A Food System Approach for Sustainable Food-Based Dietary Guidelines: An Exploratory Scenario Study on Dutch Animal Food Products

Corné van Dooren, Laila Man, Marije Seves*, Sander Biesbroek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explores interconnections between food consumption and production of animal (by-)products in different food system scenarios within the scope of Dutch Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG). For this scenario study, a Microsoft Excel model was created that include seven scenarios with different quantities of eggs, milk, cheese, beef cattle, broilers, and pigs as input. Number of animals, intake of energy, animal protein, saturated fatty acids (SFAs), trans-fatty acids (TFAs), salt, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs), and land use (LU) were calculated and compared with current consumption and reference values. Based on the concept of eating the whole animal, every recommended lean, unprocessed portion of beef comes along with a non-recommended portion of beef (two portions for pork, 0.5 portion for broilers). The reference values for SFAs, TFAs, and salt were not exceeded if the intake of meat is limited to 410 g/week. The scenarios with recommended 450 mL semi-skimmed milk and 40 g/day low-fat cheese results in 36 g/day of butter as by-product, exceeding its acceptable intake three times. The near-vegetarian scenario with recommended amounts of eggs, milk, and cheese, includes only a portion of beef/calf per 6 days and a portion of chicken per 9 weeks as by-products. This scenario more than halves the GHGE and LU. Finally, the scenario that included the maximum recommended amounts of animal products is reachable with half the current size of Dutch livestock. This conceptual framework may be useful in the discussion on how future sustainable FBDG can incorporate a more food system-based approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number712970
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • animal food products
  • environmental impact
  • food system scenarios
  • healthy diets
  • livestock size
  • sustainable food-based dietary guidelines

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