Research press release


Nature Food

Nutrition: Novel foods may reduce the environmental impact of diets by 80%

ヨーロッパの食事において、動物性食品(ASF)を培養乳、昆虫食、マイコプロテインなどの新規食品/未来食品(NFF)に置き換えることにより、地球温暖化係数、水利用、土地利用をそれぞれ80%以上低減できるかもしれないことが明らかになった。このモデル化研究の知見を報告する論文が、Nature Food に掲載される。


今回、Rachel Mazacたちは、線形計画モデルを適用して、地球温暖化係数、水利用、土地利用を最小限に抑えつつ、栄養適性を満たすことを目標として、ASF、PBPR食品、NFFの最適な組み合わせを突き止めた。その際には、文化的受容性に関連した消費可能な量に関する制約条件と拡張可能性も考慮された。全体的な傾向としては、ヨーロッパの食事において、ASFをNFF(具体的には昆虫食、培養乳、微生物タンパク質)に置き換えると、栄養適性を充足し、消費可能な量に関する制約条件を満たしつつ、全ての環境影響(地球温暖化係数、水利用、土地利用)を80%以上削減できることが明らかになった。


Replacing animal-source foods (ASFs) with novel or future foods (NFFs) — such as cultured milk, insect meal or mycoprotein — in European diets could reduce global warming potential, water use and land use each by over 80%. The findings of this modelling study are published in Nature Food.

Existing literature on alternative diets, such as vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian, has demonstrated the health and environmental benefits of shifting towards lower meat consumption. However, compared with currently available plant-based protein-rich (PBPR) options, such as legumes, pulses and grains, NFFs — produced through new technologies, such as cell-culturing technologies, or under novel regulatory frameworks — can contain a more complete array of essential nutrients. NFFs also tend to be more land- and water-efficient than existing ASFs.

Rachel Mazac and colleagues applied a linear programming model to identify optimal combinations of ASFs, PBPR options and NFFs with the goal of meeting nutritional adequacy, while minimizing global warming potential, as well as water use and land use. Feasible consumption constraints related to cultural acceptability were also considered, as well as scalability potential. Overall, the authors found that substituting ASFs in European diets with NFFs (namely insect meal, cultured milk and microbial protein) could reduce all environmental impacts (global warming potential, water use and land use) by more than 80%, while being nutritionally adequate and meeting the constraints for what can be feasibly consumed.

The authors conclude that, besides showing the potential contribution of novel foods towards a more sustainable food system, these findings reveal synergies and trade-offs related to each dietary option within the European context.

doi: 10.1038/s43016-022-00489-9


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