AHS Slides_Matt Metzgar


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AHS Slides_Matt Metzgar

  1. 1. Sustainability of Paleolithic Diets: Development of A Sustainable Food Index<br />Matt Metzgar, PhD<br />University of North Carolina Charlotte<br />
  2. 2. The Rise of Agriculture<br />Humans existed as hunter-gatherers for millions of years<br />Consumed a wild diet of seafood, meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts<br />The advent of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago led to increased food supply and a population explosion<br />What type of food production systems are sustainable in the long run?<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Definitions<br />Agriculture: The science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.<br />Externality: A side effect or consequence of an industrial or commercial activity that affects other parties without this being reflected in the cost of the goods or services involved, such as the pollination of surrounding crops by bees kept for honey.<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Agriculture: Negative Externalities<br />Agriculture creates damage to the environment and human health via:<br />Water pollution from pesticides, nitrate, etc.<br />Air pollution from methane, ammonia, etc.<br />Soil damage from erosion and carbon dioxide losses<br />Loss of biodiversity and wildlife<br />Damage to human health from antibiotic resistance, viral outbreaks, etc.<br />Pretty et al 2001 estimated the total negative externalities from U.S. agriculture to be $3.8 billion<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Economic Approach to Externalities<br />Private costs of production are different than social costs<br />Social costs = private costs + external costs<br />External costs (externalities) include negatives such as pollution<br />Policy goal: get parties to “internalize the externality”, that is, include all costs when producing a good or service<br />Set social marginal benefit = social marginal cost to determine socially optimal level of production<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Pollution and the social optimum<br />6<br />Price of<br />Good<br />Equilibrium<br />External<br />Cost <br />Optimum<br />Social cost (private cost<br />and external cost)<br />QMARKET<br />QOPTIMUM<br />Supply<br />(private cost)<br />0<br />Quantity of Good<br />Demand<br />(private value)<br />In the presence of a negative externality, such as pollution, the social cost of the good exceeds the private cost. The optimal quantity, QOPTIMUM, is therefore smaller than the equilibrium quantity, QMARKET.<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Issues With Externalities <br />Dollar value of some items, such as biodiversity for example, is unknown or is difficult to calculate<br />Costs and benefits to future generations should be included as well<br />Technically, it is present value of marginal costs = present value of marginal benefits<br />This leads to further complications such as choosing a discount rate and time horizon<br />Dewan (2008) suggests using a sustainability index instead of a cost-benefit analysis for long-run sustainability<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Sustainable Food Index<br />Focus on principles of sustainable food production and consumption rather than trying to calculate exact damages<br />Model background: hunter-gatherer foraging and consumption patterns were mostly sustainable for millions of years<br />Create a simple index that could have real-world application<br />A “Sustainable Food Index” could help producers and consumers make better choices and avoid negative externalities<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Principles of Sustainable FoodProduction & Consumption<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Principle #1: Indigenous Foods<br />Produce foods that are indigenous to a geographical area<br />Example: Blueberries are indigenous to the United States<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: non-native plants may create more soil erosion and may require chemical treatments to grow<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Principle #2: Wild Foods<br />Harvest foods that are wild instead of farmed<br />Example: Wild apples from the forest or wild game<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: Farmed foods can require clear-cutting and loss of biodiversity. “Uni” crops often create the need for chemical pest control. Farmed foods have lower antioxidant and nutrient value than wild foods.<br />11<br />
  12. 12. Principle #3: Organic Foods<br />Consume organic foods<br />Example: Organic fruits, vegetables, and meats<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: Pesticide use causes damage to water systems and to human health.<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Principle #4: In-Season Foods<br />Consume foods that are grown in-season<br />Example: Seasonal fruits<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: Use of fossil fuels (and the associated pollution) to create environments for foods to grow out of season.<br />13<br />
  14. 14. Principle #5: Local Foods<br />Consume local foods<br />Example: Foods from a garden or a local farmers market<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: Pollution from cargo ships and trucks to transport food.<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Principle #6: Whole Foods<br />Consume whole “one-ingredient” foods<br />Example: apples, carrots, chicken, etc.<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: Damage to human health from processed foods.<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Principle #7: Fresh Foods<br />Consume fresh foods<br />Example: fresh fruits and vegetables<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: Damage to human health from preservatives or fossil fuel-related pollution from refrigerating food.<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Principle #8: Properly Nourished Foods<br />Consume foods that were nourished in a sustainable way<br />Example: grass-fed beef or fruits and vegetables grown without fertilizer<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: <br />Damage to human health from fertilizers<br />Pollution from the production and transport of fossil fuel fertilizers<br />Damage to the environment from creation and transport of livestock feed<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Principle #9: Genetically-Compatible/Paleo Foods <br />Consume foods that are consistent with our ancestral heritage<br />Example: Seafood, meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: Damage to human health from grains or dairy foods.<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Principle #10: Foods With Recyclable Packaging<br />Purchase foods with recyclable packaging<br />Example: Any food in recyclable packaging<br />Negative externalities created when principle is violated: Damage to human health and the environment from landfills.<br />19<br />
  20. 20. Sustainable Food Index<br />Simple ten point index to gauge the sustainability of a food<br />A food could score one point for meeting each principle<br />Easy way to rank different foods<br />20<br />
  21. 21. Sustainable Food Index<br />21<br />
  22. 22. An Example: Driscoll’s Organic Raspberries<br />22<br />
  23. 23. Organic Raspberries<br />Indigenous Food – Yes, American red raspberries are indigenous to North America<br />Wild Food – No, grown on family farms<br />Organic Food – Yes<br />In-Season Food – Yes, according to the availability chart <br />Local Food – No, transported from California<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Organic Raspberries<br />Whole Food – Yes<br />Fresh Food – Yes, if consumed fairly quickly<br />Properly Nourished Food – Assume Yes, Driscoll website notes “natural growing methods”<br />Paleo Food – Yes<br />Recyclable Packaging – Yes, recyclable plastic<br />24<br />
  25. 25. Sustainable Food Index – Organic Raspberries<br />25<br />
  26. 26. Index Issues<br />How do you rate foods with multiple ingredients?<br />Could focus on primary ingredient or average scores for each ingredient<br />How is “local” defined?<br />A mileage ring should be determined, e.g., 30 miles.<br />How does “in-season” apply to animal foods?<br />Beef is generally available all-year; other game is seasonal<br />How is fresh defined?<br />26<br />
  27. 27. Other Index Issues<br />Could a food scoring higher on the index actually be causing more external damage?<br />Yes. For example, a long transit may create more damage and pollution than other parts of the index.<br />Would the Paleo principle in the index be accepted into the mainstream?<br />27<br />
  28. 28. Economic Issues<br />Sustainable is often more expensive<br />Companies may pursue the least costly externalities to eliminate<br />Could/should the index be enforced?<br />Health care cost are being paid by taxpayers on the back end anyways<br />28<br />
  29. 29. Ultimate Questions<br />Can the world’s population be sustained on Paleolithic food?<br />Where do you put all the people?<br />“Paleo 2.0” version of food production<br />29<br />
  30. 30. Thank youwww.mattmetzgar.com<br />Matt Metzgar, PhD<br />University of North Carolina Charlotte<br />mmetzgar@uncc.edu<br />30<br />