Project

Back to overview

Nutritional combined Environmental Impact Assessment of Swiss Food Consumption and Trade

Applicant Mathys Alexander
Number 172415
Funding scheme NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
Research institution Institut für Lebensmittelwissenschaften, Ernährung und Gesundheit ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.09.2017 - 31.08.2020
Approved amount 399'978.00
Show all

All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Other disciplines of Engineering Sciences
Dietetics

Keywords (6)

Food System; Food consumption; Sustainability; International trade; Nutrition; Life Cycle Assessment

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Mithilfe von Datenbanken für globale Ernährungszusammensetzung, Lebensmittelverbrauch, Handel und Lebenszyklusanalysen gestalten wir im Rahmen dieses Projektes evidenzbasierte, spezifische nationale Transformationswege.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Die globale Nahrungsmittelnachfrage wird bis zum Jahr 2050 um etwa 70 Prozent ansteigen. Die Gewährleistung einer adäquaten Ernährung mit gleichzeitiger Minimierung der Umweltauswirkungen der Lebensmittelsysteme wird damit zu einer immer grösseren Herausforderung. Hinzu kommt, dass Landwirtschaft und Nahrungsmittelproduktion den größten Einfluss auf die Ressourcennutzung und die ökologische Nachhaltigkeit haben. Zudem stellen ernährungsbedingte Erkrankungen die häufigste Todesursache dar und führen zur Beeinträchtigung eines normalen, beschwerdefreien Lebens.

Ziel
Wir wollen ein neuartiges Rahmenwerk entwickeln, welches eine multiindikatorbasierte Umwelt- und Ökosystemfolgenabschätzung mit Ernährungsqualitätsbewertung kombiniert, um die Nachhaltigkeit der nationalen Nahrungsmittelsysteme zu bewerten.

Bedeutung
Positive Ernährungsveränderungen, wie die Umstellung auf Lebensmittel mit geringen Umweltauswirkungen und vorteilhaftem Nährstoffgehalt, können das Ziel einer weltweiten nachhaltigen Ernährung fördern und damit einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Verbesserung der globalen Ernährungs- und Gesundheitsstandards leisten sowie zu einer Verringerung der anthropogenen Umweltbelastung führen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
À l’aide de bases de données relatives à la composition nutritionnelle mondiale, la consommation alimentaire, le commerce et les analyses de cycle de vie, nous élaborons dans le cadre de ce projet des voies de transformation spécifiques, basées sur des faits.
Lay summary

Contexte
D’ici 2050, la demande alimentaire mondiale connaîtra une augmentation d’environ 70 %. Assurer une alimentation adéquate tout en réduisant au maximum les effets des systèmes alimentaires sur l’environnement semble être un défi croissant. S’y ajoute que l’agriculture et la production de denrées alimentaires ont l’empreinte la plus forte sur l’utilisation des ressources et la durabilité écologique. Enfin, les pathologies liées à la nutrition sont la principale cause de décès et génèrent des troubles qui altèrent la qualité de vie.

Objectifs
Nous entendons développer un cadre entièrement nouveau qui combine une évaluation de la qualité de la nutrition avec une analyse des impacts sur l’écosystème et sur l’environnement basée sur de multiples indicateurs. Cela permettra d’évaluer la durabilité des systèmes alimentaires nationaux.

Importance
Un changement positif des habitudes alimentaires, comme le passage à des aliments ayant un faible impact sur l’environnement et une teneur en nutriments bénéfique, est susceptible de nous rapprocher de l’objectif d’une alimentation mondiale durable. Parallèlement, il peut aussi contribuer de manière significative à améliorer les normes sanitaires et nutritionnelles à l’échelle mondiale et à réduire l’empreinte environnementale due à l’homme.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
With the help of global nutrition composition databases, food consumption, trade and life cycle analyses we will design evidence-based, specific national transformation pathways within the scope of this project.
Lay summary

Background
Global food demand will increase by about 70 percent by 2050. Ensuring adequate nutrition and minimising the environmental impacts of food systems is thus becoming an ever-greater challenge. In addition, agriculture and food production have the greatest impact on resource use and environmental sustainability. In addition, diet-related illnesses are the most common cause of death and lead to impairment of normal, symptom-free life.

