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Importance of Sustainable Food Environments

Cleghorn, C. L. & Reynolds, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-1073-7394 (2022). Importance of Sustainable Food Environments. In: Evans, C. (Ed.), Transforming Food Environments. (pp. 263-276). Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press.


Recent political and citizen actions across the world have highlighted the urgent need to change the way we live to mitigate the impact of climate change. Together with transport and energy use, food is one of the three most important parts of our lives where change can make a difference to our environmental impacts. The extent to which changes are made within the wider food system will determine how easy it is for individuals to choose foods that are more sustainable. Many different factors need to be taken into account when assessing the sustainability of our diets – such as how much energy and water is used to farm or cultivate various foods. There are many changes that individuals can make to reduce the impact their diets have on the environment, but the largest and most necessary gains will come from regional, national, and global changes in the food production systems, food policy, and food environment. This chapter reviews the environmental impact of food production, different types of sustainable dietary patterns and strategies to shift consumption towards more sustainable diets in order to inform discussions about how to feed 9 billion people without destroying planet Earth. Sustainable diets are consistently higher in fruits, vegetables, and plant sources of protein and lower in meat and animal products.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Transforming Food Environments on 22 Mar 2022, available online:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
S Agriculture
T Technology > TX Home economics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
[thumbnail of Sustainable diets book chapter 2021 June final CE edit.pdf]
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