The Role of Dairy in Sustainable Diets

This is a report of the first symposium of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) on the role of dairy in sustainable nutrition.

Author Stephan Peters of NZO notes that solutions for the sustainability problem in food production are not as simple as they may at first seem. The production of animal source foods seems to have a higher impact than that of plant-based products. However, a drastically reduction of animal source food reduction has massive consequences for production chains, land allocation, dietary patterns and nutrient supply and does not result in big ecological gains and cannot provide all nutrients for an entire population.

A successful transition to a food production system with less ecological impact must consider four different dimensions, namely:

  • Nutrition and health;
  • Ecological impact;
  • Economics, and;
  • Cultural aspects.

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