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Nutrition Food losses Land consumption

Tons for the trash

Imprint Published by WWF Germany, Berlin September 2012 Authors Steffen Noleppa, Harald von Witzke Coordination Tanja Dräger de Teran/WWF Editors Tanja Dräger de Teran/WWF, Thomas Köberich/WWF, Andreas Müller-Seedorff Contact Design/Layout Thomas Schlembach/WWF Germany

Summary 1 Problem definition and objectives

5 8 10 20 26 30 38 44 47 48 49 50

2 Eating habits and dietary intake recommendations 3 Sources, causes and the extent of food losses 4 Definition of scenarios for further analysis

5 Impacts of a healthier diet on Germany’s land footprint 6 7 Impacts of a reduction of food waste on Germany’s land footprint Conclusions and Outlook WWF recommendations WWF recommendations with respect to food losses WWF agricultural policy demands


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Agricultural land use occupies approximately 5 billion hectares worldwide. Of those, 3.9 billion ha (80 %) are used for livestock, i.e. ultimately for the production of livestock-based foods. Already, one third of the global land surface is utilized for livestock production. And as global demand for meat continues to grow, so does the area of land needed for its production. Demographic forecasts predict that by 2050 we will need to feed 9 billion people. Based on this scenario, we can therefore expect that the competition for land will accelerate. But agricultural expansion is already causing drastic losses of natural ecosystems which in turn is leading to a dramatic decline in biodiversity. But what can we do here in Germany? To what extent does our own lifestyle here, which includes our dietary preferences, contribute to global land consumption? The present study addresses this question and looks at how we can reduce land consumption by adopting a healthier diet and a more prudent attitude to dealing with food. There is considerable potential.

»»At present, German annual per capita land consumption stands at 2,900 m². »» Due to its excessive requirement for land needed to satisfy domestic demand,
Germany utilizes an additional 6.8 million ha of agricultural land outside of its territory.

»»Feedstuffs are primarily responsible for this situation. Germany’s imports of soya »»The reason is this: Compared to other countries, people in Germany eat too much
meat. Not only does this impact on their health but their big appetite for meat is also detrimental to land resources.

beans and soya bean products alone require approximately 2.5 million ha of virtual net land areas outside of the EU, primarily in Brazil and Argentina.

»» A further environmentally detrimental aspect of the way we eat are food losses. On
average about 25 % of all purchased foods in Germany end up in the waste bin.

»»It is estimated that end consumers in Germany throw away 6.6 million tonnes of

food per year or 80 kg per head of population. In financial terms this equates to an estimated loss of EUR 25 billion.

»»Some of the reasons for these food losses include: poor pre-shop planning, incorrect
storage, not understanding the meaning of ‘best before’ dates, and often oversized portions in the catering industry.

Against this background, this study addresses the following questions:

»» What is the current typical average German diet? »» What kind of diet would be advisable from a health point of view? »» What types of food are most often thrown out by consumers? »» What is the estimated extent of avoidable losses?

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to change their eating habits and to waste less food. if they are beneficial to one’s health.000 ha of land could be available for other uses. For soya production alone 826. These examples demonstrate that a healthy diet reduces the pressure on land resources. The areas thus released from production could be devoted to other land uses and contribute to meeting global challenges such as the protection of resources and ecosystems and the security of world food supplies. i. especially in Argentina.000 ha of cereal cropland.7 million ha. »»A much greater effect could be achieved if the Germans followed the dieticians’ advice: 1. Brazil and in other South American countries. Solely considering lowered meat consumption. If it was possible to motivate the Germans to tackle both issues. 595. »»If. meat is significant in this context due to its specific land footprint. WWF 6 . The production of all the livestock-based foods that are being thrown out – be they yoghurt. the increased demand for bread grains would necessitate an extra 800. an area the size of the federal state of Saxony. for example. this study outlines in how far a healthier diet and a more prudent attitude to dealing with our food can impact on the Germans’ “land footprint”. This equates to twice the territory of the federal state of Saarland. the area of land needed would be reduced by 3.000 ha was needed for meat production alone.4 million ha if avoidable losses were eliminated completely.4 million ha of agricultural land of which 730.000 ha of cropland would no longer be needed. significantly less arable land and grassland would be needed. It would be possible to reduce the German per capita land footprint resulting from the consumption of agricultural commodities by at least 500 m² down to approximately 2.2 million ha could be “gained” if avoidable losses were even just halved and more than 2. the per capita land footprint of our meat consumption alone could almost be halved from 1. The scenarios for both a healthier diet and improved handling of purchased foods respectively very clearly show that enormous “savings” can be made in terms of land consumption.e. 1. thus freeing up land for other land uses. A more prudent attitude to dealing with food would also provide “savings” in terms of land area.900 m². To eat a healthy diet also means to consume less of some foods and more of others. egg products. sausage or other meat products – required 1.000 m². For example. Despite the relatively small quantities of meat that are thrown away.Based on scenarios. the Germans refrained from meat consumption once a week.300 m² to 2.8 million ha of land could be ‘released’. The results make it very clear that a healthier diet and a more prudent way of dealing with food is not only badly needed but it is possible too and has the potential to substantially reduce the area of land needed for food production. This has been considered in the scenarios. This means that if the entire German population followed the dieticians’ recommendations. The German per capita land footprint for food could be reduced by more than 13 % from approximately 2. Tanja Dräger de Teran.000 m² to a mere 577 m².

. It is used either for grazing or as arable land to produce livestock feed. Already about a third of the land area worldwide is used to produce livestock.Globally. livestock production is the largest land use by far in terms of area.

2011). the study shows that our strongly meatbased diet is a key driver of land use – in Europe and beyond.. the per capita demand for potatoes equates to 15 m². The impact of changing eating habits and the way we deal with food Lower meat consumption would presumably have a significant impact on resource management and in particular on the amount of land used for agricultural production. 2011). people are consuming more and more meat.9 million ha of domestic agricultural area are not sufficient to fully meet domestic demand for agricultural commodities. In brief.000 m² per inhabitant are currently required to meet the annual demand for meat in Germany. these and other questions are at the core of the first part of a larger WWF project: a study entitled “Meat eats Land” (hereinafter cited as von Witzke et al..5 million ha. with serious repercussions for the climate. For comparison. The importation of soya and soya products alone results in virtual net land imports from outside of the EU in the order of 2. mostly from Brazil and Argentina. Many questions arise in this context: How can changes in dietary patterns be instigated and what would be the impact on Germany’s land consumption? How would changing eating habits impact on demand for feedstuffs such as soya and other agricultural commodities? The following analysis will focus on these and other questions. The bulk of that acreage is devoted to the production of livestock feed. A more conscious approach to food would appear to be not only appropriate but necessary.1 Problem definition and objectives Meat determines the type of land use Around the globe. significant land use change for agricultural purposes is underway all over the world such as the cutting down of tropical rainforests and ploughing up of grasslands. In response to the rising demand for meat and other agricultural commodities. Germany’s 16.8 million ha outside of its territory over and above its own agricultural land base (von Witzke et al. To satisfy the demand for soya required to produce the meat products consumed within Germany. the demand for wheat to 100 m² of agricultural land. Further research is needed on eating habits and their successive modification in order to verify this assumption. Germany “occupies” more than 6. the entire territory of the Free State of Saxony would need to be devoted to soya cropping. 8 . meat consumption is particularly high in Germany. the global water regime and regional species diversity. In how far does Germany contribute to this problem? How much land area do Germany’s inhabitants “use” as a result of their eating habits? What is the size of their meat consumption’s land footprint? In light of the problems outlined above. Meat consumption is particularly high in Germany By international comparison. more than 1. If other feedstuffs are included in the calculation.

Germans eat too much meat (von Witzke et al. There are great overall food losses between initial production and final consumption. Chapter 5 discusses the impact of a diet guided by scientific recommendations.Aims of the study A reduction in land consumption by Germany’s inhabitants can be studied from two different perspectives: »»From a nutritional standpoint. Report structure With a view to answering the above questions. 2011. Tons for the trash | 9 . »»Chapters 5 and 6 discuss specific results of the analysis. Eating habits are not only reflected in consumption per se but also in a general approach to dealing with food. which also documents the results of the WWF study’s second part.. In particular. »»Chapter 3 looks at food losses. WRAP. »»A second perspective is that of resource utilization and protection. 2011). 2008). The question we ask here is about the expected impacts on food consumption and thus also on land consumption of a more conscious way of dealing with food and of efforts to minimize losses on the part of the consumers. 2009.. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a level of meat consumption at about half of what is currently being consumed in Germany (DGE. MRI. Stuart. Chapter 6 describes the impacts of reductions in food waste. in this Chapter. The high food losses in particular are a much discussed topic in both the general public and scientific circles (see i. 2011). The question remains as to the impact eating habits based on scientific recommendations would have on meat consumption and on the consumption of land resources. a land footprint is calculated for Germany with a view to individual food groups or agricultural primary products. It highlights the fact that not all the foodstuffs that »»Chapter 4 presents possible scenarios of changes in dietary patterns. Chapter 7 finally presents new interim conclusions and an outlook towards the third and final part of the WWF project which focuses on the impacts of meat consumption and land consumption on climate change. is structured as follows: »»Chapter 2 describes today’s eating habits of Germany’s inhabitants and outlines how they could eat more healthily. 2011. terns are based on the findings derived in Chapters 2 and 3 and serve as a basis for further analysis.a. Gustavsson et al. These pat- are available are actually consumed and that the wastage of resources is a particular burden resulting from our current eating habits. with reference to DGE recommendations and additional scientific findings. this report.

