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Open AccessArticle

Impacts of Reducing UK Beef Consumption Using a Revised Sustainable Diets Framework

Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK
Computing Science and Mathematics, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK
Organisms and Ecosystems, Earlham Institute, Norwich NR4 7UZ, UK
Gut Microbes and Health, Quadram Institute, Norwich NR4 7UQ, UK
Department of Clinical Science and Nutrition, University of Chester, Chester CH2 2LB, UK
School of Health and Related Research-ScHARR, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7ND, UK
Department of Geography, The Institute for Sustainable Food, University of Sheffield, Geography and Planning Building, Winter Street, Sheffield S3 7ND, UK
The Barbara Hardy Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5001, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6863;
Received: 17 October 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 29 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Sustainable Diets)
The impact of beef consumption on sustainability is a complex and evolving area, as sustainability covers many areas from human nutrient adequacy to ecosystem stability. Three sustainability assessment frameworks have been created to help policy makers unpack the complexities of sustainable food systems and healthy sustainable dietary change. However, none of these frameworks have yet to be applied to a case study or individual policy issue. This paper uses a hybrid version of the sustainability assessment frameworks to investigate the impact of reducing beef consumption (with a concurrent increase in consumption of plant-based foods, with a focus on legumes) on sustainability at a UK level. The aim of this paper is to understand the applicability of these overarching frameworks at the scale of an individual policy. Such an assessment is important, as this application of previously high-level frameworks to individual policies makes it possible to summarise, at a glance, the various co-benefits and trade-offs associated with a given policy, which may be of particular value in terms of stakeholder decision-making. We find that many of the proposed metrics found within the sustainability assessment frameworks are difficult to implement at an individual issue level; however, overall they show that a reduction in beef consumption and an increase in consumption of general plant-based foods, with a focus around legumes production, would be expected to be strongly beneficial in five of the eight overarching measures which were assessed. View Full-Text
Keywords: UK; beef consumption; sustainability; revised indicators; traffic light model; evaluation; policy UK; beef consumption; sustainability; revised indicators; traffic light model; evaluation; policy
MDPI and ACS Style

Chalmers, N.; Stetkiewicz, S.; Sudhakar, P.; Osei-Kwasi, H.; Reynolds, C.J. Impacts of Reducing UK Beef Consumption Using a Revised Sustainable Diets Framework. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6863.

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