Balancing Nutrition with the Environment

In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a diet that was nutrient-rich as well as environmentally sustainable. French researchers have shown, however, that it is hard to integrate the nutritional quality, affordability, environmental impact and sustainability of a diet, especially when cultural factors are added into the mix.

This has led to much discussion of priorities among nutritionists and scientists working to feed the world: how can we produce dietary recommendations that are able to meet both environmental and nutritional goals?

Some countries, such as the USA, have suggested an increased consumption of fish, however this may be environmentally unsustainable. Meanwhile others have called for a lower meat consumption, as its production is a major source of carbon emissions. Some scientists note that it is the impact of the transportation emissions of the food, rather than the direct emissions of production, that should be taken into account.

Experts are unable to agree on the specifics, and contend that the intensification of meat production has other effects as well including water pollution, inappropriate antibiotic use and resistance and air quality issues associated with animal crowding.

Read more about the discussion surrounding sustainability and nutrition here.

Biesalski HK, Drewnowski A, Dwyer JT, Strain JJ, Weber P, Eggersdorfer M. Sustainable Nutrition in a Changing World. Springer. 2017:3-24.

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