meat consumption outranks the consumption of peas. these consumption figures do not yet take account of losses due to spoilage and household-level processing or of the fact that some food is simply discarded. lentils and beans by a factor of more than 100:1.. product components and arrive at actual consumption figures (Dämon & Widhalm. roughly equal quantities of meat and legumes were consumed. Germany ranks almost 10 % above the EU average. yoghurt. 10 . However. sugar from sugarbeet) assigned to agricultural primary products. In contrast. recommendations – Meat consumption in Germany Germans eat 100 times more meat than beans and pulses. 2008). How can we make such a comparison? The DGE recommendations refer to net food consumption and thus consider losses during transport and at the consumer level. Until the mid-19th century.2 Eating habits and dietary intake recommendations Preferences v. BMELV. 2008) and refer to individual food items such as sausage. The DGE’s scientifically based recommendations for a “correct” diet clearly favour a more diverse diet with less meat and a greater focus on plant foods such as fruit. Amongst other constituents. cheese. For example. primarily legumes (beans and pulses). 2011). In short. this is the key result of the study on eating habits (von Witzke et al. If one compares current meat consumption levels with available recommendations for healthy eating it is very evident that the Germans eat far too much meat. Meat consumption is not a bad thing in principle. bread or pasta. Since 1950. A comparison of dietary intake recommendations and food consumption surveys To eat a “correct” diet means to eat much less meat and a lot more vegetables. 2003). BVDF. With an annual per capita meat consumption of more than 88 kg. pork etc. gross and net food consumption data in sector-specific statistics (cf. there are also other foods that contain proteins.) or indirectly (butter from milk. followed by almost 19 kg of poultrymeat and approximately 13 kg of beef. They are calculated based on dietary reference intakes (see DGE. 2011. More than 56 kg of the 88 kg of meat consumed are pork. 2010) are compiled on a completely different basis: »»Gross consumption figures are usually taken from agricultural statistics and can be »»Specific correction factors are applied to these figures to account for non-edible directly (for wheat. However. It is therefore all the more surprising that over the past decades other protein sources. have increasingly been dropped from the average diet. 2010). a 30 % deduction is made in the case of meat. rice and cereals. Germany’s inhabitants eat too much meat. Meyer and Sauter (2002) similarly advocate greater substitution of fruit and vegetables as well as dairy and cereal products for meat and animal fats. meat proteins are a valuable addition to the human diet. Nowadays. Nowadays. It seems reasonable therefore to use scientific findings such as those publicized by DGE as a basis for a comparison of actual eating habits with guidelines for recommended intakes. Global average meat consumption stands at less than 40 kg per person (Weick. meat consumption in Germany has more than doubled. vegetables and cereals (DGE.

while the DGE data contain recommendations for certain sub-groups such as the senior population. these recommendations do not significantly diverge from those for other adults. 2011). There is no comprehensive set of DGE reference values for all sub-groups of the population. is well catered for (DGE. diet histories and other types of food surveys (Dämon & Widhalm. in this case the so-called basic plan for adults. sausage. cereal products and potatoes »» »» Fruit 2–3 portions of fruit (250 g) or more »» »» »» »» Milk and dairy products Milk/yoghurt 200–250 g Cheese 50–60 g Give preference to low-fat products Meat. DGE recommendations for adults As an example.5 litres.A solid comparison with the DGE recommendations would require realistic data on actual food consumption. dietary recall surveys. 2003.1 DGE Basic plan for adults as a guideline for daily food intake Source: Own illustration after DGE (2004) »»Bread 200–300 g (4–6 slices) or bread 150–250 g (3–5 slices) »»Potatoes 200–250 g (cooked) or pasta 200–250 g (cooked) »»Give preference to wholemeal products Vegetables and lettuce Vegetables: total of 400 g or more Vegetables 300 g cooked plus raw vegetables/lettuce 100 g or vegetables 200 g cookedplus raw vegetables/lettuce 200 g or rice 150–180 g (cooked) plus 50–60 g of cereal flakes Cereals. children and adolescents are not. walnut oil): 10–15 g Beverages 1. Fig. Considering the DGE data. Moreover. It is therefore not possible. to arrive at a mean comparison between recommended and actual consumption amongst all sub-groups of the German population. i. 300–600 g in total Give preference to low-fat products »» »» »»Fish: Marine whitefish 80–150 g plus marine oily fish 70 g »»Eggs: up to 3 eggs (including eggs used in other dishes) »» »» »» Fats and oils Butter. fish and eggs (per week) Meat and sausage: max. rapeseed. soya. comparisons must be undertaken at the level of certain food groups and population segments to which the DGE recommendations relate. adults of 19 years and over. Figure 2.g. 2009). it must be pointed out that figures are not available for all age-classes and all sub-groups of the population. Additional survey data will need to be obtained to this end.e. But such data can only be gathered using weighing protocols. based on the DGE information alone. While the largest sub-group. margarine: 15–30 g Oil (e. MRI. Moreover. 2 outlines a DGE recommendation. preferably low-calorie drinks Tons for the trash | 11 .

the Forschungsinstitut für Kinderernährung (Research Institute for Childhood Nutrition. FKE) issues dietary intake recommendations for young children and adolescents. However. It is tailored to seven individual age groups from weaned infants to 18 year-olds. These are based on the so-called optimised mixed diet (Alexy et al. sausage.2 gives an overview of available recommendations issued by DGE and FKE for age groups ranging from childhood to old age.FKE recommendations for young children and adolescents Similar to the DGE providing recommendations for adults. in contrast to DGE. the FKE datasets do not break down the ‘dairy products’ and ‘fats and oils’ categories.2 Available recommendations issued by DGE and FKE for the intake of certain food groups Source: Own illustration DGE Cereals. the guidelines issued by DGE and FKE respectively can easily be combined. Figure 2. 2008). recommended daily amounts of certain food groups are given as appropriate to the children’s age. Figure 2. Technically. fish and eggs of which Meat and sausage Fish Eggs Fats and oils of which Butter Vegetable oils Beverages P P P P P P P P P P P P FKE P P P P P P P P P P 12 . cereal products and potatoes of which potatoes Bread/cereals Vegetables and lettuce Fruit Milk and dairy products of which Milk Dairy products Meat. Similar to the approach taken by the DGE..

2003.. 2007). a study assessing the health of children and adolescents in Germany (see Mensink et al. However. a nutrition survey carried out as part of the KiGGS (Kinder. The NVS provides up to date gender-specific food consumption information for the following age groups: »»14–18 Years »»19–24 Years »»25–34 Years »»35–50 Years »»51–64 Years »»65–80 Years Consumption data by age group are broken down into i. sausage and other meat products »»Fish »»Beverages Many of the food categories used for the purposes of the NVS therefore correspond to those used by DGE and FKE. NVS) (MRI. which were obtained using standard methods as outlined above (see Dämon & Widhalm. gaps in the data set can be filled in other ways: »»Data for young children aged six months to five years are available from the VELS survey on food intake by infants and young children (Verzehrstudie zur Ermittlung der Lebensmittelaufnahme von Säuglingen und Kleinkindern) (see Vohman et al. Consumption data for children and senior citizens: EsKiMo and ErnSTES data The NVS does not provide data for young persons below the age of 14 or for senior citizens above the age of 80.Consumption data for adolescents and adults: the National Nutrition Survey Real data are used for comparisons with recommendations. 2011). MRI.. 2008). the following food groups: »»Bread and cereal products »»Vegetables. The nutritional status of children and adolescents is thus well documented and the data are well suited to comparisons with the FKE recommendations since the studies use comparable food group classifications. 2008). DGE. These are survey data obtained by the Max Rubner Institut (MRI) as part of the most recent large-scale German National Nutrition Survey (Nationale Verzehrstudie. Data for 6 to 17 year olds were collected by the EsKiMo study (Ernährungsstudie als KiGGS-Modul).und Jugendgesundheitssurvey).a. The study provides net consumption data for individual foods or food groups by age group. »»Similar survey data are available for senior citizens aged 80 to about 95 from the 2008 ErnSTES study on nutrition of older people in elderly care facilities (Studie zur Ernährung älterer Menschen in stationären Einrichtungen) (cf. 2011). mushrooms and beans/pulses »»Potatoes »»Fruit and fruit products »»Fats »»Meat. The exception are carbohydrate foods such as potatoes and cereal products which are aggregated in the VELS and EsKiMo studies. Tons for the trash | 13 .

V.3 gives a summary list of the data basis for different age groups utilized for the investigations to follow below. oils 7: Beverages Copyright: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. They cover a variety of food groups and almost the entire age spectrum of the population. lettuce 3: Fruit 4: Milk.4 The DGE uses this food circle to visualize its recommendations. cereal products potatoes 2: Vegetables. Figure 2. Fish.. Sausage. Eggs 6: Fats.3 Comparable datasets on eating habits and dietary intake recommendations in Germany for a range of age groups Source: Own illustration Consumption data up to 1 Year up to 4 Years up to 5 Years up to 7 Years up to 10 Years up to 12 Years up to 15 Years up to 19 Years up to 24 Years up to 34 Years up to 50 Years up to 64 Years up to 80 Years over 80 Years VELS VELS VELS EsKiMo EsKiMo EsKiMo EsKiMo EsKiMo NVS NVS NVS NVS NVS ErnSTES Recommended intakes FKE FKE FKE FKE FKE FKE FKE FKE DGE DGE DGE DGE DGE DGE Figure 2. no comparison can be drawn for this age group. 1:Cereals. A wholesome diet should include the food groups shown and symbolized by selected representative foods in the relative quantities as depicted. Summary: Data sources for consumption data and recommended intakes Figure 2. The only exception are infants less than six months of age. dairy products 5: Meat. Bonn 14 .Good quality real data are thus available as a basis for comprehensive comparisons with the DGE and FKE recommendations.

) Potatoes. Males Figure 2. the higher value was assigned to males and the lower value to females. n. dairy products Fats Bread. 1. n. a separate age group was defined for the purposes of this study. It should be noted that in cases where DGE or FKE recommendations were not genderspecific but were given as a range.a. potato products Vegetables. vegetable products Fruit.etc.a.Required differentiation by age. meat products Fish. potato products Vegetables. n. fruit products Jam. Moreover.a. 1. fish products Eggs Milk.a. 250 68 260 259 15 35 1. cake Carbohydrate foods (pasta. any potential impact this may have on the final result will be more or less cancelled out by the fact that at 50. meat products Fish. fruit products Jam. sweets Alcohol-free beverages 170 230 217 17 41 1. fish products Eggs Milk. gender.806 327 NVS consumption figures 167 30 21 261 30 DGE recommendations 86 31 25 310 45 300 250 or 180 or 250 400 250 n.a.a.a. gender ratio in Germany’s population is almost even.7 450 40 300 330 300 300 n.844 FKE recommendations 75 14 20.a.716 Males Age group 35-50 years Meat. cake Carbohydrate foods (pasta) Rice Potatoes.300 Females EsKiMo consumption figures 98 8 21 314 30 165 124 87 218 187 4 67 1.9 % females and 49. sweets Alcohol-free beverages EsKiMo consumption figures 148 9 27 401 36 197 160 99 204 185 9 75 1. rolls. n. n.200 Tons for the trash | 15 .5 Actual consumption figures and dietary intake recommendations in Germany for the “13-15 years” and “35-50 years” age groups (in g or ml per day) Source: own compilation Age group 13-15 years Meat. n. pastry. pastry. Exactly which of the data were juxtaposed is shown in Figure 2. marmalade Sugar.7 425 35 250 270 260 260 n. dairy products Fats Bread. FKE recommendations 65 14 20. marmalade Sugar.a. rolls.a.1 % males. vegetable products Fruit. and food groups Whenever either the consumption data or the dietary intake recommendations changed from a given age onwards. This might appear arbitrary but where gender-specific values are not given there is not really an alternative to this approach.5 by way of example for boys and girls aged 13-15 and for men and women aged 35-50.615 Females NVS consumption figures 88 22 17 236 20 DGE recommendations 43 20 17 260 25 200 200 or 150 or 200 400 250 n.

