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Environmental Imprint of Human Food Consumption: Linköping, Sweden 1870 - 2000
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human food consumption has changed from the late 19th century to the turn of the millennium, and so has the need for resources to sustain this consumption. For the city of Linköping, situated in southeastern Sweden, the environmental imprint of an average inhabitant’s food consumption is studied from the year 1870 to the year 2000. The average consumer is the driving factor in this study, since changes in food consumption have a direct influence on the environmental imprint. This thesis analyses the environmental imprint of human food consumption from a historical perspective, by applying two different methods. An analysis of the average Swedish food consumption creates the basis for a material flow analysis of nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as a study of the spatial imprint.

Emissions of nitrogen and phosphorus into the hydrosphere have decreased over this period for the system of food consumption and production for an average consumer, while the input via chemical fertilizer has increased significantly. The efficiency of this system could be increased if for instance more phosphorus in human excreta would be reused within the system instead of large deposition and losses into the hydrosphere. The spatial imprint of human food consumption shows, given the changing local preconditions, that less space would be needed for regional production of the consumed food. However, the share of today’s import and thus globally produced food doubles this spatial imprint.

The results of this study show not only a strong influence of the consumption of meat and other animal products on the environmental imprint, but also great potential in the regional production of food. In the context of an increasing urban population, and thus additional billions of people who will live at an increasing distance from the agricultural production land, concern for the direct effects of our human food consumption can be of decisive importance for future sustainable food supply.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2005. , 580 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 333
Keyword [en]
food consumption, 19th and 20th century, Sweden, material flow analysis, (MFA), substance flow analysis, nitrogen, phosphorus, spatial imprint
Keyword [sv]
lantbruk, miljöaspekter, livsmedelsindustri, livsmedelskonsumtion, markanvändning, Östergötland, 1800-talet
National Category
Food Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-3592ISBN: 91-85299-95-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-3592DiVA: diva2:20414
Public defence
2005-09-09, Elysion, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-09-02 Created: 2005-09-02 Last updated: 2014-09-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Reconstructing Swedish Food Consumption from Hospital Diets after 1870
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reconstructing Swedish Food Consumption from Hospital Diets after 1870
2004 (English)In: Ecology of Food and Nutrition, ISSN 0367-0244, Vol. 43, no 3, 149-179 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food consumption is of great interest from an environmental point of view since different diets have a significant impact on space, water, and the use of other resources. This article studies the quantity and composition of food consumption in Sweden between 1870 and 2000. The primary material, consisting of historical hospital dietary regulations from 1871 to 1928, is introduced in detail and compared to other national investigations. The results show a distinctive increase in the consumption of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits, with a parallel decrease in cereal and milk consumption. Strong regional patterns could be detected concerning the consumption of meat and fish. The data are compared to other national investigations and particularly to studies of German and Finnish food consumption in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Keyword
Food consumption, Sweden, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, hospital diet
National Category
Food Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13349 (URN)10.1080/03670240490446786 (DOI)
Available from: 2005-09-02 Created: 2005-09-02 Last updated: 2009-06-04
2. Food Consumption and Nutrient Flows – Nitrogen in Sweden since the 1870s
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Food Consumption and Nutrient Flows – Nitrogen in Sweden since the 1870s
2006 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, Vol. 10, no 4, 61-75 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Changes in food consumption and related processes have a significant impact on the flow of nitrogen in the environment. This study identifies both flows within the system and emissions to the hydrosphere and atmosphere. A case study of an average inhabitant of the city of Linköping, Sweden, covers the years 1870, 1900, 1950, and 2000 and includes changes in food consumption and processing, agricultural production, and organic waste handling practices. Emissions to the hydrosphere from organic waste handling increased from 0.57 kilograms of nitrogen per capita per year (kg N/cap per year) to 3.1 kg N/cap per year, whereas the total flow of nitrogen to waste deposits grew from a negligible amount to 1.7 kg N/cap per year. The largest flow of nitrogen during the entire period came from fodder. The input of chemical fertilizer rose gradually to a high level of 15 kg N/cap per year in the year 2000. The total load per capita disposed of to the environment decreased during these 130 years by about 30%.

Keyword
dynamic modeling, food production, industrial ecology, materials flow analysis (MFA), mathematical materials flow analysis (MMFA), substance flow analysis (SFA)
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13350 (URN)10.1162/jiec.2006.10.4.61 (DOI)
Available from: 2005-09-02 Created: 2005-09-02 Last updated: 2009-06-04
3. The Flow of Phosphorus in Food Production and Consumption: Linköping, Sweden, 1870-2000
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Flow of Phosphorus in Food Production and Consumption: Linköping, Sweden, 1870-2000
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13351 (URN)
Available from: 2005-09-02 Created: 2005-09-02 Last updated: 2010-01-13
4. Recycling of Phosphorus in Urban Sweden: A historical overview to prepare a strategy for the future
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recycling of Phosphorus in Urban Sweden: A historical overview to prepare a strategy for the future
2010 (English)In: Water Policy, ISSN 1366-7017, E-ISSN 1996-9759, Vol. 12, no 4, 611-624 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sustainable sanitation and food security have been issues in all human history although named differently. This study describes the evolution of sanitation arrangements in the Swedish town Linkoping for the period 1870-2000. The flow of phosphorus from food consumption is estimated for the period and its output is divided into gainful reuse in agriculture and energy production and (harmful) losses to the hydrosphere and landfills. The rate of gainful reuse varies dramatically, from very high, up until the 1920s, followed by a drop to almost zero around 1950. Reuse was picking up since the introduction of a phosphorus removal unit at wastewater treatment plants and application of sludge in agriculture from the 1970s, but was followed by a sharp decline at the end of the 20th century. The results from Linkoping are applied to scenarios for Sweden as a whole and extended to some anticipated implications for the world in the years to come.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IWA Publishing, 2010
Keyword
Food security, Material flow analysis, Phosphorus, Recycling, Reuse, Strategy, Sustainability, Sustainable sanitation, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13352 (URN)10.2166/wp.2009.165 (DOI)000280882100010 ()
Available from: 2005-09-02 Created: 2005-09-02 Last updated: 2017-12-13
5. Spatial Imprint of Food Consumption: A Historical Analysis for Sweden, 1870-2000
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spatial Imprint of Food Consumption: A Historical Analysis for Sweden, 1870-2000
2005 (English)In: Human Ecology, ISSN 0300-7839, E-ISSN 1572-9915, Vol. 33, no 4, 565-580 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Depending on quantity and composition of food as well as on production conditions and techniques, the space needed to sustain an individual’s nourishment varies. The amount of space needed also depends on the use of resources such as energy, water, and fertilizers, as well as potential land degradation and water pollution. Our study focuses on the changing spatial imprint of an average inhabitant of an expanding Swedish city, Linköping, from 1870 to 2000 taking into account both shifts in consumption as well as agricultural productivity and practices. Despite the distinctly larger amount of animal food products, such as meat and fish, consumed in 2000, we calculate the area needed to sustain an individual’s annual food consumption could be less than one fourth of that needed in 1870. However, if the import of various globally produced foods is included in our calculations, the land needed to sustain the consumption of an inhabitant of Linköping in 2000 doubles. We also argue that an examination of this regional imprint can be used to explore and evaluate possibilities for regional development.

Keyword
spatial imprint, food consumption, nineteenth/twentieth century, Sweden, ecological footprint
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13353 (URN)10.1007/s10745-005-5160-3 (DOI)
Available from: 2005-09-02 Created: 2005-09-02 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Schmid Neset, Tina-Simone

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