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Concerns raised about evidence used to define sustainable diets

There seems to be so much discourse about sustainable diets at the moment and ALCAS members will likely be caught up in the debate at some level.

In a new article published online in ES&T in March, Australian LCA practitioner Brad Ridoutt draws attention to the need for greater application of LCA in describing the environmental aspects of diets.

Far too often, environmental indicators such as “total water use”, “total land use” or “total fertiliser application” are employed which lack impact assessment. ISO 14046:2014 clearly identifies the need to consider local water scarcity when quantifying a water footprint. Land resources differ in agricultural production potential, biodiversity value, etc. Fertiliser use should be evaluation in relation to emissions, their fate and environmental impacts, not simply use.

As the subject of sustainable diets continues to build momentum, ALCAS members are encouraged to draw attention to the importance of Life Cycle Assessment.

Citation: Ridoutt B, Huang J. 2019. Three main ingredients for sustainable diets research. Environmental Science & Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b00935

For more information contact Brad Ridoutt.

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