Could Swiss agriculture produce Planetary Health Diet?

Grégoire Saboret1, Loïc Thurre2, Noémie Pidoux 3(2024). Food for Thought: Could Swiss agriculture provide healthy and sustainable food for its population? (PDF)

The Planetary Health Diet (PHD) is a reference diet for the entire population aimed at respecting the planetary boundaries for environmental resources while optimizing human’s population health (Willet et al. 2019).  Swiss consumption of certain types of food is far from the PHD. This suggests that dietary habits should shift protein sources towards plant-based options, preferably non-transformed such as beans, lentils or soy. This change can’t be triggered without considering a transformation of our agricultural systems. Currently, one-third of Switzerland’s land is dedicated to agriculture, covering about 1.5 million cultivated hectares, or roughly one hectare per five to six inhabitants. We posed a simple question: Could Swiss agriculture theoretically produce the PHD on this area?

The report was written during seminar: „Sustainable Plant Systems“ (551-0209-00L) at ETH Zurich in 2023

1 Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Department of Surface Waters – Research and Management, Kastanienbaum, Switzerland

2 University of Basel, Department of Environmental Sciences, Plant-Microbe Interactions group, Bernoullistrasse 32, 4056 Basel

3 Faculty of Science, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50, 4056 Basel, Switzerland

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