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The food shortlist : recommendations for Swedish consumers to reduce the environmental impact of their food choices

Karami, Nadia LU (2014) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20142
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The issue of an increasing number of people globally that are adopting unsustainable lifestyles is important because we are destroying the earth’s resources at an accelerating rate.
In particular, the pattern of major increasing environmental impact caused by modern food production has the potential to become an important sector for climate change mitigation, but despite the myriad of guides available for reaching a sustainable lifestyle, not enough emphasis is put on the importance of individual consumption choices and increasing consumer’s awareness of the significance their dietary decisions have.

In this thesis, I studied Swedish dietary choices and the environmental impacts these incur in order to define a “short list” of... (More)
The issue of an increasing number of people globally that are adopting unsustainable lifestyles is important because we are destroying the earth’s resources at an accelerating rate.
In particular, the pattern of major increasing environmental impact caused by modern food production has the potential to become an important sector for climate change mitigation, but despite the myriad of guides available for reaching a sustainable lifestyle, not enough emphasis is put on the importance of individual consumption choices and increasing consumer’s awareness of the significance their dietary decisions have.

In this thesis, I studied Swedish dietary choices and the environmental impacts these incur in order to define a “short list” of dietary choices that Swedish consumers could make that would make the biggest contribution on reducing their environmental impact. I defined environmental impact in terms of three indicators: energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water footprints. I gathered data on environmental damage caused by the 15 most consumed foodstuffs in these three categories, using the data sources of the Swedish board of Agriculture and peer-reviewed literature. I then ranked these indicators to compare the impact between different food choices. The shortlist for beverages was beer for energy, orange juice, milk and beer for greenhouse gas emissions, and milk for water; and for food it was chocolate and processed meat for energy, exotic & citric fruit and pork for greenhouse gas emissions, and for water it was chocolate. This was important because it demonstrated the complexity and potential contribution dietary choices have to climate change mitigation.
As a result of this work, actors such as local authorities and the national food agency should be able to focus research and development of a guide concentrating on strengthening the awareness of the importance of individual consumption choices and clear information on how much environmental impact is affected by dietary changes. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Karami, Nadia LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20142
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
food consumption, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water footprint, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2014:037
language
English
id
4883074
date added to LUP
2014-12-28 15:23:14
date last changed
2014-12-28 15:23:14
@misc{4883074,
  abstract     = {The issue of an increasing number of people globally that are adopting unsustainable lifestyles is important because we are destroying the earth’s resources at an accelerating rate. 
In particular, the pattern of major increasing environmental impact caused by modern food production has the potential to become an important sector for climate change mitigation, but despite the myriad of guides available for reaching a sustainable lifestyle, not enough emphasis is put on the importance of individual consumption choices and increasing consumer’s awareness of the significance their dietary decisions have. 

In this thesis, I studied Swedish dietary choices and the environmental impacts these incur in order to define a “short list” of dietary choices that Swedish consumers could make that would make the biggest contribution on reducing their environmental impact. I defined environmental impact in terms of three indicators: energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water footprints. I gathered data on environmental damage caused by the 15 most consumed foodstuffs in these three categories, using the data sources of the Swedish board of Agriculture and peer-reviewed literature. I then ranked these indicators to compare the impact between different food choices. The shortlist for beverages was beer for energy, orange juice, milk and beer for greenhouse gas emissions, and milk for water; and for food it was chocolate and processed meat for energy, exotic & citric fruit and pork for greenhouse gas emissions, and for water it was chocolate. This was important because it demonstrated the complexity and potential contribution dietary choices have to climate change mitigation. 
As a result of this work, actors such as local authorities and the national food agency should be able to focus research and development of a guide concentrating on strengthening the awareness of the importance of individual consumption choices and clear information on how much environmental impact is affected by dietary changes.},
  author       = {Karami, Nadia},
  keyword      = {food consumption,energy,greenhouse gas emissions,water footprint,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {The food shortlist : recommendations for Swedish consumers to reduce the environmental impact of their food choices},
  year         = {2014},
}