Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684bc48f8b-g7stk Total loading time: 0.295 Render date: 2021-04-13T17:54:21.568Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Testing a complete-diet model for estimating the land resource requirements of food consumption and agricultural carrying capacity: The New York State example

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 July 2007

Christian J. Peters
Affiliation:
515 Bradfield Hall, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Jennifer L. Wilkins
Affiliation:
305 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Gary W. Fick
Affiliation:
507 Bradfield Hall, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Agriculture faces a multitude of challenges in the 21st century, and new tools are needed to help determine how it should respond. Among these challenges is a need to reconcile how human food consumption patterns should change to both improve human nutrition and reduce agriculture's environmental footprint. A complete-diet framework is needed for better understanding how diet influences demand for a fundamental agricultural resource, land. We tested such a model, measuring the impact of fat and meat consumption on the land requirements of food production in New York State (NYS). Analysis was confined to this geographic area to simplify the modeling procedure and to examine the state's ability to reduce environmental impact by supplying food locally. Per capita land resource requirements were calculated with a spreadsheet model for 42 diets ranging from 0 to 381 g d−1 (0 to 12 oz d−1) of meat and eggs and 20 to 45% total calories from fat. Many of these diets meet national dietary recommendations. The potential human carrying capacity of the NYS land base was then derived, based on recent estimates of available agricultural land. A nearly fivefold difference (0.18–0.86 ha) in per capita land requirements was observed across the diets. Increasing meat in the diet increased per capita land requirements, while increasing total dietary fat increased the land requirements of low meat diets but reduced the land needed for high meat diets. Higher meat diets used a larger share of the available cropland suited only to pasture and perennial crops. Thus, only a threefold difference was observed for the potential number of people fed from the NYS land base (2.0–6.2 million). In addition, some high-fat vegetarian diets supported fewer people than lower fat diets containing 63–127 g d−1 of meat (approximately one- to two-thirds of the national average per capita consumption in the US). These results support the assertion that diet should be considered in its entirety when assessing environmental impact. To more completely understand how diet influences land requirements and potential carrying capacity, this model should be applied across a larger geographic area that encompasses a wider variety of climates and soil resources. To better understand the ability of a local region to supply more of its own food, the model should be moved into a geospatial framework.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

