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Communication

Changing Dietary Behavior for Better Biodiversity Preservation: A Preliminary Study

1
Department of Business Economics and Management, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, 73200 Chania, Greece
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Department of Agricultural Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
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School of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of Crete, 73200 Chania, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marilyn Cornelis
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 2076; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13062076
Received: 25 May 2021 / Revised: 6 June 2021 / Accepted: 14 June 2021 / Published: 17 June 2021
Broadly consumed dietary patterns, such as the European and Western ones, are exerting pressures on biodiversity both in Europe and globally, and shifting toward a sustainable dietary pattern has thus become a must. This paper constitutes a preliminary communication of the results of a research project on the issue. In this study, the pressures of three dietary patterns (European, Western, and Mediterranean) on biodiversity are addressed in terms of land use, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and eutrophication impact indicators. The environmental impacts are calculated based on a compositional analysis of each dietary pattern and the environmental footprints of the corresponding food groups. Food balance sheets published by the FAO are used as a basis for the compositional analysis, while the environmental footprints of each of the representative food products are retrieved from related life cycle assessment (LCA) studies. The results show that a shift from the European to the Mediterranean dietary pattern would lead to 10 m2/capita/day land savings, 240 L/capita/day water savings, 3 kg CO2/capita/day reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and 20 gPO4eq/capita/day reductions in eutrophication potential. Likewise, a shift from the Western to the Mediterranean dietary pattern would lead to 18 m2/capita/day land savings, 100 L/capita/day water savings, 4 kg CO2/capita/day reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and 16 gPO4eq/capita/day reduction in eutrophication potential. Based on these findings, it is clear that this shift is urgently needed as a step toward environmentally sustainable dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean one, to preserve biodiversity for future generations. View Full-Text
Keywords: food consumption; environmental pressures; Mediterranean dietary pattern; Western dietary pattern; European dietary pattern food consumption; environmental pressures; Mediterranean dietary pattern; Western dietary pattern; European dietary pattern
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MDPI and ACS Style

Belgacem, W.; Mattas, K.; Arampatzis, G.; Baourakis, G. Changing Dietary Behavior for Better Biodiversity Preservation: A Preliminary Study. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2076. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13062076

AMA Style

Belgacem W, Mattas K, Arampatzis G, Baourakis G. Changing Dietary Behavior for Better Biodiversity Preservation: A Preliminary Study. Nutrients. 2021; 13(6):2076. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13062076

Chicago/Turabian Style

Belgacem, Wajdi, Konstadinos Mattas, George Arampatzis, and George Baourakis. 2021. "Changing Dietary Behavior for Better Biodiversity Preservation: A Preliminary Study" Nutrients 13, no. 6: 2076. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13062076

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