5.4 % 106. the individual discrepancies between actual consumption (based on VELS. To this end it is important to closely correlate dietary styles with the agricultural primary products consumed. Changes in consumption data if dietary intake recommendations were adopted How would the consumption data change and what specific changes would there be in the food groups given above if every person living in Germany. 2.6 has already achieved this in part.6 % 137. especially the carbohy- drate foods identified in Fig.6 % 67. However.6 % 117.Judging from the data in Fig.6 Ratio of dietary guidelines to current consumption habits in Germany (current consumption = 100 %) Source: own calculations However.0 % 98. dairy products Fats Cereals.9 % Figure 2. cereal products Rice Potatoes.6. »»It is not always easy to assign certain foods to food groups. 2. To answer this question. meat products Fish. for example by referring to DGE menu recommendations and the ratios of individual carbohydrate foods contained therein. it has been possible in many cases to disaggregate existing aggregations into discrete items. 2.5 % 144. This is because different sources deal with them at different levels of aggregation. 2. cereal products). Some of the consumption surveys refer to them as components of other foods (high level of aggregation) while others list them as discrete items (potatoes.0 % 115. fully adopted the dietary intake recommendations? This is the question we will address below. rice. 16 . which calls for some discussion: »»To recap: It is the aim of the study to determine the land footprint of altered dietary patterns in Germany. NVS and ErnSTES) and the corresponding recommendations (after FKE and DGE) were weighted appropriately for the proportion of each age group in the overall population (see Destatis. sweets 56.5 and analogous information for the other age groups.6 slightly diverge from those given in Fig. rice.6 % 175.5.4 % 65.0 % 157. the food groups listed in Fig. 2. Meat. fruit products Sugar. fish products Eggs Milk. 2011). This approach allowed for the separation of cereals. making it more difficult to arrive at generalized conclusions across all sub-sections of the population. resulting in differences in the composition of food groups. potato products Vegetables. 2. which can be made available on request. The definition of food groups as given in Fig. and potatoes respectively and rendered later analysis considerably more productspecific. EsKiMo. from infants to the oldest senior citizens. it indeed appears that in Germany people across all ages consume too much meat and insufficient amounts of other food groups such as fruit and vegetables or carbohydrate foods. vegetable products Fruit. The result is given in Fig.

consumption figures for other livestock-based foods (milk. e. According to the food consumption surveys. 2009). and in part well below. 2. Tons for the trash | 17 . every person in Germany consumes almost 13 kg of sugar per year in the form of sweeteners and with beverages. People could do completely without this excess consumption (DGE. This is particularly true for vegetables as well as for rice and other cereals. Too much meat and sugar – not enough vegetables and cereals The results reveal some major discrepancies between actual and recommended consumption in the different food groups: »»All food groups. in baked goods (DGE. »»The meat consumption figure postulated by Witzke et al. are consumed in quantities diverging from the recommended amounts. (2011) at being approximately twice as high as necessary has roughly been verified by the calculations. a fact that has been considered in Fig.»»A note on sugar: DGE recommends to refrain from any additional consumption of sugar as the daily food already contains large quantities of monosaccharides and disaccharides. Südzucker. »»In contrast. consumption of plant-based products is below. eggs) are slightly below the recommended levels. 2009) which represents almost a third of the total per capita sugar consumption of 38 kg (DGE. Fruit consumption is also somewhat below recommended levels. except for fish and fish products. 2008. 2011).6. recommended levels. Incredibly sweet: Germans consume 38 kg sugar per person per year. »»With the exception of potatoes and sugar.g.

But even though the meat content of such composite dishes can be quite high. the statistics showed a per capita meat consumption of just under 60 kg in Germany (BVDF. The various possible survey methods used to establish food intake were given earlier in this text. lard (fats). MRI. 2010. 2003. stews and a variety of meat extracts (others). 2011) the results are associated with a degree of uncertainty. At the time the NVS survey data were collected. But this cannot be said with certainty. These include. The example of meat consumption demonstrates the impact of methodological discrepancies which may result in misinterpretations. The NVS data however indicated a per capita meat consumption of only just under 45 kg. German-style open sandwiches and other sandwiches (breads). Dämon & Widhalm (2003) therefore propose a second correction of approximately 15 %. such imprecise allocations in the NVS can by no means explain the 25 % discrepancy. 18 . food that is discarded etc. In total. the additional correction in conjunction with the difficulties of allocation and the methodological differences may roughly explain the 25 % discrepancy between NVS intake data and statistical consumption data. these discrepancies can be explained by consumer food losses (spoilage. as meat or animal fats are also eaten as part of other food groups. The following chapter is devoted to precisely this issue. As every method is flawed in one way or another (Dämon & Widhalm. MRI. How can this 25 % discrepancy be explained? In addition to the inherent methodological errors there are two reasons in particular that must be considered in any further analysis: »»The NVS ‘meat and meat products’ food group does not include all items consumed. for example. 2008). »»Rather. pizza (savoury baked goods).A note on the further treatment of the different bases of consumption data We conclude this chapter with a special note on data acquisition. A more detailed analyses of food losses caused by the consumers sheds more light on the matter. soups.) which are not considered as part of the 30 % statistical correction factor used to calculate net food consumption from gross food consumption figures (see the reasoning earlier in the text).

That is more than 80 kg per person.6 million tons of food every year. And that’s not all: A family of four could save around 1200 Euro per year. . The bulk of this food “waste” is avoidable.End consumers in Germany throw out approximately 6.

3 Sources. More food is lost in the hands of end consumers than at the production and trade levels. bones in meat chops or chicken bones and so on. 2011). the remainder of the study will deal solely with food waste. a significant proportion of these losses could be avoided by the consumers. Gustavsson et al. but they are not without significance either. those losses that are due to or caused by consumers. It is quite clear from the definitions that any attempt at accurately quantifying food losses is fraught with difficulty. GIZ & SIWI. It is very difficult to accurately quantify food losses. in the catering industry and above all at the level of private households. Foresight. Grethe et al. Additionally there is spoilage of food prepared in excess of requirements in private households. In developing countries the situation is very different (Grethe et al. as well as from dehydration.. The corresponding figure for Germany is as high as 74 %. It would be wrong to label all these losses as ‘wasted food’ as this category also includes fruit and vegetable peelings. “food waste” is defined at the retail and consumer stages and comprises all losses of food for direct consumption occurring at the retail level.e. when it comes to food waste. Food waste includes for example food that is discarded due to expired shelf life dates and confusion over ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates. As a result. 2011. estimates covering both types of losses vary significantly. Glanz. Additional losses result from poor or overly long storage at the processing and sales levels. 20 . causes and the extent of food losses Food losses take many forms and generally any initial categorization distinguishes by source. 2008. as will be outlined further below. 2011. between farmer and processor and further along the supply chain up to and including the wholesale level. Parfitt et al. Parfitt et al.. These uncertainties are particularly significant with respect to food losses as defined above. 2011). cooling etc. Gustavsson et al. Considering the entire food supply chain from the producer to the consumer. as major uncertainties are associated with their documentation and estimation (Grethe et al... at the slaughter and butchering of livestock. harvest and post-harvest losses resulting for example from poor harvesting and transport techniques. 2011. i. These include weather-related losses. 2010): »»“Food losses” include all losses of food occurring at farm level. a distinction is generally made between food losses and food waste (see i. from compliance with required quality and packaging standards. canteens and restaurants.. However.e. would certainly be useful.. (2010) found that ranges between 10 and 50 percent of total global food production are quoted in the literature. nut shells. losses at the production and trading levels. consumer food waste is generally held to be of much greater significance. (2010) estimate that in the EU more than 56 % of overall food losses and waste are generated at household level. 2011. at least in industrialized countries. i. While an analysis of preconsumer food losses. Focus on consumer food waste As it is the aim of this study to examine dietary patterns and changes in eating habits of end consumers. »»In contrast. Monier et al. a. 2011.

2009). the ranges cited for individual food groups are quite considerable. what is the scale of food losses at the consumer level? It is estimated that in Britain 31 % of all foods ready for consumption are lost immediately prior to being purchased or after having been purchased by consumers (WRAP. In light of the range of figures cited in the literature it would appear appropriate therefore to assume a rate of 25 % consumer food losses as an initial rough approximation for the purpose of further analysis. 2008). Hall et al. with the latter figure equating to the estimate for Switzerland. Grethe et al. although they are mostly a result of differences in terms of freshness and the degree of processing of the products concerned. Selzer (2010) for Austria and WRAP (2008) for Great Britain. Given these uncertainties. 25 % estimated for Australia (Morgan. and in particular household food waste. 2010). 2011) or at least 25 % (Schneider. Losses in fresh vegetables for example tend to be considerably higher than for preserved vegetables. These studies include the work of Gustavsson et al. significantly higher than the estimate given by Kantor et al. Due to the lack of comparable methodological standards it is difficult to assess these and other figures (see Parfitt et al. Figure 3. i. However. We must therefore look at losses in the individual food groups.1 provides an overview of these data which have been adapted to the food group classification used in Chapter 2 for reasons of comparability. (2011) for the United States.. Initially this proportion appears to be greater than the 27 % estimated for the US (Kantor et al. 2011). Moreover. However.. 2009). or the estimates for Germany of at least 21 % (Cofresco. a problem that once again highlights the evident uncertainties which must be considered in the further analysis of the data. (1997). Taken together. Tons for the trash | 21 . this study aspires to not only discuss the general issue of food waste but to also look at specific products. 1997). more detailed estimates are not yet available but a study has been commissioned (Aigner. the data contained in these studies give an indication of the relative differences in food losses by food groups.It is estimated that in private households in Germany roughly a quarter of all food is discarded.e. (2011) which covers all of Europe and North America. (2011) conservatively assume a wastage rate by consumers in industrialized countries of about 25 % of all available foods. It is still not possible to paint a clear picture or derive a clear message from the data. (2009) now consider consumer-level food losses in the US to be as high as 40 %. Muth et al. in various industrialized countries around the world. For Germany. Considerable differences in levels of wastage between different food groups In recent years a number of authors have analysed the scale of food losses. So. The differences between the individual studies in terms of their definitions of food groups and target regions are simply too large.

