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Sustainable diet

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**1. Concept of Sustainable Diet:**

– Sustainable diets were developed to address malnutrition and environmental degradation.
– Coined in 1986 by Gussow and Clancy, refined by FAO and Bioversity International in 2010.
– FAO outlined constructs of sustainable diets in 2014 and collaborated with WHO on guidelines in 2019.
– Components include health, environmental, and sociocultural aspects, emphasizing variety and balance across food groups.
Sustainable diet primarily plant-based with moderate animal products and safe drinking water inclusion.

**2. Environmental Impact of Sustainable Diets:**

– Must meet greenhouse gas emission, fertilizer use, and pollution targets.
– Promotes general wellbeing, reduces non-communicable disease risk.
– Foods produced sustainably minimize antibiotic and plastic use.
– Shifting to plant-based diets could significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

**3. Motivations and Values in Adopting Sustainable Diets:**

– Increased awareness of benefits of decreasing meat consumption.
– Perceived environmental impact is a key reason for consuming less meat.
– Motivation, egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric values influence food choices.
– Heuristics and mental shortcuts play a role in decision-making.
– Food choices may not always align with environmental awareness or health goals.

**4. Practical Approaches to Sustainable Diets:**

– ‘Less but better’ and ‘less but more varied’ approaches for meat consumption.
– Women more inclined to purchase green and sustainable products.
– Redesigning green products can broaden appeal.
– Inclusivity crucial for successful transition to sustainable practices.
– Gourmets prefer high-quality, locally sourced food aligning with sustainability efforts.

**5. Policy, Challenges, and Research on Sustainable Diets:**

– Governments slow in adopting sustainable diet guidelines.
– Resistance to reducing meat consumption influenced by taste and skepticism.
Nutrition facts readily available, but environmental information lacking.
– Countries like the Netherlands and Sweden have established sustainable diet guidelines.
– Research supports benefits of transitioning to reduced-meat diets for health and the environment.

Sustainable diet (Wikipedia)

Sustainable diets are "dietary patterns that promote all dimensions of individuals’ health and wellbeing; have low environmental pressure and impact; are accessible, affordable, safe and equitable; and are culturally acceptable". These diets are nutritious, eco-friendly, economically sustainable, and accessible to people of various socioeconomic backgrounds. Sustainable diets attempt to address nutrient deficiencies (e.g., undernourishment) and excesses (e.g., obesity), while accounting for ecological phenomena such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and land degradation. These diets are comparable to the climatarian diet, with the added domains of economic sustainability and accessiblity.

Three plant-based meals
Plant-based diets are a popular way of eating a sustainable diet

In order to create a sustainable diet, emphasis is placed on reducing the environmental cost incurred by food systems, including everything from production practices and distribution to the mitigation of food waste. At an individual level, most sustainable diets promote reduced consumption of meat and dairy products due to the particularly adverse environmental impact of these industries. Data on the intersection between food and sustainability has been prioritized by a variety of international bodies such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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