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778. Health and Sustainability Impact of Daily Meals

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778. Health and Sustainability Impact of Daily Meals

Efforts to sustainably transform the food system have focused primarily on supply-side and market-side solutions. But what we eat and how we prepare it should also be part of the solution. If we are to transform our food system, it is imperative that we better understand how we source and consume food on a daily basis and its impact on health and sustainability. The EAT Lancet Commission's "Planetary Health Diet" has provided global recommendations for a plant-based diet that is less damaging to human and planetary health. The EAT Lancet Commission's so-called "Planetary Health Diet" is a global, low-impact, plant-based diet for human and global health. However, insights into culturally and economically realistic diets in different parts of the world are also needed.

A recent paper published in Nature Food analyzed 600 dinner recipes published online and in popular cookbooks in Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. The paper finds that these recipes were largely non-vegetarian and vegan, in contrast to the dietary guidelines recommended in the target countries, based on the intake of plant-based foods recommended in many countries. Compared to Norwegian and British recipes, American recipes tended to contain more red meat and had higher environmental and greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, there are challenges in analogizing recipes to actual diets and the health and environmental impacts of diets. Nevertheless, the Nature Food article analyzes recipes to gain insight into the impact of food sourcing and consumption in culturally diverse regions of the world, and as a potential entry point for interventions in food-related habits.


Clifford Astbury, C. Health and sustainability of everyday food. Nat Food (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00761-6

Angelsen, A., Starke, A.D. & Trattner, C. Healthiness and environmental impact of dinner recipes vary widely across developed countries. Nat Food (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00746-5

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program)