dairy products Oils. are close to this mean. meat products Fish.1 and is therefore useful as a rough estimate. fats Cereals. (2011) Europe 15 20 North America 15 42 Muth et al. (2011) USA 15–29 17–40 23 Selzer (2010) Austria 9 WRAP (2008) Great Britain 13 13 8 8 3 8 5 27 15 5 29 8–42 15–35 14–33 16–19 15–31 24 37 16–28 29 29 40 40 7–47 8–54 15–34 19 19 15 19–45 26 11–17 However. and in particular of cereals and cereal products. at least in part. 3. sweets Gustavsson et al. egg products Milk. fruit products Sugar. Muth et al. (2011). »»Consumer food waste in the “meat and meat products” food group would appear to be below this value across all the studies identified. cereal products Potatoes. some general trends may be deduced: »»This 25 % average does indeed roughly represent the mean of the range of data given in Fig. »»Values for wastage of the main carbohydrate foods. Selzer (2010) and WRAP (2008) Food group Target region/ country Meat. potato products Vegetables.1 Levels of consumer food waste for individual food groups (in %) Source: Own illustration after Gustavsson et al.Figure 3. given the estimated average 25 % food waste discussed above. »»Wastage of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as fruit and vegetable products would appear to be. 22 . vegetable products Fruit. (2011). fish products Eggs. considerably higher.

despite the fact that most households have refrigeration. for example. »»Householders also often prepare meals in quantities that are too large to be fully eaten and which are then discarded. portions served at buffets and in the catering sector are too large.. Some of the primary reasons are as follows: »»Poor pre-shop planning by householders is an important factor.a. (2010) for the EU of 76 kg food waste per person and year at household level.. Many products are discarded prematurely as shelf life dates are unclear. 6. according to the same author 6. Much food is discarded because the “best before” date is misinterpreted. be used promptly or discarded if it is not requested. Selzer.6 million tons of food every year. Food is often prepared ahead of demand and must. This is more than 80 kg per head of population. Shopping strategies are often poor. End consumers throw away The overall picture that emerges in terms of food waste at the consumer level may be somewhat vague but is nonetheless remarkable. coring and trimming of fruit and vegetables results in waste. for reasons of food hygiene. The amount of food loss at the household level in Germany was estimated by Cofresco (2011) to cost approximately EUR 25 billion. 2010. It fits with the figure given by Monier et al. »»Special preparation techniques such as the peeling. 2010. It explains why fruit and vegetables as well as other fresh products are more often thrown away unnecessarily than others. For example. 2008). 2009). Tons for the trash | 23 . not that it must be used by that date. some of which is unavoidable. Cofresco. (2011) have however arrived at a higher figure of 95-115 kg per person for Europe and the US together which may be due to the much higher relative losses in the US (see also Hall et al. many consumers do not know that the ‘best before’ date merely implies that the product will retain its expected quality until that date. WRAP (2008) give a figure of 70 kg for Britain. an important determinant of the fact that potential wastage is closely linked to both food date labels and the general shelf-life of food products. Gustavsson et al. freshness and appearance which leads to food being discarded prematurely. Monier et al. 2010. 2011. especially if stocks at home are not checked prior to shopping. Parfill et al. Improper storage impacts adversely on taste. More often than not. »»Leftovers in catering establishments are a significant factor. »»This latter factor is. 2009. Often too much food is bought and not eaten in time. WRAP.Causes of food wastage at the consumer level Why is overall food wastage so high? And why is it apparently higher in some food groups and lower in others? Food waste is attributable to a range of causes (see i. Additionally shoppers may respond to offers which tempt them to purchase foods which will not necessarily be consumed. inconsistent or misleading or because they are misinterpreted. »»A further factor are misinterpretations of food date labels.. Schneider. »»Foods are often not consumed in time because they are stored incorrectly at home. Kantor et al. 1997..6 million tons of food are thrown out annually by German end consumers.

24 . Such waste generally also includes packaging and inedible components such as fruit and vegetables peelings or bones (also see WRAP. WRAP (2011) recently confirmed the figure of 61 %. 2010). 15 million tons of which are generated annually in Germany (Adhikari et al. According to the WRAP study. Realizing the scale of the losses one must inevitably ask how much of the wastage listed in Fig.1. this does not necessarily mean that it must »»Leftovers may be frozen or used to make other meals. 2008). »»British studies support this figure (WRAP.1 million tons or 61 % of the 6. In an update to their earlier study.2 only indicates relative food waste in the first column. are available in the literature. This figure is almost identical to the figure determined by Cofresco (2011) for Germany. In view of the above.. »»If an item is past its ‘best before’ date.1 is avoidable and also what the term ‘avoidable’ is taken to mean in this context. What are avoidable losses and what is the scale of avoidable losses? The majority of food waste is avoidable. Consumers should check the food’s quality as there may be no need to discard it. Fig. As was highlighted above. 3. However. »»Food purchases could be more closely tailored to actual need by checking stocks beforehand. Similar to food waste in general.2. 4. These help to give an idea of the scale: »»Cofresco (2011) estimates that 59 % of consumer food waste in Germany is avoidable. two rather similar figures. The main options are as follows: »»Portions served in canteens and catering establishments could be more closely adapted to actual requirements. be thrown out. the derived figures are in the order of 25 %.These figures refer solely to edible food and must not be confused with kitchen waste. 3. Due to the lack of more detailed data for Germany. 2006). Many of the issues touched on in the definition of ‘food waste’ given earlier already hint at wastage that can generally be avoided. as other studies mentioned earlier have shown.7 million tons of food waste in Britain are avoidable. Firm data on avoidable consumer food waste are scarce too and major uncertainties remain. 2008. the proportion of avoidable food waste does however vary between food groups. 3. 3. based on surveys and calculations. averaged from the data listed in Fig. we summarize this chapter with the data in Fig.

2010) for Britain. In the context of this study it would appear reasonable to use these figures as an approximation to the German situation. the proportion of avoidable food waste is higher accordingly. In conclusion we can say that the majority of consumer food waste is principally avoidable. potato products Vegetables. fruit products Sugar. Tons for the trash | 25 . fats Cereals. as this is almost identical to the 15 % correction factor mentioned in the previous chapter for losses in this product category at consumer level as proposed by Dämon & Widhalm (2003).2 gives the proportion of avoidable waste. The second column of Fig. proper use and preparation of foods as well as by making use of leftovers. Selzer 82010) and WRAP (2008. fish products Eggs. based on the figures in WRAP (2008. Muth et al. egg products Milk. dairy products Oils. But even in these food groups approximately half of all wastage can be avoided by way of better pre-shop planning. given that both per capita losses and overall avoidable losses are strongly congruent between the two countries. fish and fish products as well as fruit and vegetables. cereal products Potatoes. (2011). sweets What is interesting in this context is the figure of 16 % waste determined for meat and meat products. as described earlier. meat products Fish. vegetable products Fruit. For the other food groups analysed. 2010) Food group Average relative food waste (as a proportion of reported consumption) 16 26 16 14 15 23 26 29 29 15 Avoidable food waste (as a proportion of relative food waste) 48 48 91 91 67 88 67 45 46 87 Meat.2 Average relative food waste and avoidable food waste at consumer level in Germany (in %) Source: own calculations and representation after Gustavsson et al. (2011). 3.Figure 3. This is somewhat less true for perishable agricultural primary products such as meat and meat products.

von Witzke et al. Hereinafter this scenario will be referred to as “Scenario Ia: Comprehensive change in diet”. It refers to dietary changes and is based on the following premise: at least one day a week without meat.. Net consumption and the corresponding gross consumption for the purposes of human nutrition would »»decrease by 44. as given in Chapters 2 and 3.1 % for sugar and sweets. 2008). For this reason.4 % for vegetables and vegetable products. especially wholegrain products (also see DGE.6 % for milk and dairy products. »»increase by 17. and also in order to demonstrate the considerable impact even small changes in eating habits can have. Fish is the only food group where dietary guidelines are met. »»decrease by 32. These scenarios are fundamental to the further analysis. 44 % less meat Comprehensive change in diet means: 26 . 2011).0 % for eggs. »»increase by 57. but fish consumption is not relevant to the further analysis as part of this project (cf.4 % for fruit and fruit products.4 Definition of scenarios for further analysis The primary aim of this study is the analysis of land footprints resulting from a comparison of dietary recommendations with eating habits and food losses respectively. already allow us to sketch scenarios on potentially changed dietary patterns and eating habits. The first scenario is based on the information given in Fig. these changes would in part be rather drastic.5 % for (vegetable) fats.0 % for meat and meat products. »»decrease by 34.6 % for rice. a second scenario will be defined below. What happens if actual eating habits more closely follow dietary recommendations? Let us recall the analysis of actual food consumption in Germany and recommended dietary guidelines. The findings of the investigations so far. A detailed rationale and definition of the scenarios will be given below. all types of flour). 2.6. 75 % more vegetables. »»increase by 75. »»increase by 44. The differences between the two “dietary styles” are summarized in Fig. »»increase by 15.6 and can be defined as follows.0 % for cereals and cereal products (incl. 2. »»increase by 6. »»increase by 37. However. The core message here was that the average person eats too much meat and not enough cereals. so much so that without doubt they would be quite difficult to implement.4 % for potatoes and potato products.

