Environmental Nutrition – Chapter 10. Determinants of sustainable diets

Elsevier, Environmental Nutrition, Connecting Health and Nutrition with Environmentally Sustainable Diets, 2019, Pages 181-196
Joan Sabaté, Tony Jehi

The current food system is destroying the environment upon which future food production depends. This is partly due to the food demands of the consumers that drive the current industrial food production system. Food production and particularly the dietary patterns and food habits of the population need to change. Thus, adopting a sustainable diet at the global level is essential. This chapter focuses on the effect of population-level dietary choices (type of foods) and habits (food waste) on environmental sustainability, and introduces four food determinants of sustainable diets from the consumer's perspective. These determinants are: (1) the proportion of foods in the diet from animal versus plant origin, (2) the proportion of processed versus whole foods, (3) the proportion of imported versus foods in-season, and (4) the proportion of food wasted. A sustainable diet comprises foods and food groups consumed in season, minimally processed, are mainly from plants, and are not wasted.