Sustainable diets are defined as “those diets with low environmental impacts that contribute to food and nutritional security and to healthy lives for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable, are nutritionally adequate, safe, and healthy, and optimize natural and human resources.” These diets attempt to address undernourishment, nutrient deficiencies and obesity and covers ecological phenomena such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and land degradation.
As a theme, it also covers the study of eating patterns that look at the impact that food consumption has on planetary resources and the health of humans and promotes the needs of the environment, society, and the economy. This growing body of research is recognized by a variety of international bodies such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2010, the FAO and Bioversity International defined a sustainable diet as:
Sustainable diets mostly concentrate on issues that have something to do with Low Carbon Diets which are structured to reduce the impact of global warming. Others also focus on broader environmental factors, as well as social and economic challenges.
Other regionalized diets include the Mediterranean diet and the Nordic diet which emphasizes the consumption of local foodstuffs.
- Barbara Burlingame and Sandro Dernini (2012). “Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity Directions and Solutions for Policy, Research and Action.” Proceedings of the International Scientific Symposium, Biodiversity and Sustainable Diets against Hunger, November 3-5, 2010, FAO Headquarters, Rome
- Tara Garnett, “What is a sustainable healthy diet? A discussion paper,” Food Climate Research Network, April 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2018 from https://www.fcrn.org.uk/sites/default/files/fcrn_what_is_a_sustainable_healthy_diet_final.pdf
- FAO. 2012. Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity: Directions and Solutions for Policy, Research and Action. [Accessed 13 January 2013]
- Company, Bon Appétit Management. “Low Carbon Diet – Bon Appétit Management Co”. Bon Appétit Management Co. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- Prosperi, Paolo; Allen, Thomas; Padilla, Martine; Peri, Iuri; Cogill, Bruce (2014). “Sustainability and Food & Nutrition Security”. SAGE Open. 4 (2): 215824401453916. doi:10.1177/2158244014539169.
- “What is the Nordic Diet?” Retrieved 16 February 2015