This approach is referred to as “shocking the model”. 14. »»increase by 18. net consumption and the corresponding gross consumption for the purposes of human nutrition would: »»decrease by 14. Under Scenario Ib. For the purposes of further analysis. the freely accessible “food balance sheets” for Germany. the previous three years’ values for this “net food consumption” are averaged and the mean values used as a baseline. Hereinafter this second scenario will be referred to as “Scenario Ib: Gradual change in diet”.3 % (Scenario Ib) respectively while the quantity of oranges is increased by 6.3 % for meat and meat products.7 % for rice.1 % for sugar and sweets.4 % (Scenario Ia) and 2. »»increase by 5. For reasons of methodology the analysis by von Witzke et al. »»increase by 12.3 % less meat Gradual change in diet means: Tons for the trash | 27 .1 % for milk and dairy products. »»increase by 2. The following two examples may help to illustrate the approach taken: The quantity of meat for human consumption in Germany reported in FAO (2011) is reduced by 44.2 % for (primarily vegetable) fats.5 % of the reductions or increases respectively of those in Scenario Ia. In order to arrive at comparable land footprints of human food consumption in Germany.0 % (Scenario Ia) and 14.1 % (Scenario Ib) respectively. »»increase by 24.3 % for cereals and cereal products (incl.5 % for eggs. In analogy to Witzke et al.1 % for fruit and fruit products. (2011) is based on FAO data (FAO.5 % more vegetables. all types of flour). (2011). representing almost precisely a third (32. 2011). »»decrease by 10. »»increase by 5.3 % . The baseline values are then “shocked” with the percentage changes according to the two scenarios.Meat consumption would thus drop by 14. »»increase by 14. These balance sheets show the proportion of agricultural primary products available for human consumption after deductions for losses incurred on the way to the consumer. The changes in consumption thus triggered – assuming that all other parameters remain unchanged – would result in corresponding changes in terms of land consumption both inside and outside of the EU. (2011).5 % for vegetables and vegetable products.5 % for potatoes and potato products. »»decrease by 11.5 % exactly) of the reduction seen under Scenario Ia. these changes can be determined for individual agricultural primary products.e. In order to ensure a balanced diet in this second scenario all changes are calculated as 32. 24. i. these rates of change are confronted with the analysis by von Witzke et al.

The potential impact of reducing food waste While the FAO (2011) data consider some of the food losses incurred on the way to the consumers. 28 . »»In contrast. or more specifically to the results given in Figure 3. This is “Scenario IIa: Complete reduction of avoidable food waste”. “Scenario IIb: Partial reduction of avoidable food waste” assumes “only” a 50 % reduction of avoidable food waste. To this end we must again go back to the already completed analysis. they do not take account of food losses at the level of the end consumers as described in Chapter 3. Similar to Scenario Ib this is based on the assumption that a complete change in consumer behaviour appears unrealistic for the time being. Similar to the two scenarios for aligning actual eating habits with dietary recommendations. it is useful here to define two scenarios for the reduction of food waste: »»The first scenario examines the impact of a complete reduction of avoidable food waste at the consumer level in Germany on the net consumption and the corresponding gross consumption for human nutrition.2 for the average avoidable food waste by food group. Therefore it is useful to compare these data to their corresponding reduction potential and to analyse their impact on the land footprint of human nutrition in Germany. But even a partial change in the way consumers deal with food would have significant impacts which are worth analysing.

the following two examples help to understand the approach: Currently. Of these. fats Cereals. equating to a reduction of about 10 percentage points. i. fish products Eggs. As this framework is based on a common set of data it allows for (a) dietary styles and (b) the German population’s “throw-away” mentality to be discussed independently of each other but also allows for comparisons. spoilage.e.1 below shows the rates of change which are to be used to “shock” the data by von Witzke et al. fruit products Sugar. egg products Milk. sweets Szenario IIa: Complete reduction of avoidable food waste 8 % 12 % 14 % 12 % 10 % 20 % 18 % 14 % 14 % 14 % Szenario IIb: Partial reduction of avoidable food waste 4 % 6 % 7 % 6 % 5 % 10 % 9 % 7 % 7 % 7 % Scenarios Ia and Ib as well as IIa and IIb provide the framework for further analysis. vegetable products Fruit. Tons for the trash | 29 . Figure 4. dairy products Oils. meat products Fish.2 Food group Meat. passing the ‚best before‘ date and so on. the corresponding figure for Scenario IIb is 4 %. potato products Vegetables. approximately 16 % of the beef that reaches the consumer is lost as a result of preparation. Again. In Scenario IIb. equating to a reduction of approximately 20 percentage points.Figure 4. 45 % of the losses are considered avoidable. as described above. On average. (2011). cereal products Potatoes. 23 % of wheat products are lost at the consumer level. In Scenario IIa about half of these losses.1 Reduction in net consumption and corresponding gross consumption for human nutrition resulting from a reduction in avoidable food waste Source: own calculations based on Figure 3. are taken to be avoidable. 8 %. 90 % are considered avoidable in Scenario IIa.

9 million ha.900 m2 As an introduction let us take a brief look at Germany’s current land footprint.5 Impacts of a healthier diet on Germany’s land footprint The term “healthy” is taken to mean a closer alignment of actual eating habits with scientific dietary recommendations. 2300 m² of this land are required for food production. 2. Soya produced in that region alone therefore accounts for a third of our net land imports for agricultural purposes. of agricultural land per year are needed by every person in Germany. The status quo: Every person in Germany has a land footprint of 2. In the near future however only a maximum of 2000 m² may be available per head of our global population (Doyle. 1. For comparison. Therefore.2 million ha serve the trade in soya and soya products from South America. is needed to meet our meat consumption level of almost 90 kg per person per year. (2011). i. our basic problem will be to find a way to reduce our future land footprint. In purely arithmetical terms this equates to a per capita land use of 2. »»Of the land area required to meet our demand for meat. 2011). the annual land consumption per person in Germany for wheat for human consumption is as small as 123 m² and that for potatoes a mere 15 m². are to be shown.900 m².030 m² to be precise.900 m² »»Approximately one third of the area currently “used” by each German citizen. 2.e. Meat is therefore a critical determinant of the size of our land footprint and also for changing this footprint. In particular. “Scenario Ia: Comprehensive change in diet” and “Scenario Ib: Gradual change in diet”. This one single crop plant is particularly relevant in terms of our demand for land resources outside of Germany. more precisely those given by DGE and FKE. as analysed by von Witzke et al.8 million ha outside of its territory in order to meet its domestic demand for food and feedstuffs as well as for other agricultural commodities.8 million ha of agricultural land mentioned above. Of the 6. 30 . Germany also “occupies” a further 6. the impact on overall agricultural land consumption of the first two scenarios set out in the previous Chapter. »»Germany’s utilized agricultural area comprises 16. 230 m² are needed to produce soya beans. The authors calculated Germany’s average land footprint for 2008-10.

Tons for the trash | 31 . »»As a second step. One day a week without meat frees up almost 600.8 million ha of agricultural land utilized outside of Germany’s territory.000 ha Even just a gradual adaptation of our dietary style. In this case. the rates of change established for Scenarios Ia and Ib in Chapter Figure 5. such as forms the basis of Scenario Ib. three analytic steps must be taken: »»As a first step. Germany’s land footprint could be reduced by more than 1. the changed figures for the demand of food products can be used to calculate new trade balances and in turn new land footprints.000 million ha Scenario Ib 6. Such a small change in eating habits could reduce our land footprint by an area twice the size of the federal state of Saarland. A quarter of the area “occupied” by Germany in other parts of the world could thus be freed up for other types of land use.e. »»Finally. the FAO “food balance sheets” are based on agricultural primary products. Instead of the current 6. The area “occupied” by each inhabitant of Germany would be reduced by 230 m².1 shows the changes in Germany’s virtual land trade resulting from the implementation of Scenario Ia and Scenario Ib respectively. 2011). German food demand must be established. Full implementation of recommendations would free up 1. The total area thus released is almost exactly the size of the federal state of Saxony. using the FAO data (FAO. In contrast to national consumption statistics.836 million ha Status quo Scenario Ia 5. such as global food security or nature conservation.Even small changes can reduce the land footprint So how do these figures change if we alter our dietary patterns and align them with scientific recommendations for a healthy diet? In order to answer this question. Source: own calculations 4 will be applied to these data.240 million ha A small reduction in meat consumption yields a significant drop in land consumption.1 Germany’s virtual net land use outside of its territory at present and resulting from changed eating habits. under otherwise unchanged conditions. would be even more significant. which is the relevant level for the purposes of determining effects on land area requirements. 6. the demand data will be reduced or increased as appropriate.8 million ha of land The impact of a complete change in diet in line with the scientific recommendations. as issued by the DGE for example. only 6. i.2 million ha would be needed. could considerably alter our land footprint. An example would be to refrain from eating meat for one day per week. Figure 5.8 million ha down to 5 million ha required outside of its territory.

146 –497 –913 –475 –484 –990 –619 –90 –2 –792 61 –139 –205 79 1.240 Change –176 –22 –33 –21 –18 –1 –19 –18 –20 0 0 0 0 –9 17 –24 –15 30 460 551 148 38 –31 –241 0 595 32 .594 1. Changes in meat consumption levels therefore have a greater impact on the land trade balance than changes in the consumption levels for cereal products.Feedstuffs used to produce meat and other livestock products are critical to the land trade balance The impact of changes in eating habits. This in turn affects the overall land trade balance.000 ha) Source: own calculations agricultural commodities Wheat Grain maize Other cereals Rice Soya Oil palm Oilseed rape Sunflower Other oilseeds Cocoa Coffee Tea Tobacco Fruit Potatoes Vegetables Legumes Sugar crops Beef Pigmeat Poultrymeat Sheepmeat Eggs Milk Cotton Totals Status quo Total 464 –208 –106 –97 –2. such as for example the consumption of significantly more cereals and significantly less meat.836 Scenario Ib Total 288 –230 –139 –118 –2.936 322 –26 –322 –376 –191 –5. Figure 5. as shown in Fig.090 –493 –855 –420 –423 –990 –619 –90 –2 –765 8 –65 –160 –14 179 239 –132 –142 –226 362 –191 –6.836 Scenario Ia Total –77 –277 –208 –163 –2. 5.2 Virtual net land trade balances for Germany with respect to individual agricultural commodities – current levels and changes resulting from modified eating habits (in 1.000 Change –541 –68 –102 –66 –56 –4 –58 –55 –61 0 0 0 0 –26 52 –74 –45 92 1.696 454 116 –96 –738 0 1.108 –495 –874 –438 –442 –990 –619 –90 –2 –774 25 –89 –175 16 639 791 15 –105 –257 121 –191 –6.2. It is well known that meat consumption in particular requires huge amounts of land resources to be committed to the production of feedstuffs and therefore has a major impact on our land trade balance. on virtual land use differs for individual agricultural products.415 1.

if the dietary recommendations were followed a much greater amount of carbohydrates would need to be consumed in the form of cereal products for example (plus 44 %).5 % Cereals and cereal products Vegetables and vegetable products Milk and dairy products 15.6 % 37. a change from the current (average) diet to a diet based on scientific recommendations would not be a ‘one-way street’. would need to increase by just under 800. The data in Figure 5. negative values indicate additional need for cropland. .000 ha.0 % Fruit and fruit products Eggs Meat and meat products Rice 6.84 million ha of agricultural land In Figure 5.3 Changes in the average German diet that would result if DGE and FKE recommendations were followed Source: own calculations 44. Indeed.3.4 % Sugar and sweets 34.2. Proportionate effects – at a ratio of about 1:3 – apply to Scenario Ib. as a healthy diet would imply that lesser amounts would be consumed of some products and greater amounts of others as illustrated in Figure 5.A diet based on scientific recommendations would save 1. »»As can be seen from Figure 5.4 % 57.3.4 % Potatoes and potato products 32. Figure 5.1 % Tons for the trash | 33 44.0 % Potential developments in terms of land use requirements for individual crop types and livestock products vary accordingly. including for rice.6 % Vegetable fats 17.0 % 75. positive values for changes in acreage indicate that a modified diet would free up agricultural land for other uses to the extent denoted by the figures given. In contrast.2 show some interesting differences which will only be discussed for Scenario Ia below. The implication for Germany would be that virtual land use of cereal cropland.

