Accounting for feed-food competition in environmental impact assessment: Towards a resource efficient food-system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study demonstrates the effect of better accounting for feed-food competition in life cycle assessment (LCA) to derive mitigation strategies that contribute to efficiently feeding the growing world population. Economic allocation, commonly used in LCA, falls short in accounting for feed-food competition as it does not consider interlinkages in the food system. The authors hypothesise that an alternative “food-based” allocation better accounts for food-feed competition by assigning no environmental impact to feed products unfit for human consumption. To evaluate the impact of accounting for feed-food competition on LCA results, economic and food-based allocation were compared in an LCA of a novel egg production system that feeds only products unsuitable or undesired for human consumption. Using economic allocation, the global warming potential (GWP) of 1.30 kg CO2-eq, energy use (EU) of 10.49 MJ, land use (LU) of 2.90 m2, and land use ratio (LUR) of 1.56 per kg egg of the case study farm were all lower than that of free range or organic eggs. Avoiding feed-food competition on this farm reduced the environmental impact per kg egg by 56–65% for GWP, 46–54% for EU, 35–48% for LU and 88% for LUR, compared to free-range laying hens fed a conventional diet. Accounting for feed-food competition with food-based allocation further reduced impacts per kg egg by 44% for GWP to 0.57 kg CO2-eq, 38% for EU to 4.05 MJ, 90% for LU to 2.59 m2, and 83% for LUR to 1.29. This improved LCA better captures the complexity of the food system.

LanguageEnglish
Article number118241
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume240
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019

Fingerprint

Environmental impact assessments
environmental impact assessment
food
Land use
resource
Life cycle
land use
life cycle
Global warming
energy use
egg
global warming
Farms
Economics
Environmental impact
Food systems
Food
Resources
Environmental impact assessment
environmental impact

Keywords

  • Circular food system
  • Egg production
  • Feed-food competition
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Livestock production
  • Sustainable food production

Cite this

@article{42f028abbc0846268be5e8a07afdb6b3,
title = "Accounting for feed-food competition in environmental impact assessment: Towards a resource efficient food-system",
abstract = "This study demonstrates the effect of better accounting for feed-food competition in life cycle assessment (LCA) to derive mitigation strategies that contribute to efficiently feeding the growing world population. Economic allocation, commonly used in LCA, falls short in accounting for feed-food competition as it does not consider interlinkages in the food system. The authors hypothesise that an alternative “food-based” allocation better accounts for food-feed competition by assigning no environmental impact to feed products unfit for human consumption. To evaluate the impact of accounting for feed-food competition on LCA results, economic and food-based allocation were compared in an LCA of a novel egg production system that feeds only products unsuitable or undesired for human consumption. Using economic allocation, the global warming potential (GWP) of 1.30 kg CO2-eq, energy use (EU) of 10.49 MJ, land use (LU) of 2.90 m2, and land use ratio (LUR) of 1.56 per kg egg of the case study farm were all lower than that of free range or organic eggs. Avoiding feed-food competition on this farm reduced the environmental impact per kg egg by 56–65{\%} for GWP, 46–54{\%} for EU, 35–48{\%} for LU and 88{\%} for LUR, compared to free-range laying hens fed a conventional diet. Accounting for feed-food competition with food-based allocation further reduced impacts per kg egg by 44{\%} for GWP to 0.57 kg CO2-eq, 38{\%} for EU to 4.05 MJ, 90{\%} for LU to 2.59 m2, and 83{\%} for LUR to 1.29. This improved LCA better captures the complexity of the food system.",
keywords = "Circular food system, Egg production, Feed-food competition, Life cycle assessment, Livestock production, Sustainable food production",
author = "{van Hal}, O. and A.A.A. Weijenberg and {de Boer}, I.J.M. and {van Zanten}, H.H.E.",
year = "2019",
month = "12",
day = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118241",
language = "English",
volume = "240",
journal = "Journal of Cleaner Production",
issn = "0959-6526",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Accounting for feed-food competition in environmental impact assessment: Towards a resource efficient food-system. / van Hal, O.; Weijenberg, A.A.A.; de Boer, I.J.M.; van Zanten, H.H.E.

In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 240, 118241, 10.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Accounting for feed-food competition in environmental impact assessment: Towards a resource efficient food-system

AU - van Hal, O.

AU - Weijenberg, A.A.A.

AU - de Boer, I.J.M.

AU - van Zanten, H.H.E.

PY - 2019/12/10

Y1 - 2019/12/10

N2 - This study demonstrates the effect of better accounting for feed-food competition in life cycle assessment (LCA) to derive mitigation strategies that contribute to efficiently feeding the growing world population. Economic allocation, commonly used in LCA, falls short in accounting for feed-food competition as it does not consider interlinkages in the food system. The authors hypothesise that an alternative “food-based” allocation better accounts for food-feed competition by assigning no environmental impact to feed products unfit for human consumption. To evaluate the impact of accounting for feed-food competition on LCA results, economic and food-based allocation were compared in an LCA of a novel egg production system that feeds only products unsuitable or undesired for human consumption. Using economic allocation, the global warming potential (GWP) of 1.30 kg CO2-eq, energy use (EU) of 10.49 MJ, land use (LU) of 2.90 m2, and land use ratio (LUR) of 1.56 per kg egg of the case study farm were all lower than that of free range or organic eggs. Avoiding feed-food competition on this farm reduced the environmental impact per kg egg by 56–65% for GWP, 46–54% for EU, 35–48% for LU and 88% for LUR, compared to free-range laying hens fed a conventional diet. Accounting for feed-food competition with food-based allocation further reduced impacts per kg egg by 44% for GWP to 0.57 kg CO2-eq, 38% for EU to 4.05 MJ, 90% for LU to 2.59 m2, and 83% for LUR to 1.29. This improved LCA better captures the complexity of the food system.

AB - This study demonstrates the effect of better accounting for feed-food competition in life cycle assessment (LCA) to derive mitigation strategies that contribute to efficiently feeding the growing world population. Economic allocation, commonly used in LCA, falls short in accounting for feed-food competition as it does not consider interlinkages in the food system. The authors hypothesise that an alternative “food-based” allocation better accounts for food-feed competition by assigning no environmental impact to feed products unfit for human consumption. To evaluate the impact of accounting for feed-food competition on LCA results, economic and food-based allocation were compared in an LCA of a novel egg production system that feeds only products unsuitable or undesired for human consumption. Using economic allocation, the global warming potential (GWP) of 1.30 kg CO2-eq, energy use (EU) of 10.49 MJ, land use (LU) of 2.90 m2, and land use ratio (LUR) of 1.56 per kg egg of the case study farm were all lower than that of free range or organic eggs. Avoiding feed-food competition on this farm reduced the environmental impact per kg egg by 56–65% for GWP, 46–54% for EU, 35–48% for LU and 88% for LUR, compared to free-range laying hens fed a conventional diet. Accounting for feed-food competition with food-based allocation further reduced impacts per kg egg by 44% for GWP to 0.57 kg CO2-eq, 38% for EU to 4.05 MJ, 90% for LU to 2.59 m2, and 83% for LUR to 1.29. This improved LCA better captures the complexity of the food system.

KW - Circular food system

KW - Egg production

KW - Feed-food competition

KW - Life cycle assessment

KW - Livestock production

KW - Sustainable food production

U2 - 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118241

DO - 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118241

M3 - Article

VL - 240

JO - Journal of Cleaner Production

T2 - Journal of Cleaner Production

JF - Journal of Cleaner Production

SN - 0959-6526

M1 - 118241

ER -