FoodPrints of households
- 644 Downloads
Food consumption is one of the main drivers of environmental impacts. To develop meaningful strategies for the reduction of impacts, food consumption patterns need to be understood on the household level, as purchasing decisions are taken on this level. The goals of this study were to develop a model that estimates food demand and environmental impact as a function of household characteristics, to assess variability between households, and to provide a basis for the development of consumer-targeted political interventions. We titled the study “FoodPrints of households,” as we assessed food consumption in terms of carbon footprint (in analogy to (Stoessel et al. Environ Sci Technol 46(6):3253–3262 2012)).
We used data from the Swiss household budget survey and applied multiple linear regressions based on generalized linear models to quantify food and beverage demand of individual households. Seven household characteristics, such as size, income, and educational level, served as input variables for the regressions. In a case study, food and beverage demand of 3238 individual households of a Swiss municipality was environmentally assessed with life cycle assessment, and scenarios for different reduction strategies were evaluated.
Results and discussion
We found that the carbon footprints of in-home food consumption per household member and year vary from 0.08 t CO2 eq. to 5 t CO2 eq. with a median value of 1 t CO2 eq. This variability is significantly smaller than the carbon footprint variability for the consumption areas of housing and mobility, where 25 % of the people are responsible for 50 % of the environmental impacts. Differences between high- and low-impact households can be primarily explained by differences in meat and dairy consumption.
This paper presents a model for quantifying food demand and impacts on a household level in Switzerland and represents a basis for developing targeted political measures to mitigate food consumption impacts. Household budget data is also available for many other countries, and the methods presented in this paper could therefore also be applied to other geographical regions.
KeywordsFood consumption Generalized linear models Household food impacts Multiple linear regression
We would like to thank Corinne Sprecher for her valuable comments and Catherine Raptis for English proofreading. Funding from the following sources is gratefully acknowledged: Dominik Saner and Boris Jäggi were funded within the THELMA project (www.thelma-emobility.net) by a range of stakeholders led by the Competence Center for Energy & Mobility and swisselectric Research. Dominik Saner received additional financial support for this study by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. Claudio Beretta was funded by Swiss Federal Office for the Environment and Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture. Francisca Stössel was funded by the Coop Sustainability Fund, Basel.
- Colomb V, Ait Amar S, Basset Mens C, Gac A, Gaillard G et al. (2014) AGRIBALYSE®, the French LCI Database for agricultural products: high quality data for producers and environmental labelling. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference LCA of Food, 8–10 October 2014, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
- Dalgaard R, Halberg N, Rasmussen MD (2007) How to prepare a less pollutant family meal? Proceedings from the 5th International Conference ‘LCA in foods’, Gothenburg, SwedenGoogle Scholar
- Durlinger B, Tyszler M, Scholten J, BroekemaR, Blonk H (2014) Agri-Footprint; a Life Cycle Inventory database covering food and feed production and processing. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference LCA of Food, 8–10 October 2014, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
- ecoinvent Centre. (2012) “ecoinvent data v2.2.” Retrieved 16 July, 2012, from http://www.ecoinvent.org/database/
- ecoinvent Centre. (2014) “ecoinvent v3.” 2014, from http://www.ecoinvent.org/ecoinvent-v3/
- ESU-services Ltd. (2012) “ESU life cycle inventory database on demand.” Retrieved 16 July, 2012, from http://www.esu-services.ch/data/data-on-demand/
- European Commission (2003) Household Budget Surveys in the EU. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Brussels (LX)Google Scholar
- Gill J (2001) Generalized linear models—a unified approach. Sage Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks (CA)Google Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). S. Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manninget al. New York, NY, IPCCGoogle Scholar
- Jungbluth N, Stucki M, Leuenberger M (2011) “Environmental impacts of Swiss consumption and production.” from http://www.bafu.admin.ch/publikationen/publikation/01611/index.html?lang=en
- Moll HC, Noorman KJ, Kok R, Engstrom R, Throne-Holst H et al (2005) Pursuing more sustainable consumption by analyzing household metabolism in European countries and cities. J Ind Ecol 9(1–2):259–275Google Scholar
- Nielsen PH, Nielsen AM, Weidema BP, Dalgaard R, Halberg N (2012) “LCA food data base.” Retrieved 16 July, 2012, from www.lcafood.dk
- Öko-Institut e.V. (2012) “GEMIS.” Retrieved 16 July, 2012, from http://www.gemis.de
- Peano L, Bengoa X, Humbert S, Loerincik Y, Lansche Y et al. (2014) The World Food LCA Database project: towards more accurate food datasets. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference LCA of Food, 8–10 October 2014, San Francisco, USAGoogle Scholar
- Proviande (2011) “Fleischkonsum 2011.” Retrieved 8 October, 2012, from http://www.schweizerfleisch.ch/fileadmin/dokumente/downloads/proviande/statistik/konsum/Tabelle_Konsum_2011_d.pdf
- Rodríguez C, Ciroth A, Srocka M (2014) The importance of regionalized LCIA in agricultural LCA—new software implementation and case study. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference LCA of Food, 8–10 October 2014, San Francisco, USAGoogle Scholar
- Ruini L, Marino M, Pratesi C, Redavid E, Principato L et al. (2014) LCA applied to sustainable diets: Double Pyramid and Tool Chef to promote healthy and environmentally sustainable consumption. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference LCA of Food, 8–10 October 2014, San Francisco, USAGoogle Scholar
- Scholz R, Tietje WO (2002) Embedded case study methods. Sage Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks (CA)Google Scholar
- Schweizer Milchproduzenten (2012) “Marktakteure und Strukturen.” Retrieved 8 October, 2012, from http://www.swissmilk.ch/de/produzenten/milchmarkt/marktakteure-strukturen/konsumenten.html
- Swiss Federal Customs Administration (2012) “Swiss foreign trade statistics.” Retrieved 1 July, 2012, from https://www.swiss-impex.admin.ch/
- Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO) (2012) “Census.” Retrieved 1 July, 2012, from http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/infothek/erhebungen__quellen/blank/blank/vz/uebersicht.html
- Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO) (2012) “Household budget survey.” Retrieved 1 July, 2012, from http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/infothek/erhebungen__quellen/blank/blank/habe/01.html
- Tyszler M, Kramer G, Blonk H (2014) Just eating healthier is not enough: studying the environmental impact of different diet scenarios for the Netherlands by linear programming. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference LCA of Food, 8–10 October 2014, San Francisco, USAGoogle Scholar
- United Nations Statistics Division (2012) “COICOP (Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose).” Retrieved 8 May, 2012, from http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cr/registry/regcst.asp?Cl=5
- van Dooren C, Aiking H (2014) Defining a nutritionally healthy, environmentally friendly, and culturally acceptable low lands diet. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference LCA of Food, 8–10 October 2014, San Francisco, USAGoogle Scholar
- Vimentis (2012) “National poverty line.” Retrieved 17 October, 2012, from http://www.vimentis.ch/d/lexikon/108/Armutsgrenze.html