Aims
We want to develop a new framework that combines a multi-indicator-based environment and ecosystem impact assessment with a nutritional quality assessment in order to evaluate the sustainability of national food systems.

Importance
Positive dietary changes, such as the shift to foods with low environmental impacts and beneficial nutritional content, can foster the aim of global sustainable nutrition and thus contribute towards improving global nutrition and health standards while reducing anthropogenic pollution.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Natural persons


Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Multi-indicator sustainability assessment of global food systems
Chaudhary Abhishek, Gustafson David, Mathys Alexander (2018), Multi-indicator sustainability assessment of global food systems, in Nature Communications, 9(1), 848-848.
Nutritional Combined Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Analysis for Incorporating Canadian Yellow Pea into Cereal-Based Food Products
Chaudhary Abhishek, Marinangeli Christopher, Tremorin Denis, Mathys Alexander (2018), Nutritional Combined Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Analysis for Incorporating Canadian Yellow Pea into Cereal-Based Food Products, in Nutrients, 10(4), 490-490.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Nestle, Switzerland Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Institute of Environmental Engineering, Ecological systems design, ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Pulse Canada Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik DIL e.V. (German Institute of Food Technologies DIL) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Agroscope, Switzerland Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Buhler AG Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Laboratory of Human Nutrition, ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
19th IUFoST World Food Science and Technology Congress Talk given at a conference Integrated sustainability assessment of national food systems through nutritional, environmental and social indicators 25.10.2018 Mumbai, India Chaudhary Abhishek; Mathys Alexander;
13th Biennial International Conference on EcoBalance Talk given at a conference Nutritional combined Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of National Diets 09.10.2018 Tokyo, Japan Mathys Alexander; Chaudhary Abhishek;
36th International Symposium on Diabetes and Nutrition organized by the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group Talk given at a conference Incorporating Canadian Yellow Pea into Cereal-based Food Products as an Ecological Approach to Managing Diabetes 30.06.2018 Opatija, Croatia Mathys Alexander; Chaudhary Abhishek;
Planetary Health Alliance Annual meeting Talk given at a conference Nutrition combined Environmental Assessment of Global Diets 30.05.2018 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Mathys Alexander; Chaudhary Abhishek;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year

Abstract

Global food demand is projected to increase by 70% till 2050 and providing adequate nutrition while minimizing the food systems impact on the environment is a massive challenge. Agriculture and food production are arguably the sectors with the largest impact on resource use and environmental sustainability. In addition, diet related diseases are the largest contributor to both the human deaths and disability around the world. Positive dietary changes such as shift to foods with low environmental impact and high nutrient content, can go a long way in achieving global food sustainability and therefore contribute significantly towards improving global nutritional & health standards and reducing overall anthropogenic environmental footprint. However, methods to quantify and compare nutritional quality of different diets are in nascent stages of development and studies assessing nutrition-environment trade-offs are almost non-existent. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly used to evaluate the ‘cradle to grave’ environmental impacts associated with products and processes but its results often suffer from huge uncertainty, thus limiting their application at the national policy level. Apart from impacts occurring domestically, the environmental impacts ‘hidden’ in imported products must be included in any national accounting. Global scale studies assessing the sustainability of diets through multiple nutritional and environmental indicators is therefore needed to identify the country-specific areas of improvement. The aim of this project is to develop a novel framework combining multi-indicator environmental & ecosystem impact assessment and diet level nutritional quality assessment methodologies to evaluate the sustainability of national food systems and develop evidence base to design nation-specific dietary transformation pathways. The project will leverage global food consumption, trade and life cycle assessment (LCA) databases. The project combines Module-1 (expanding the knowledge base) and Module-4 (business application) of the call. Addressing Module-4, through data exchange and collaboration with Switzerland’s biggest food retailer ‘Migros’, an in-depth analysis of factors identified as contributing the most to Swiss food consumption and trade impacts will be carried out to assess the nutrition and environmental sustainability opportunities and concrete options for action.
-