Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 59–87 | Cite as

Impacts of Novel Protein Foods on Sustainable Food Production and Consumption: Lifestyle Change and Environmental Policy

  • Xueqin Zhu
  • Lia van  Wesenbeeck
  • Ekko C. van  Ierland


We analyse the impacts of a change in consumers’ preference for Novel Protein Foods (NPFs), i.e. a lifestyle change with respect to meat consumption, and the impacts of environmental policies e.g. tradable emission permits for greenhouse gases (GHGs) or an EU ammonia (NH3) emission bound per hectare. For our analysis we use a global applied general equilibrium (AGE) model that includes consumers’ lifestyle change, different production systems, emissions from agricultural sectors, and an emission permits system. Our study leads to the following conclusions. Firstly, more consumption of NPFs assists in reducing global agricultural emissions of methane (CH4), nitrous oxides (N2O) and NH3. However, because of international trade, emission reduction does not necessarily occur in the regions where more NPFs are consumed. Secondly, through lifestyle change of the ‘rich’, the emission reduction is not substantial because more ‘intermediate’ consumers will increase their meat consumption. Finally, for the same environmental target the production structure changes towards less intensive technologies and more grazing under environmental policy than under lifestyle change.


applied general equilibrium models emissions lifestyles meat Novel Protein Foods 



applied general equilibrium


European Union


greenhouse gases


Novel Protein Foods

JEL classifications

C68 D12 D58 Q17 Q33 


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The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) under grant no. 455.10.300. We also thank the participants of the International Workshop on Transition in Agriculture and Future Land Use Patterns (Wageningen, 1–3 December 2003) and the 13th EAERE annual conference (Budapest, 25–28 June 2004) for useful comments. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xueqin Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lia van  Wesenbeeck
    • 3
  • Ekko C. van  Ierland
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Spatial EconomicsFree University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy AnalysisThe HagueThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Centre for World Food StudiesFree University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Environmental Economics and Natural Resources GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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