News 2015-07-02

New project shows how our eating habits affect the environment

To what extent do our eating habits impact the climate? In a new project, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute examines the environmental implications of altered diets in Sweden.

Today’s consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the consumption choices we make. In this project IVL examines changes in Swedish dietary habits to determine consequences for the environment. Previous international studies show that current dietary guidelines exaggerate the protein and calorie intake that we actually need.

The project will assess the environmental impact of a wide variety of different food categories, with respect to consumption, import, export and waste.

– By comparing different scenarios of future food choices such as increased intake of ecological, Swedish and local foods, reduced intake of animal-based protein, seasonal foods and diets, and by also taking into account guidelines published by the The Swedish Food Agency, we will be able to determine how our eating habits affect the environment, says project manager Michael Martin.

One of the goals of the project is to establish whether it is possible to reduce environmental impact by changing contemporary diets and dietary guidelines. The results of the study can thus enable us to identify the environmental impact of today's recommendations and to propose guidelines that will help us attain a sustainable society by 2050. The project is co-funded by ÅForsk and SIVL and will run through autumn 2015.

For more information about the project, please contact:
Michael Martin, michael.martin@ivl.se