8 million ha in the virtual net land trade balance. We will demonstrate this approach below. equating to more than half of Germany’s current virtual land trade. using the example of soya. e. there would be a considerable drop in the area of land needed to satisfy Figure 5. Figure 5. They will however be considered in the calculation of land requirements and changes in consumption levels of livestockbased products resulting from dietary changes (see further below). e. To summarize. A change in dietary style as outlined above would result in an additional requirement of 1. soya and oilseed rape as well as grain maize and other feed grains. This would in turn free up land for e.7 million ha of land to be freed up.72 million ha 7.4. adding additional cropland requirements. in the form of wheat) as well as from virtual land imports not occurring in the first place (e.g. 34 .g.g. in the form of soya). Moreover.4 Impact of reduced meat consumption on Germany’s land consumption Source: own calculations the demand for livestock-based foods.42 million ha Current land consumption resulting from meat consumption Land consumption if meat consumption is based on dietary recommendations Land consumption if meat is not consumed for one day per week 4.»»The slightly higher consumption of vegetable fats would also require a small increase in the area of virtual land needed for their production.2 shows that the change in pigmeat consumption alone would bring about the virtual release from land trade of almost as much land as the total change of 1.2. resource protection or nature conservation. 8. for soya or other oilseeds. lesser amounts of feedstuffs would need to be imported from abroad. the land consumption required to satisfy meat consumption is visualized in Figure 5. In this context it is important to point out that the changes in cropland requirements shown in Figure 5. The positive land trade balance resulting from a reduction in meat consumption levels as shown in Figure 5. only consider changes in human food consumption such as changes in consumption levels of vegetable oils or possibly oilseed-based products such as tofu etc.g.0 million ha of cropland for the production of all the crop primary products. »»In contrast.g.22 million ha »»This reduction in land consumption is primarily due to the lesser amounts of livestock feed that would be needed. Changes in livestock feed consumption are not (!) yet considered in these calculations. »»A healthier diet would also entail greater consumption levels of fruit. »»The latter would result from increased land exports by Germany (e. is thus primarily due to improved land trade balances for feedstuffs. The cropland thus released in Germany could for example be used to grow staple foods for export with a view to improving the global food situation. vegetables and legumes. These areas could also be accounted for as part of the land trade balances for individual crop plants by subtracting the acreages from the balances for meat given above.2. DGE and others recommend that pigmeat consumption in Germany should be reduced by more than 3 million tons! Such a change would result in almost 3.

German annual per capita meat consumption stands at 88 kg. However. reducing this gain by half to an area roughly equating to the size of the federal state of Saxony. 19 kg of poultrymeat. Figure 5.2 should be concluded. The ‘soya footprint’ of a changed diet We have already touched on the fact that the potential of decreased meat consumption to free up land is primarily due to a lesser acreage being required for the production of livestock feed.030 Status quo Status quo Scenario Ia (m²/person) 197 279 86 15 577 Scenario Ia (m /person) 2 Scenario Ib 301 427 132 23 883 Scenario Ib 7 80 41 1 128 10 123 63 1 196 Tons for the trash | 35 . Nevertheless we can produce some sample calculations to give an indication of the dimensions involved.7 million ha of agricultural land. These gains could therefore also be assigned to the relevant crop primary products instead of the livestock products. a change to a diet that is fully based on scientific guidelines would still free up an area of approximately 1. 2010). including 13 kg of beef. consumption levels for other products would increase.»»But first the discussion of Fig. and similar to the work by von Witzke et al.0 351 498 154 27 1. In conclusion it can be said that a change in meat consumption levels in Germany as described would free up an area of agricultural land equating to the size of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. and 1 kg of sheepmeat (Fefac. Based on these figures we can calculate the area of land needed to satisfy this per capita meat consumption overall and specifically for soya. 5. as was done in Fig.1 27. To recall. The calculations show the required acreage to be in the order of 834. In this context.9 8. total Soya cropland Product Beef Pigmeat Poultrymeat Sheepmeat Meat. »»Considering all crops and livestock primary products together.5 Annual land consumption per person in Germany resulting from meat consumption at present and under the scenarios of changed eating habits Source: own calculations Total area Product Beef Pigmeat Poultrymeat Sheepmeat Meat.84 million ha. 56 kg of pork. which is still a very substantial area. the specific footprint of soya production need to be established. 5. However. total Quantity of soya needed (g/kg of product) 232 648 967 232 12 143 73 1 229 Area of land needed (m²/kg of product) 27. (2011). the methodology used by von Witzke et al. such as eggs and milk.000 ha. We have shown that reduced meat consumption could free up 3. the land footprint of changes in meat consumption overall and.0 8. some of this acreage would need to cater for the increased consumption of other livestock products as part of a healthier diet.2. To ensure a healthy diet however. (2011) does not really allow for this approach to be taken. The same is true for the increased consumption of milk and eggs. for comparison.

7 million ha of land. this gain reflects not only food consumption per se but also the feedstuffs used in the production of this food. including a significant reduction in meat consumption. and would free up 3.000 ha (please refer back to the discussion regarding Figure 5.2. at about 700.Lowered meat consumption reduces specific land footprint to 577 m² If we multiply the meat quantities consumed with the land areas needed for their production in Germany (von Witzke et al. In other words.6). if we focus solely on meat consumption.e.000 ha could be free up.2).000 m². A complete change in diet would result in a per capita land footprint of 577 m².60 million ha A change in eating habits in the German population could result in substantial resource savings Since the scenario aims at reflecting a comprehensive change in diet. the additional soya cropland required for the production of eggs and milk must be subtracted. 2011). would free up 826. Firstly. This land footprint of each individual person in Germany would be considerably lower under Scenarios Ia and Ib respectively..87 million ha 1. These figures result from calculating the current levels of soya fed to livestock per unit of livestock product divided by average soya yields based on the latest available figures on production and foreign trade structures (for details see von Witzke et al. under Scenario Ia only half a tennis court is needed. These figures refer to Scenario Ia. Secondly.000 ha (see von Witzke et al. some adjustments must be made. the additional consumption of vegetable oils must be accounted for. about half that of the status quo. Nevertheless.000 ha the net land gain with respect to soya cropland alone would be quite considerable. Minimizing food losses is expected to have a similar effect. a change in diet based on scientific recommendations. The “savings” made equate to an area roughly ten times the size of the city state of Hamburg or the annual increase in soya cropland in Brazil over roughly the past two decades (see FAO. The results demonstrate that a change in eating habits in the German population could result in substantial resource savings. 36 .000 ha of soya cropland alone (also see Figure 5. 2011).6 Land consumption resulting from soya imports Source: own calculations Germany’s land consumption resulting from soya imports to meet current levels of meat consumption Germany’s land consumption resulting from soya imports to meet meat consumption levels based on dietary recommendations Germany’s land consumption resulting from soya imports to meet meat consumption levels if meat is skipped once a week 1. 2011). the resultant figures show that the current land area requirement to satisfy each person’s meat consumption comes to a total of more than 1. And in contrast to Figure 5. Figure 5. Under Scenario Ib 225. The following chapter aims at quantifying this effect and examines which food groups are particularly worth focusing on. Currently each person requires an area the size of a tennis court to produce this soya. 2011).05 million ha 1..000 ha Under Scenario Ia. Our cropland consumption for soya could be reduced by 700. equating to an area the size of the federal state of Saarland. This would “cost” an additional 56.. per capita land consumption for soya production would be reduced from 229m² to only 128 m². This comes to approximately 75. i.

If the Germans changed their eating habits to be in line with the recommendations issued by dieticians they would consume less meat. This is an area equating to the annual increase in soya cropland in Brazil over roughly the past two decades.000 hectares of soya cropland for other uses. Less meat means less soya imports. . Lowered soya imports would free up 700.

the footprint effects of these two “strategies” should not be pitted against each other.8 million ha while a reduction in avoidable food waste at the consumer level alone could yield 2. The average German per capita land footprint for agricultural products would decrease by more than 10 % from 2. “Scenario IIa: Complete reduction of avoidable food waste” and “Scenario IIb: Partial reduction of avoidable food waste”.430 million ha Scenario IIb 5.900 m² to 2. it is beyond the scope of this comparative analysis to account for an aggregate impact. The complete elimination of avoidable food waste (Scenario IIa) would reduce virtual land use by 2. Status quo 6. Same as a change in eating habits based on scientific recommendations.6 Impacts of a reduction of food waste on Germany’s land footprint The following discussion addresses the two scenarios regarding consumer food waste as set out in Chapter 4.633 million ha Figure 6.4 million ha. However.836 million ha Scenario IIa 4. i. a reduction in food waste clearly has considerable potential for freeing up agricultural land. 38 . Germany would only need to “occupy” 4. The former would yield up to 1.1 Germany’s virtual land use outside of its territory given current levels of food wastage and under the scenarios of reduced consumer level food waste Source: own calculations A 50 % reduction in avoidable food waste frees up 1.600 m². In conjunction with its own agricultural area this acreage would be sufficient to meet current demand for agricultural primary and secondary products. 1. It is very likely that simultaneous developments in both lines of action will yield considerably higher footprint effects than calculated here.e.2 million ha It is apparent that reductions in consumer-level food waste would lead to a significant decrease in Germany’s virtual land use. If avoidable food waste was even just reduced by half (Scenario IIb). Figure 6.4 million ha. Attention should instead be directed at synergies.1 shows the status quo in terms of Germany’s virtual land use outside of its territory as well as the two food waste reduction scenarios. which means that instead of 6.2 million ha of land would be ‘gained’ and would be available for other forms of land use.4 million ha in other countries.8 million ha. However.

