Thaler S.,Technical University Wien Karlsplatz 13 |
Thaler S.,Vienna University of Technology |
Zessner M.,Technical University Wien Karlsplatz 13 |
Mayr M.M.,Osterreichische Vereinigung fur Agrar |
And 5 more authors.
Osterreichische Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft | Year: 2011
Summary: The production of food needed for nutrition involves the use of resources. Nutrients are appiered as fertilisers on agricultural land used for producing food and animal fodder. The products harvested from these areas, however, do not absorb all the fertiliser applied. A portion of these nutrients is washed into the streams and rivers, while another part finds its way into the atmosphere in the form of NH x, NO x, N 2O or N 2. This article is intended to describe all relevant nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) flows involved in the production and consumption of foodstuffs. It also presents the changes that would be brought about in these flows by applying the scenarios presented in the guidelines issued by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung - DGE (German nutrition society).Fertiliser and animal feed amounting to almost 20 kg of N and 3 kg of P per inhabitant and year must at present be either imported to Austria or manufactured using ammonia synthesis.Should the Austrian population change its diet in the direction of recommended eating habits and food self-sufficiency, the import requirements could be reduced by 37 for N and 20 for P. As a result, the nutrient emissions to the water bodies would drop by 15 for N and 5 for P. This effect would be further enhanced on the assumption of an additional reduction of NH x deposition when neighbouring countries were also to change their eating and food production habits. If the areas that would no longer be needed for food production as a result of dietary changes were to be used for producing renewable raw materials, this would in turn reduce the decrease in resource requirements and emissions. Dietary change in Austria would result in a clear increase of resource efficiency in the nutrition process. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.