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Browsing by Subject "Nutrition"

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  • Korkman, Nadia (2023)
    Previous research has shown that beef have higher environmental impacts of land use (LU) and global warming potential (GWP) than the legumes, though the production type of beef makes a difference in its environmental impacts. Beef as a protein source produced within High Nature Value (HNV) farming systems has not yet been compared to other protein sources in terms of nutritional and environmental impact. HNV farmland is defined as farmland areas in Europe “where agriculture is a major land use and where that agriculture supports or is associated with, either a high species and habitat diversity or the presence of species of European conservation concern or both” (Andersen et al. 2003). Though beef has higher environmental impacts, it can provide an important nutrient source, especially if the bioavailability (BA) of protein is taken into account. It is known that legumes have lower BA for protein than beef, which means that the beef protein and some nutrients are made more available for the human body. It remains unknown to what degree this could affect the required mass of foods consumed to meet nutrition requirements, which could in turn effect the environmental impacts of food consumption. The aim is to assess if HNV beef and plant-based protein-rich alternatives differ in environmental impacts when BA of proteins is considered. The objectives are i) to compare HNV beef in relation to its nutritional content and environmental impact to three alternative protein sources (red kidney beans, chickpeas, and fava beans) and ii) to assess the difference in environmental impacts when BA of these protein sources is and is not considered. The results showed that taking into account protein BA affects the available nutritional value of the protein and the environmental impacts of HNV beef and the other protein sources. The impacts of GWP and LU are highest for HNV and conventional beef even when the impacts were corrected for BA. This means that the inclusion of beef produced on HNV farmland in a sustainable diet is more environmentally impactful than protein intake from legumes when considering the chosen environmental categories. Future studies should include environmental impacts such as water use, carbon sequestration, biodiversity and also different socio-cultural metrics in order to justly assess HNV farming system and HNV products.