406 Scenario IIb Total –2.Focus on the land footprints of individual products In this Chapter.836 Scenario IIa Total –2.081 –906 –846 –728 –566 –493 608 –410 –411 661 408 –183 –190 –191 319 –148 –131 –79 –87 –84 –83 –57 15 30 –2 –5.430 Change 18 169 19 74 106 1 287 26 18 598 336 86 36 0 280 24 23 54 90 27 15 17 57 44 0 2. In this context.2 provides an overview of Germany’s virtual net land trade balances for individual commodities and total agricultural primary products at present (status quo) and under the two scenarios of reductions in avoidable food waste. The focus is again on the land footprint of meat consumption but it also includes other agricultural primary and secondary products.633 Change 9 84 9 37 53 1 144 13 9 299 168 43 18 0 140 –12 12 27 45 13 8 9 28 22 0 1.072 –821 –836 –691 –513 –492 751 –397 –402 960 576 –140 –172 –191 459 –136 –119 –52 –42 –71 –75 –48 43 52 –2 –4. Figure 6.203 Tons for the trash | 39 .2 Germany’s virtual net land trade balances for individual agricultural products at present and under consumer-level food waste reduction scenarios (in 1. Moreover. the discussion on the footprint effects of Scenarios IIa and IIb takes a different focus than that in the previous Chapter.000 ha) Source: own calculations Agricultural commodity Soya Cocoa Oilseed rape Fruit Coffee Oil palm Wheat Other oilseeds Sunflower Milk Pigmeat Eggs Grain maize Cotton Beef Legumes Sheepmeat Other cereals Poultrymeat Rice Tea Vegetables Sugar crops Potatoes Tobacco Totals Status quo Total –2.090 –990 –855 –765 –619 –493 464 –423 –420 362 239 –226 –208 –191 179 –160 –142 –106 –132 –97 –90 –65 –14 8 –2 –6. Figure 6. the discussion below serves to widen this study’s framework for analysis.

and including rice.000 ha. Avoidable meat waste is relatively minor (see Fig.000 ha.000 ha. the calculations once again only include the usage and wastage of soya (in the form of soya beans. All plant-based products taken together could free up almost 1 million ha of land Reducing food waste in other categories of plant-based foods could similarly bring about significant reductions in land consumption. excluding cereals and oilseeds. 3. Cutting all avoidable waste of cerealbased foods would free up 400. cocoa and tea. This area equates to a little more than the territory of the city state of Hamburg and would reduce the German per capita land footprint for food by about 10m².000 ha in total – eleven times the size of the country’s capital Berlin. 3. Tropical crops such as coffee. Fruit and vegetables including potatoes would contribute more than 100. while legumes and sugar could yield about 80. 40 .2 due to a lack of other data.000 ha if all wastage was eliminated. More than that.Cutting wastage of cereals alone could save 50 m² per person Chapter 3 of this study has shown that almost a third of cereals intended for human consumption are discarded. the reduction of losses. a 50 % cut in avoidable waste of cereal-based foods would free up 200. This key finding by von Witzke et al. Two aspects must be considered: Firstly. for which average avoidable losses were assumed in accordance with Fig. the complete reduction of consumer-level waste of all plant-based products. Oilseeds could free up an area the size of Hamburg The footprint effects of cutting wastage of oilseeds are less pronounced. Under Scenario IIb. wastage of vegetable oils and fats are lower overall compared to for example cereals and these losses are also less avoidable (see Figure 3.000 ha.000. Feedstuffs consumed by livestock to produce livestock products which are subsequently discarded have been assigned to the land footprint balances for meat etc. with a complete reduction of wastage yielding approximately 80. In total. Nevertheless.) and other oilseeds for human consumption. (2011) has already been highlighted earlier. would free up 475. with a partial reduction yielding half these savings accordingly. The partial or complete avoidance of cereal waste could therefore give rise to substantial footprint effects. as defined for the purpose of this study. tofu.2). Lower meat consumption would save 90 m² per person Meat consumption ties up large areas of land needed to produce the necessary livestock feed. This reduction in cereal consumption alone would save 50 m² per person and would thus reduce the current German per capita land footprint of 2.000 ha of cropland. (see the reasoning in the previous chapter). most of this wastage is avoidable.2) but minimizing consumer-level waste would nonetheless free up large acreages for other land uses. the area of cropland that could be freed up by reducing consumer-level waste of oilseeds is not insignificant. Secondly.000 ha. In total. soya bean oil etc. of crop primary products could lower Germany’s land consumption by 121 m² per person or 1. could yield 290.900 m² accordingly. This equates to a 60 m² decrease in the German per capita land footprint for food. an area ten times the size of the city state of Bremen.

5. 730.4 million ha. Reduced meat consumption could yield “savings” of up to 20 m² per person in soya cropland alone.000 ha. would shrink accordingly by more than 170 m². A partial reduction could generate a saving of 700. Moreover.000 ha which is greater than the territory of London. 6.000 ha of land could be “won”. If we add the footprint effects of reducing wastage of eggs. given that reduced meat waste means that fewer animals need to be reared and fed.2) that a reduction in losses of soya bean oil etc.4 million ha In the discussion of footprint effects resulting from reducing food waste.Cutting wastage of pigmeat and poultrymeat alone could yield more land than cutting wastage of cereals for human consumption. The German per capita land footprint could thus be reduced by almost 75 m². The redundant area of soya cropland would however be even bigger since the production of milk and eggs Figure 6. in contrast to meat waste almost all of these losses are avoidable.000 ha of land. same as meat production. If it was possible to actually avoid all avoidable waste of meat products. the complete reduction of avoidable food waste in the ‘livestock products’ category could free up more than 1. global food security or nature conservation. 0. must be added to these ‘savings’.000 ha of this precious resource which could be put to good use for e. Figure 6. The German per capita land footprint for food. This area equates to about half the size of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein or almost three times the Saarland.g. milk production ties up large areas of land. Avoiding losses of all livestock products would yield 1. Land that would no longer be required to produce livestock feed.25 million ha of soya bean cropland would be freed up for other uses Finally a word on land consumption for soya bean production: It was determined earlier in the text (see Fig. in total. milk is of particular significance. reducing the German per capita land footprint for food by approximately 90 m². That does not sound like much but the sum total for all of Germany’s 81. currently at 2900 m². This is the size of a volleyball court or.000 ha of cropland.3 Annual land consumption per person in Germany resulting from meat consumption at present and under the scenarios of reductions in consumer-level meat waste Source: own calculations Quantity of soya needed (g/kg of product) 232 648 967 232 12 143 73 1 229 Soya cropland Product Beef Pigmeat Poultrymeat Sheepmeat Meat. one of the largest cities in Europe. A complete reduction of dairy food waste could free up almost 600. almost the size of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. for human consumption could release up to 18.8 million inhabitants comes to a rather considerable 164. with a 50 % reduction in waste yielding close to 300. Analogous to Figure 5. Meat consumption ties up large areas of land needed to produce the required livestock feed.3 below shows the changes that can be expected from a reduction in consumer-level meat waste. total Status quo Scenario IIa (m2/person) 11 131 67 1 209 Scenario IIb 12 137 70 1 219 Tons for the trash | 41 . While only about 14 % of the milk products purchased are lost at the consumer level.

1. clothing. A complete elimination of avoidable waste of milk and eggs at the consumer level would add further “savings” of 65. This would be an area almost the size of the federal state of Saarland.000 ha of cropland could be saved if food waste was eliminated. If both food and feed uses are considered. just under 250. a land footprint for Germany solely for the consumption component “Food”. Figure 6. rice) Oilseeds Coffee/cocoa/tea Fruit and vegetables Other plant products Beef Pigmeat Milk and dairy products Other livestock products 579 62 66 351 498 42 . This shows how important it is to always put calculations and figures into the correct perspective and not to jump to conclusions.2.e.000 ha.300 m² It had not been possible until now to deduce. we can now combine the calculated reductions in the specific land footprints of individual crops or agricultural products with the rates of change resulting from the avoidance of food waste as given in Figure 4.also consumes soya feed. which solely considers soya for human consumption. Food consumption alone is responsible for an estimated land footprint of 2.4. energy etc.000 m² of this footprint. fairly precisely required 2.4 Land footprint of food consumption in Germany in 2008-2010 (in m²/person) Source: own calculations 250 212 86 208 Cereals (incl.900 m² per person and that meat consumption accounted for approximately 1. (2011) and the present study have shown. What was known was only that the consumption of all agricultural primary products. However. This allows for conclusions on the approximate size of the German land footprint that is solely due to food consumption. The issue of food and land consumption is indeed a complex one and it has many facets as both von Witzke et al. using the data and methods employed in this WWF project. i. The estimates for individual food groups and the resultant total land footprint of our food consumption are shown in Figure 6. for food.. Taking all food and feed uses of soya together. the land savings for soya are again significantly higher than those shown in Figure 6.

This would represent a reduction of just under 10 % in the land footprint of our food consumption. A 50 % reduction of food waste would yield half of these savings accordingly. accounting for a quarter of the total area.312 m² per person in Germany or 80 % of the area needed to meet the demand for all agricultural products and goods produced thereof . A healthy diet and less food waste can reduce our land footprint by almost a quarter. »»At the same time. In addition to the 1. the footprint for milk also stands out.Land consumption solely for food can thus be estimated at 2. dietary changes in line with scientific recommendations could yield savings of almost 230 m².030 m² land footprint for meat. The total German land footprint for food therefore comes to almost exactly 19 million ha. Plant-based foods add another 600 m². This equates to a 13 % reduction in the land footprint for food. This synopsis allows us to draw final conclusions on the reduction potential of avoiding food waste and of implementing changes in eating habits: »»A complete reduction of all avoidable consumer-level food waste in Germany would free up more than 290m² per inhabitant. Tons for the trash | 43 .

