- Book Chapter
In this chapter we discuss how methodological choices can lead to different solutions when assessing land use. We focus on the following three methodologies: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Land Use Ratio (LUR), and the food systems approach. Each method has its own strengths. LCA offers the best estimates of how we should change our diets at the margin in the near term to reduce land use (or other environmental impacts). The LUR provides insight in how to avoid feed-food competition, while the food systems approach provides key insights for deciding which systems we want in the long term. Our results show that despite methodological differences, all methods conclude to reduce the consumption of animal source food in high-income countries to reduce land use. Studies based on the LCA methodology focusing on consumption-oriented dietary scenarios tend to suggest that beef should be reduced most followed by pork and chicken, whereas studies applying food system modeling approaches tend to recommend larger reductions for chicken and pork and partly beef (from beef breeds and not from dairy cattle). Making these underlying assumptions explicit in future scientific and policy advisory work is key for improved transparency regarding food systems changes that reduce land use and feed-food competition, thereby enabling effective communication and policy design. Show more
Book titleFood Systems Modelling
Pages / Article No.
SubjectLand use; Life cycle assessment (LCA); Land use ratio (LUR); Food Systems; Modeling; Diets
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