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  • Järviö, Natasha; Maljanen, Netta-Leena; Kobayashi, Yumi; Ryynänen, Toni; Tuomisto, Hanna (2021)
    Novel food production technologies are being developed to address the challenges of securing sustainable and healthy nutrition for the growing global population. This study assessed the environmental impacts of microbial protein (MP) produced by autotrophic hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria (HOB). Data was collected from a company currently producing MP using HOB (hereafter simply referred to as MP) on a small-scale. Earlier studies have performed an environmental assessment of MP on a theoretical basis but no study yet has used empirical data. An attributional life cycle assessment (LCA) with a cradle-to-gate approach was used to quantify global warming potential (GWP), land use, freshwater and marine eutrophication potential, water scarcity, human (non-)carcinogenic toxicity, and the cumulative energy demand (CED) of MP production in Finland. A Monte Carlo analysis was performed to assess uncertainties. The impacts of alternative production options and locations were explored. The impacts were compared with animal- and plant-based protein sources for human consumption as well as protein sources for feed. The results showed that electricity consumption had the highest contribution to environmental impacts. Therefore, the source of energy had a substantial impact on the results. MP production using hydropower as an energy source yielded 87.5% lower GWP compared to using the average Finnish electricity mix. In comparison with animal-based protein sources for food production, MP had 53-100% lower environmental impacts depending on the reference product and the source of energy assumed for MP production. When compared with plant-based protein sources for food production, MP had lower land and water use requirements, and eutrophication potential but GWP was reduced only if low-emission energy sources were used. Compared to protein sources for feed production, MP production often resulted in lower environmental impact for GWP (FHE), land use, and eutrophication and acidification potential, but generally caused high water scarcity and required more energy.
  • Lehikoinen, Elina; Parviainen, Tuure Ossian; Helenius, Juha Pekka; Jalava, Mika; Salonen, Arto O.; Kummu, Matti (2019)
    Water scarcity is a severe global threat, and it will only become more critical with a growing and wealthier population. Annually, considerable volumes of water are transferred virtually through the global food system to secure nations’ food supply and to diversify diets. Our objective is to assess, whether specializing water-intensive production for exports in areas with an abundance of natural resources, would contribute to globally resource-efficient food production. We calculated Finland’s virtual water net export potential (four scenarios) by reallocating the present underutilized agricultural land and combining that with a domestic diet change (three scenarios) to maximize the exports of cattle products. Assessed scenarios indicate that the greatest potential to net export Assessed scenarios indicate that the greatest potential to net export virtual water (3.7 billion m3 year−1, 25-time increase to current) was achieved when local production was maximized with domestic and exported feed, and bovine meat consumption in Finland wasreplaced with a vegetarian substitute. This corresponds to annual virtual water consumption for food of about 3.6 million global citizens (assuming 1032 m3 cap−1 year−1). Therefore our results suggest, that optimizing water-intensive production to water-rich areas, has a significant impact on global water savings. In addition, increasing exports from such areas by decreasing the domestic demand for water-intensive products to meet the nutrition recommendation levels, saves water resources.
  • Russo, V.; Strever, A. E.; Ponstein, Helena J. (2021)
    Following the urgency to curb environmental impacts across all sectors globally, this is the first life cycle assessment of different wine grape farming practices suitable for commercial conventional production in South Africa, aiming at better understanding the potentials to reduce adverse effects on the environment and on human health.
