Food production and diet are associated with high environmental impacts: for example, 26% of global warming potential and 78% of eutrophication potential worldwide are caused by food production. Medical conditions such as overweight, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis are related to diet. Thus, it is important to reduce environmental impacts whilst at the same time achieving beneficial effects on our health.
Synergies, trade-offs and solutions are highlighted on three levels:
- environmental impacts and the nutritional profile must be improved at individual product level;
- dietary patterns must have a low impact on the environment and a positive effect on health;
- lastly, the entire food system including domestic food production, imports and consumption must be optimised in order to obtain the best possible outcome for the entire system.