be less carbon intensive than diets that are based on ruminant meat.

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.


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