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 gPO4
eq/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 gPO4
eq/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.
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