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Circularity in animal production requires a change in the EAT-Lancet diet in Europe

van Selm, Benjamin; Frehner, Anita; de Boer, Imke J.M.; Van Hal, Ollie; Hijbeek, Renske; van Ittersum, Martin K.; Talsma, Elise F.; Lesschen, Jan Peter; Hendriks, Chantal M.J.; Herrero, Mario and Van Zanten, Hannah H.E. (2022) Circularity in animal production requires a change in the EAT-Lancet diet in Europe. Nature Food, 3, pp. 66-73.

[thumbnail of vanSelm-etal-2022-NatureFood-Vol3-p66-73.pdf] PDF - English
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Document available online at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-021-00425-3


It is not known whether dietary guidelines proposing a limited intake of animal protein are compatible with the adoption of circular food systems. Using a resource allocation model, we compared the effects of circularity on the supply of animal-source nutrients in Europe with the nutritional requirements of the EAT-Lancet reference diet. We found the two to be compatible in terms of total animal source proteins but not specific animal-source foods; in particular, the EAT-Lancet guidelines recommend larger quantities of poultry meat over beef and pork, while a circular food system produces mainly milk, dairy-beef and pork. Compared with the EAT-Lancet reference diet, greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by up to 31% and arable land use reduced by up to 42%. Careful consideration of the feasible substitutability between animal-source foods is needed to define potential roles of animal products in circular human diets.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:food systems, animal-source foods, animal protein, circular food systems, Abacus, FiBL
Agrovoc keywords:
food systems
animal protein
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Agri-food policy > Food security
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Sustainability assessment
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:44620
Deposited On:17 Nov 2022 08:59
Last Modified:17 Nov 2022 08:59
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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