Scenario Analysis of a Municipality’s Food Purchase to Simultaneously Improve Nutritional Quality and Lower Carbon Emission for Child-Care Centers

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Abstract

Public procurement has been highlighted as an important strategic tool to drive sustainable development. The present study aimed at providing direction for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) by 25% for the food purchased by child-care centers in the City of Copenhagen while simultaneously providing nutritionally adequate, affordable and tasty menus. Baseline data were provided by compiling food purchase data with datasets matching each food item to a proxy food item and further with databases containing nutrient and GHGE information. For each food item, the edible amount was estimated in order to evaluate nutritional content and GHGE per 10 MJ. Two scenarios were modeled, i.e., a plant-rich diet and a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet directed at children two to five years old based on current purchase practice. Finally, the diets were translated into guidelines for menu planning. Amounts of pulses, nuts and seeds, as well as dark green vegetables and plant-based fats, were increased substantially in the two scenarios, while animal fat was decreased and the amount of meat was either reduced or eliminated in the plant-rich and lacto-ovo vegetarian diets, respectively. These kinds of changes in public food procurement have the power to significantly affect the transition toward a more healthy and sustainable food system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5551
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number10
Number of pages18
ISSN2071-1050
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • food service
  • guidelines
  • sustainable and healthy food
  • sustainable cities
  • lacto-ovo vegetarian diet
  • plant-rich diet

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