Socioeconomic Driving Factors of Nitrogen Load from Food Consumption and Preventive Measures
- 225 Downloads
To diagnose environmental nitrogen (N) load from food consumption and to suggest preventive measures, this study identified relationships between nitrogen load from food consumption and driving factors by examining six representative countries and regions for the period 1970–2009 as an example. The logarithmic mean Divisia index technique was used to disassemble nitrogen load growth into four driving factors: population, economic activity, food intensity of the economy, and nitrogen content of food. In all study areas, increased economic activity was the main factor driving nitrogen load increase. The positive effect of population growth was relatively small but not negligible and changes in food intensity had a decreasing effect on nitrogen load. Changes in nitrogen content of food varied between areas. Broad strategies to reduce and mitigate nitrogen loading and decouple nitrogen load from economic growth in both developed and developing countries are suggested.
KeywordsDecomposition analysis Food consumption Nitrogen load Economic activity Food intensity of the economy Nitrogen content of food
This study was supported by the Nagoya University Global Center of Excellence Program “From Earth System Science to Basic and Clinical Environmental Studies” (FY2009-2013) and by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) “Diagnosis methods and preventive treatment measures for the impact of human activities on urban ecosystems” (2013–2015) sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
- Ang, B.W. 2005. The LMDI approach to decomposition analysis: A practical guide. Energy Policy 33: 867–871.Google Scholar
- Ang, B.W., and F.L. Liu. 2001. A new energy decomposition method: Perfect in decomposition and consistent in aggregation. Energy 26: 537–548.Google Scholar
- Ang, B.W., and F.Q. Zhang. 2000. A survey of index decomposition analysis in energy and environmental studies. Energy 25: 1149–1176.Google Scholar
- Ang, B.W., F.Q. Zhang, and K.H. Choi. 1998. Factorizing changes in energy and environmental indicators through decomposition. Energy 23(6): 489–495.Google Scholar
- Bouwman, A.F., and H. Booij. 1998. Global use and trade of feedstuff and consequences for the nitrogen cycle. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 52: 261–267.Google Scholar
- Boyd, G.A., D.A. Hanson, and T. Sterner. 1988. Decomposition of changes in energy intensity: A comparison of the Divisia index and other methods. Energy Economics 10(4): 309–312.Google Scholar
- FAOSTAT. Statistical database maintained by the Food and Agriculture Organization, http://faostat.fao.org/default.aspx.
- FAO/WHO/UNU. 1985. Energy and protein requirement. Report of a joint expert consultation. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser 1985, 724: 1–206.Google Scholar
- Galloway, J.N., F.J. Dentener, D.G. Capone, E.W. Boyer, R.W. Howarth, S.P. Seitzinger, G.P. Asner, C. Cleveland, et al. 2004. Nitrogen cycles: Past, present and future. Biogeochemistry 70: 153–226.Google Scholar
- Galloway, J.N., A.R. Townsend, J.W. Erisman, M. Bekunda, Z. Cai, J.R. Freney, L.A. Martinelli, S.P. Seitzinger, et al. 2008. Transformation of the nitrogen cycle: Recent trends, questions and potential solutions. Science 320: 889–892.Google Scholar
- Huntington, H.G. 1989. The impact of sectoral shifts in industry on US energy demand. Energy 14: 363–372.Google Scholar
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2000. Special report on emissions scenarios. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Kwon, T.H. 2005. Decomposition of factors determining the trend of CO2 emissions from car travel in Great Britain (1970–2000). Ecological Economics 53(2): 261–275.Google Scholar
- Leach, A.M., J.N. Galloway, A. Bleeker, J.W. Erisman, R. Kohn, and J. Kitzes. 2012. A nitrogen footprint model to help consumers understand their roll in nitrogen losses to the environment. Environmental Development 1: 40–66.Google Scholar
- Liu, C., Q. Wang, M. Mizuochi, K. Wang, and L. Yaoming. 2008. Human behavioral impact on nitrogen flow—A case study in the rural areas of the middle and lower reaches of Changjiang River, China. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 125: 84–92.Google Scholar
- Liu, C., Q. Wang, A. Lei, Y. Yang, Z. Ouyang, Y. Lin, Y. Li, and K. Wang. 2009. Parameters of the regional nitrogen balance model: A field investigation of 6 ecosystems of China. Biogeochemistry 94: 175–190.Google Scholar
- Liu, C., Q. Wang, K. Wang, Y. Yang, Z. Ouyang, Y. Lin, Y. Li, A. Lei, and T. Yasunari. 2012. Recent trends and problems of nitrogen flow in agro-ecosystems of China. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 92(5): 1046–1053.Google Scholar
- Liu, C., C. Zou, Q. Wang,Y. Hayashi, and T. Yasunari. 2013. Impact assessment of human diet changes with rapid urbanization on regional nitrogen and phosphorus flows—A case study of the megacity Shanghai. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-2006-1.
- Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan. Retrieved May, 2013, from http://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/kenkou/sessyu-kijun.html.
- Rockström, J., W. Setffen, K. Noone, A. Persson, F.S. Chapin III, T.M. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, et al. 2009. A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461: 472–475.Google Scholar
- Smil, V. 2002. Nitrogen and food production: Proteins for human diets. AMBIO 31: 126–131.Google Scholar
- World Economic Outlook Databases. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/disclaim.htm.
- World Population Prospects. The 2012 Revision. http://www.unpopulation.org.