Source: own calculations 18.4 million ha/year if all unnecessary food waste was avoided2) 1.7 Conclusions and Outlook The land footprint of our strongly meat-based diet is very large. 600 g per person per week 44 .8 million ha/year Current German global land consumption for food1) 2. thus contributing to meeting global challenges such as resource protection.1 Current German land consumption for food and achievable reductions resulting from healthy eating habits and a more prudent attitude to dealing with food. and particularly more cereals instead. meat and land consumption. If it was possible to achieve such a change in eating habits in Germany. The focus on land footprint effects of consumption taken in this part of the study is of course a strong simplification of the issues involved as “land” is also representative of other resources such as water or biodiversity. vegetables. They can both provide substantial savings in agricultural land consumption. The findings are as follows: »»We need a more conscious approach to dealing with food. This is the interim result of the first part of this WWF project on the interconnections between food.8 million ha/year if meat consumption was reduced to a healthy level3) Key: 1  ) at a meat consumption level of 1. Both a healthier diet that is more closely in line with existing dietary recommendations and a correction of our throw-away mentality are realizable options. 1. ecosystem conservation and safeguarding global food security. Or to take a different perspective: In view of the growing world population and the increasing pressure on land. a net area of up to 1. the protection of natural resources and climate change.8 million ha of agricultural land that is currently drawn on outside of Germany’s territory could be freed up for other uses.8 million ha of intact ecosystems would not need to be converted into farmland. The results of the second part of the study presented here have confirmed the interim conclusions drawn in the first part and allow for these conclusions to be extended. Dieticians recommend to stay away from meat more often and to eat more fruit.16 kg per person per week 2) if approximately 50 kg of food waste per person per year is avoided 3) at a meat consumption level of max. Figure 7.

Tons for the trash | 45 . processing and marketing levels.e. And this does not even include the potential effects of avoiding food losses at the producer. primarily food and also feedstuffs used to produce food. i. 600 g per person per week 3) if approximately 50 kg of food waste per person per year is avoided Changes in eating habits and minimization of food waste would free up at least 4 million ha of arable land and grassland Given the above. with possible savings amounting to more than 4 million ha. It is clear that such developments are not realistically achievable in the short-term and perhaps never will be in their entirety. This change in awareness would therefore not only be of relevance to Germany but it would be of global societal significance. Such a raised awareness would not only help the climate and biodiversity and serve other ecological objectives but it would additionally make an important contribution to safeguarding the supply of agricultural commodities for a growing world population. significantly less arable land and grassland would be needed.300 m2 2. Figure 7. We should recall in this context. It would be possible to reduce the German per capita land footprint resulting from the consumption of agricultural commodities by at least 500 m² down to approximately 2.4 million ha. i.Even greater footprint effects could be achieved if all avoidable consumer-level food waste was avoided. that global-level forecasts predict only 2000 m² of land to be available per person by 2050 to meet all food needs. to change their eating habits and to minimize food waste. It is therefore important to raise people’s awareness of their individual responsibility for land as a scarce resource and for the agricultural commodities produced on this land. But even gradual changes in behavioural patterns can have noticeable footprint effects as this study has shown. we may put forth the following hypothesis for Germany: If it was possible to motivate the end consumers to tackle both issues.e. Source: own calculations for food per year1) Land consumption for all agricultural commoditiesper year 2. For Germany alone the pressure on land resources could be reduced by more than 2.900 m².16 kg per person per week 2) at a meat consumption level of max.000 m2 per person globally available arable land in 2050 if all unnecessary food waste was avoided3) 290 m2 Key: 1  ) at a meat consumption level of 1.2 Current annual per capita land consumption for food and achievable reductions resulting from healthy eating habits and a more prudent attitude to dealing with food.900 m2 if meat consumption was reduced to a healthy level 2) 230 m2 2.

Consequently. Land use and land consumption always entail direct or indirect greenhouse gas emissions or the avoidance thereof.This is where the second part of this WWF project ends. Agriculture is a direct and significant emitter of climate gases. It also marks the beginning of the third and final part which will focus on the issue of climate impacts. The question that remains to be addressed by the project as a whole can thus be phrased as follows: How large are the German food and food waste climate footprints? In pursuing this question we will calculate and discuss the climate footprint of our food consumption in addition to its land footprint as detailed in this study. we must look at the potential impact of the scenarios defined in this part of the study on footprint effects in individual world regions and on the resultant climate impacts. primarily nitrous oxide and methane. More specifically. 46 . Agriculture’s indirect emissions are the result of regional land use changes which result in sequestered carbon being released into the atmosphere. the focus taken here on the impact of individual agricultural products on land trade balances must be extended to include a regional component.

as well as “pastured meat” from livestock kept on pasture year-round. Similarly. A healthy and balanced diet in which vegetables and cereal products are more frequently substituted for meat can thus make an important contribution to both our health and to the protection of rainforests and other species-rich ecosystems.a. synthetic growth promoters and production enhancers must not be used.WWF recommendations The “land footprint” and the “soya footprint” of our strongly meat-based diet are very large and have negative repercussions for the environment.wwf. The aim should be that material and energy cycles are closed to the greatest extent possible. at an average of 60 kg of per person and year we would also be well advised to reconsider our meat consumption levels from a health point of view. »»Painful procedures may only be carried out under anaesthesia and with pain that the animals enjoy sufficient space for movement throughout the year and have access to pasture / outdoor runs year-round. practices such as for example tail-docking or tooth-cutting in pig production. Furthermore. sheep and other ruminants spend much of their time on pasture and their feed consists largely of green feed (grass. mitted. This includes i. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a level of 300-600 g per week which is significantly less than half of what is currently being consumed. the organic farming associations or the Neuland producer association. Tons for the trash | 47 . hay. »»Cattle. treatment. »»Livestock management fulfils the animals’ welfare requirements. For further information please see: www. »»Live transports of livestock should not exceed a duration of four hours. Pre- ventive use of antibiotics and the use of antibiotics for fattening are prohibited. silage. Generally this includes meat produced to the standards of the EU Organic Regulation. Fully slatted houses are not permitted. are prohibited. »»In the production of feedstuffs the use of genetically modified crop plants is not permitted. It is the view of the WWF Germany that key criteria for “good” meat are as follows: »»In the production of feedstuffs the use of chemical nitrogen fertilizers is not per»»In the production of feedstuffs the use of synthetic plant protection products is not permitted. as they are frequently used in conventional livestock production. the WWF recommends that when consumers buy meat they do so more consciously and buy meat that is produced with the least environmental impact. »»The use of conventional medication is only permitted in exceptional cases. clover) (“pastured meat”). Moreover.

More often than not. or out of the knowledge of the consequences of our wasteful behaviour. Now it is time for the government to take action. which are not to be wished on anyone. Caterers’ associations could issue recommendations and run campaigns to promote such changes. the trade sector and at household level have also been described as a key problem in the „Charter for Agriculture and Consumers“ published by the German Federal Ministry of Food. »»Promoting an appreciation of food in kindergartens and schools Attitudes to dealing with food are instilled in childhood. 48 .g. primarily at home. However. consumers buy more than necessary and originally intended. kindergartens and schools would need greater financial resources for e. To this end. is premised on a change in values. »»Raising consumer awareness on date labels on food items Many products are thrown out because of confusion over ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates. Kindergartens and schools should be given much greater scope for conveying practical knowledge on food production. The political arena and the trade sector need to step in here and swiftly raise awareness. school gardens and kitchens. It has proven useful to highlight that financial savings can result from changes in behaviour. »»Shift in values urgently needed in the catering sector Leftovers arising in the catering sector significantly contribute to overall food wastage. one might doubt whether information campaigns of short duration would truly be able to impact on the fundamental lack of awareness on how to correctly deal with food. The bigger the individual packages and the larger the pack or case sizes. A family of four could save about 1. A course correction in the retail sector is badly needed in this respect.WWF recommendations on food waste »»A broad and long-term information campaign on household food waste Information campaigns at the political and social levels are generally useful. Changes in either area impact positively on household budgets. as evidenced by the current discussion on misinterpretations of “best before” dates. Such a change in values will either be born out of shortages brought on crisis situations. the lower the price per unit. and that takes time. Agriculture and Consumer Protection. Restaurants and canteens should increasingly offer different portion sizes or adapt portion sizes more closely to actual requirements.200 Euro per year by making the most of the food they buy. Possible savings are therefore an essential part of the message and should encourage a more prudent attitude to dealing with food. such as our attitude to dealing with food. just like energy-savings options have become common currency. the findings presented in this study would need to become common knowledge. portions served or offered at buffets and in catering in general are too large. As a result. storage and preparation so as to enable them to promote an appreciation of food amongst children from an early age. Increasing food losses in the food supply chain. The process of altering engrained behaviour. »»Retailers: Less XXL – more S and M Advertising and pricing often lead consumers to buy extra large portions. To achieve the latter.

Financial support should be paid to those farmers who provide these goods to the benefit of society at large and who rigorously implement the principles of sustainability. »»Investment support for farmers must be subject to environmental impact assessments. support should only be directed at farmers who actively contribute to nature conservation. These public goods include for example the preservation of biodiversity. »»European funding should be more strongly focused on supporting ethologically sound livestock management systems. »»The enormous nitrogen surpluses. The proposed future “Common Environmental and Rural Development Policy” (CERP) is based on the principle that public money should only be used for the provision of public goods. »»From 2021 onwards European farmers should no longer receive direct payments. and the protection of water resources. environmental protection and animal welfare in the context of their work.WWF’s agricultural policy demands In the context of the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform process WWF has developed a vision calling for a fundamental reorientation of the CAP. »»In the future. Such changes in the policy environment would significantly contribute to improved sustainability in meat production in the future. the protection of soils. In order to qualify for Tons for the trash | 49 . For further information please see: www. devote 10 % of the holding’s agricultural area to conservation measures. must be radically reduced. Moreover. any farmer should for example adhere to ambitious crop rotations. »»Investment support must not be payable for the construction of large-scale livestock production units. WWF calls for renewed support for the production of feedstuffs within the EU in order to have alternatives to soya at hand. and protect grasslands.wwf. which are particularly prevalent in regions with high livestock densities. To this end there should be a significant reduction in stocking rates (linking livestock production to available land area).

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Resources are | info@wwf. We should change course now. 14 10117 Berlin | Germany Tel. wwf.000 ha of soya cropland – an area almost 3 times the size of the federal state of Saarland. © Copyright from WWF International ® Trade mark from WWF International • Status:: 10/11 Please Support the WWF! Spendenkonto 2000 Bank für Sozialwirtschaft BLZ 550 205 00 Why we are here WWF Deutschland . RECYCLED 100% Wastage of land resources Land footprint Every inhabitant of Germany needs 2. Our present behaviour equates to turning the whole of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania into one huge area of cropland only to throw out the entire harvest.300 m² of these are needed for food production. A healthier diet and a more prudent attitude to dealing with food would considerably reduce this land footprint: by 23 % or 520 m². The enormous wastage of food and land is not sustainable. This would free up 700. Healthy diet Dieticians recommend: 75 % more vegetables.: +49 (0)30 311 777 0 Fax: +49 (0)30 311 777 199 To stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Food waste Private households throw a quarter of their food into the bin – 80 kg per person per year. 44 % less meat. Most of this “waste” is avoidable. 2.900 m² of agricultural land per year.