Understanding the interrelations between food consumption and the preservation of natural resources in urban food systems

Meier, Matthias; Hörtenhuber, Stefan; Schweiger, Stefan; Markut, Theresia; Frick, Rebekka; Moschitz, Heidrun (13 October 2020). Understanding the interrelations between food consumption and the preservation of natural resources in urban food systems In: Proceedings 12th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food 2020 (LCA Food 2020): Towards Sustainable Agri-Food Systems (pp. 31-35). Quakenbrück, Germany: Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik (DIL)

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We evaluated the environmental sustainability of local agricultural production within two urban food systems comprising two medium-sized cities in Southern Germany by considering the susceptibility of the local ecosystem and compared supply from local agriculture under different production intensities with demand in the two cities. We took the nitrogen (N) surplus target per hectare of agricultural land from the German Sustainable Development Strategy, which builds on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as a measure for ecosystem carrying capacity to derive a scenario for a site-adapted local agricultural production intensity. Using life cycle assessment, we calculated environmental impacts for the prevalent commodities produced within agriculture surrounding the cities of the studied urban food systems. Impacts were related to kg of protein from the overall agricultural output. Further we related protein supply from local agriculture within the urban food systems under the different production intensities to protein demand in the cities based on available consumption data. Adopting local agricultural production intensity towards the N surplus target within the defined regions around the cities substantially reduced environmental impacts per kg of protein from local agriculture for all impact categories compared to the present production intensity. Under a siteadapted production intensity local agriculture would still be able to supply protein demand in the cities of the urban food systems. However, a shift from an animal protein-based to a more plant protein-based diet would be required to make the urban food systems overall more sustainable.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Consumer-focused Food Production
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Consumer-focused Food Production > Sustainability of Food Systems

Name:

Meier, Matthias;
Hörtenhuber, Stefan;
Schweiger, Stefan;
Markut, Theresia;
Frick, Rebekka and
Moschitz, Heidrun

Subjects:

S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)

ISBN:

978-3-00-067604-8

Publisher:

Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik (DIL)

Language:

English

Submitter:

Matthias Meier

Date Deposited:

19 Jan 2021 16:36

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2021 02:18

Uncontrolled Keywords:

urban food system, site-adapted production intensity, ecosystem carrying capacity, nitrogen surplus target

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.14047

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/14047

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