  • Ponstein, Helena; Ghinoi, Stefano; Steiner, Bodo (2019)
    As wine supply chains become increasingly globalized, sustainability issues take on ever greater importance. This is the first study to analyse the environmental sustainability aspect of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a global wine supply chain perspective, covering just over 90% of Finland's wine imports. Lacking substantial domestic production capacity, virtually all wine consumed in Finland is imported. Finland is comparable to its Nordic neighbours, Sweden and Norway, in this respect. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology was combined with sensitivity and scenario analyses to investigate GHG emissions implications from prospective policy changes. Our results spotlight differences related to wine production in the eight main wine producing countries for the Finnish market (Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, and the United States), related logistics, and all packaging types for wine used in Finland (glass bottle, Bag-in-Box, PET bottle, beverage carton, and pouch). We found an average value of 1.23 kg CO2e for 0.75 L wine consumed in Finland, ranging from 0.59 kg CO2e for French wine in a bag-in-box packaging to 1.92 kg CO2e for Australian wine in a glass bottle. After identifying the main GHG emission hotspots in the wine supply chain, our scenario analyses highlight the effects of reducing glass bottle weight, moving away from glass packaging toward bag-inbox, increasing bulk wine export volumes to Finland, and following the European Commission's Energy 2020 strategy which targets increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent.
  • Sandstrom, Vilma; Kauppi, Pekka E.; Scherer, Laura; Kastner, Thomas (2017)
    The agricultural products consumed in Finland are increasingly grown on foreign farms. We analyze the Finnish imports of food and feed crops from 1986 to 2011 by products and by their geographic origin drawing a link to environmental impacts. The share of foreign crops consumed in Finland nearly doubled in the study period. The imports increased especially with commodities that could also be produced domestically. While the production of food increasingly shifted abroad, also the exports from Finland increased. >90% of the blue water of the Finnish crop supply came from foreignwater resources. Wemap the results of land and water use together with their impacts on global biodiversity, and show thatmost of the land and water use related biodiversity impacts (>93%) associated with the Finnish food consumption are related to the imports and therefore taken place outside the Finnish borders. The use ofmultiple environmental indicators can help identifying products and spatial hotspots associated with themost severe environmental impacts of the Finnish crop imports contributing to a more holistic decision-making and the promoting of sustainable food consumption both domestically and globally. (C) 2016 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.
  • Sandström, Vilma; Valin, Hugo; Krisztin, Tamás; Havlík, Petr; Herrero, Mario; Kastner, Thomas (2018)
    International trade presents a challenge for measuring the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission footprint of human diets, because imported food is produced with different production efficiencies and sourcing regions differ in land use histories. We analyze how trade and countries of origin impact GHG footprint calculation for EU food consumption. We find that food consumption footprints can differ considerably between the EU countries with estimates varying from 610 to 1460 CO2-eq. cap−1 yr−1. These estimates include the GHG emissions from primary production, international trade and land use change. The share of animal products in the diet is the most important factor determining the footprint of food consumption. Embedded land use change in imports also plays a major role. Transition towards more plant-based diets has a great potential for climate change mitigation.
  • Papies, Esther K.; Johannes, Niklas; Daneva, Teya; Semyte, Gintare; Kauhanen, Lina-Lotta (2020)
    The production of meat is a main contributor to current dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions. However, the shift to more plant-based diets is hampered by consumers finding meat-based foods more attractive than plant-based foods. How can plant-based foods best be described to increase their appeal to consumers? Based on the grounded cognition theory of desire, we suggest that descriptions that trigger simulations, or re-experiences, of eating and enjoying a food will increase the attractiveness of a food, compared to descriptions emphasizing ingredients. In Study 1, we first examined the descriptions of ready meals available in four large UK supermarkets (N = 240). We found that the labels of meat-based foods contained more references to eating simulations than vegetarian foods, and slightly more than plant-based foods, and that this varied between supermarkets. In Studies 2 and 3 (N = 170, N = 166, pre-registered), we manipulated the labels of plant-based and meat-based foods to either include eating simulation words or not. We assessed the degree to which participants reported that the description made them think about eating the food (i.e., induced eating simulations), and how attractive they found the food. In Study 2, where either sensory or eating context words were added, we found no differences with control labels. In Study 3, however, where simulation-based labels included sensory, context, and hedonic words, we found that simulation-based descriptions increased eating simulations and attractiveness. Moreover, frequent meat eaters found plant-based foods less attractive, but this was attenuated when plant-based foods were described with simulation-inducing words. We suggest that language that describes rewarding eating experiences can be used to facilitate the shift toward healthy and sustainable diets.