1 Peters, C.J., Fick, G.W., and Wilkins, J.L. 2003. Cultivating better nutrition: can the food pyramid help translate dietary recommendations into agricultural goals? Agronomy Journal 95:14241431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
2 Delgado, C., Rosegrant, M., Steinfeld, H., Ehui, S., and Courbois, C. 2001. Livestock to 2020: the next food revolution. Outlook on Agriculture 30(1):2729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
3 Delgado, C., Rosegrant, M., Steinfeld, H., Ehui, S., and Courbois, C. 1999. Livestock to 2020: the next food revolution. 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and Environment. Discussion Paper 28. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
4 Delgado, C.L. 2003. Rising consumption of meat and milk in developing countries has created a new food revolution. Journal of Nutrition 133:3907S3910S.Google Scholar
5 Rosegrant, M.W. and Ringler, C. 1997. World food markets into the 21st century: environmental and resource constraints and policies. The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 41(3):402428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
6 Alexandratos, N. 1999. World food and agriculture: outlook for the medium and longer term. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 96:59085914.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
7 Johnson, D.G. 1999. The growth of demand will limit output growth for food over the next quarter century. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 96:59155920.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
8 Pinstrup-Andersen, P., Pandya-Lorch, R., and Rosegrant, M.W. 2000. World food prospects. Agrarwirtschaft 49:311319.Google Scholar
9 Dyson, T. 1999. World food trends and prospects to 2025. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 96:59295936.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
10 Tillman, D., Cassman, K.G., Matson, P.A., Naylor, R., and Polasky, S. 2002. Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature 418:671677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
11 Hall, D.C., Ehui, S., and Delgado, C.L. 2004. The livestock revolution, food safety, and small-scale farmers: why they matter to us all. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17(4/5):425444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
12 Cassman, K.G. 1999. Ecological intensification of cereal production systems: yield potential, soil quality, and precision agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 96:59525959.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
13 Heitschmidt, R.K., Short, R.E., and Grings, E.E. 1996. Ecosystems, sustainability, and animal agriculture. Journal of Animal Science 74:13951405.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
14 Pimentel, D. and Pimentel, M. 2003. Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 78(suppl.):660S663S.Google ScholarPubMed
15 Duncan, R.C. and Youngquist, W. 1999. Encircling the peak of world oil production. Natural Resources Research 8(3):219232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
16 Easterling, W. and Apps, M. 2005. Assessing the consequences of climate change for food and forest resources: a view from the IPCC. Climatic Change 70:165189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
17 Reid, J.T. 1970. The future role of ruminants in animal production. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Physiology of Digestion and Metabolism in the Ruminant. Oriel Press, Newcastle upon Tyne. p. 122.Google Scholar
18 Oltjen, J.W. and Beckett, J.L. 1996. Role of ruminant livestock in sustainable agricultural systems. Journal of Animal Science 74:14061409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
19 Bradford, G.E. 1999. Contributions of animal agriculture to meeting global human food demand. Livestock Production Science 59:95112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
20 Reijnders, L. and Soret, S. 2003. Quantification of the environmental impact of different protein choices. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 78:664S668S.Google ScholarPubMed
21 Bowman, S.A., Lino, M., Gerrior, S.A., and Basiotis, P.P. 1998. The healthy eating index, 1994–96. Family Economics and Nutrition Review 11(3):213.Google Scholar
22 US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. 2000. Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 5th ed. Home and Garden Bulletin No. 232. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
23 US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs and US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2000. Food Commodity Intake Database, Version 2.1 [CD-ROM computer file]. National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA.Google Scholar
24 US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. 2005. Food consumption (per capita) data system: food pyramid servings. Available at Web site: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/foodconsumption/FoodGuideIndex.htm (verified 27 November 2006).Google Scholar
25 US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. 2004. Food consumption (per capita) data system: nutrient availability. Available at Web site: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/foodconsumption/NutrientAvailIndex.htm (verified 27 November 2006).Google Scholar
26 US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2004. US Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17. Available at Web site: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp (verified 27 November 2006).Google Scholar
27 Peters, C.J., Wilkins, J.L., and Fick, G.W. 2005. Input and Output Data in Studying the Impact of Meat and Fat on the Land Resource Requirements of the Human Diet and Potential Carrying Capacity: The New York State Example [R05-1]. Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
28 Matthews, R.H. and Garrison, Y.J. 1975. Food yields: summarized by different stages of preparation. Agricultural Handbook No. 102. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
29 US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. 1992. Weights, measures, and conversion factors for agricultural commodities and their products. Agricultural Handbook No. 697. US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
30 Kantor, L.S. 1998. A Dietary Assessment of the U.S. Food Supply (AER-772). US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
31 New York Agricultural Statistics Service. 2004. New York Agricultural Statistics, 2003–04 Annual Bulletin. Available at Web site: http://www.nass.usda.gov/ny/Bulletin/2004/04-bulletin.htm (verified 23 November 2005).Google Scholar
32 US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2001. Crop Production 2000 Summary. Available at Web site: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/reports/nassr/field/pcp-bban/ (verified 23 November 2005).Google Scholar
33 US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2004. Crop Production 2003 Summary. Available at Web site: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/reports/nassr/field/pcp-bban/ (verified 23 November 2005).Google Scholar
34 Neter, J., Kutner, M.H., Nachtsheim, C.J., and Wasserman, W. 1996. Applied Linear Statistical Models. 4th ed. WCB/McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.Google Scholar
35 US Census Bureau. 2006. State and County QuickFacts. Available at Web site: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html (verified 4 August 2006).Google Scholar
36 Fraser, D. 2001. The ‘New Perception’ of animal agriculture: legless cows, featherless chickens, and a need for genuine analysis. Journal of Animal Science 79:634641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 128
Total number of PDF views: 496 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 13th April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Testing a complete-diet model for estimating the land resource requirements of food consumption and agricultural carrying capacity: The New York State example
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Testing a complete-diet model for estimating the land resource requirements of food consumption and agricultural carrying capacity: The New York State example
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Testing a complete-diet model for estimating the land resource requirements of food consumption and agricultural carrying capacity: The New York State example
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *