Sweden: on the forefront of “climate-friendly food”

Posted on September 15th, 2009 by

Swedish authorities develop guidelines on climate-friendly food choices
June 18, 2009

From Swedish News on Climate Change:

Swedish authorities are the first in Europe to develop guidelines on climate-friendly food choices. The Swedish National Food administration has been working with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to produce food recommendations that include information on the impact of food on climate and the environment, in addition to the health aspects.

“Consumers make important environmental choices when they are food-shopping, so they need a sound basis on which to make their decisions. Food production accounts for roughly a quarter of Swedish consumers’ climate-impacting emissions, and also contributes to other harmful environmental effects, for example through the use of pesticides,” says Inger Andersson, Director-General of the National Food Administration.

The document, ‘Environmental-friendly food choices’ begins: “Meat – beef, lamb, pork and chicken – is the food group that has the greatest impact on the environment. In Sweden, we eat an average of approximately 65 kilos of meat per person per year, which is just over ten kilos more than we did ten years ago. Eating less meat, and making careful choices about what you eat, is therefore the smartest environmental choice you can make.”

The guidelines on environmental-friendly food choices have been developed within the framework of existing dietary guidelines based on nutritional advice. With a few exceptions, healthy food choices can also go hand in hand with choices that are good for the environment.

Before the National Food Administration can release its guidelines they will be sent out for comment to other EU countries. The process will be completed within three months, provided there are no serious objections.

“The new guidelines are relevant to everyone who wants to eat healthily, and at the same time reduce their impact on the climate and the environment. Hopefully the guidelines on climate-friendly food choices will inspire authorities in other countries to follow Sweden’s example,” says Inger Andersson.

Read the proposal from the Swedish National Food Administration (in English): http://www.slv.se/upload/dokument/miljo/environmentally_effective_food_choices_proposal_eu_2009.pdf

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Swedish News on Climate Change is an electronic newsletter from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the national environmental authority under the Swedish Government. The news items are reproduced with references and without prior review of facts.

 

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