Energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas emissions for current food consumption patterns and dietary recommendations in the US

Abstract abridged:

Published in Environment Systems and Decisions, the study measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint and GHG emissions associated with shifting from current US food consumption patterns to three dietary scenarios, which are based, in part, on the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. In the three scenarios, the the study found that:

  • Shifting from the current US diet to dietary Scenario 1 for reducing caloric intake levels decreases energy use, blue water footprint, and GHG emissions by around 9 %
  • Shifting to the USDA recommended food mix without reducing caloric intake in dietary Scenario 2 increases energy use by 43 %, blue water footprint by 16 %, and GHG emissions by 11 %
  • Shifting to dietary Scenario 3, which accounts for both reduced Caloric intake and a shift to the USDA recommended food mix, increases energy use by 38 %, blue water footprint by 10 %, and GHG emissions by 6 %.