Dairy products are an important part of a sustainable nutrition

It is important that we take good care of our planet and change our diets so that they become more sustainable in the long run. Various studies document that dairy products are an important part of the sustainable diet of the future - the reason is that dairy products contain many nutrients which can be difficult to get from other foods.

What is a sustainable diet? 

A sustainable diet is for the benefit of both the planet and its population.

A lot of research in sustainability takes place at the moment - including how it is possible to make the diet more sustainable for the benefit of the climate, the planet and its population.

The research examines which concrete foods shall be included in a sustainable diet, that also is sufficiently healthy and contains the right nutrients. At the same time, the studies also indicate that a diet must not cost more than what the consumers already pay for their food. Another important criterion is that the designated and sustainable diet has a composition that fits in with the consumers' current dietary habits and food culture.

Two interesting studies are discussed below.

The effect of climate change can be reduced by approximately one third

The study concludes that the French population can relatively easily reduce the climate impact of their food and beverages by about a third. However, in order to get a sustainable diet, it requires that the French eat more vegetables and fruits, eat less meat and drink less alcohol in future. However, they should not reduce their consumption of dairy products. The reason for this is that the food will not meet the nutrient recommendations if dairy products are reduced.

This sustainable diet fits into the French's current diet and will cost roughly the same amount of money that French people spend on food today.

If the aim is to change the diet so that the climate impact is reduced by more than a third, it will go beyond what is culturally acceptable in a French context.

LiveWell for Life – a project by WWF

The second research project called, "LiveWell for Life", is a collaboration between a university in Scotland, WWF World Wildlife Fund and several others. The focus was on different European countries, and the researchers did calculations on how the diet should be composed to have a low climate impact and at the same time be economically available and live up to the nutrient recommendations.

The study concludes — just like the French researchers — that a shift to a more sustainable diet requires the population to eat less meat and increase the intake of legume such as beans, pulses and peas that have a high protein content. In addition, the population should also increase their intake of fruits, vegetables and cereal products. This study also concludes that the intake of dairy products should be maintained at the current level to make sure that the overall sustainable diet contains all the nutrients the body needs.

LiveWell for Life - Background

”LiveWell for Life” is a research project made in collaboration between WWF-UK, WWF European Policy and Friends of Europe. WWF is an abbreviation for "World Wide Fund for Nature." The European Union has also financially supported the project.

Conclusion

More and more consumers are interested in changing their diet so that it becomes more climate-friendly and sustainable. Several studies unanimously conclude that dairy products should remain part of the future sustainable diet to ensure that consumers still have a healthy and nutritional diet.

If you want to switch to a more sustainable diet, it is important that you do not cut your consumption of dairy products.