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Publications (10 of 66) Show all publications
Bunge, A. C., Mazac, R., Clark, M., Wood, A. & Gordon, L. (2024). Sustainability benefits of transitioning from current diets to plant-based alternatives or whole-food diets in Sweden. Nature Communications, 15, Article ID 951.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainability benefits of transitioning from current diets to plant-based alternatives or whole-food diets in Sweden
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2024 (English)In: Nature Communications, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 15, article id 951Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Plant-based alternatives (PBAs) are increasingly becoming part of diets. Here, we investigate the environmental, nutritional, and economic implications of replacing animal-source foods (ASFs) with PBAs or whole foods (WFs) in the Swedish diet. Utilising two functional units (mass and energy), we model vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian scenarios, each based on PBAs or WFs. Our results demonstrate that PBA-rich diets substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions (30–52%), land use (20–45%), and freshwater use (14–27%), with the vegan diet showing the highest reduction potential. We observe comparable environmental benefits when ASFs are replaced with WFs, underscoring the need to reduce ASF consumption. PBA scenarios meet most Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, except for vitamin B12, vitamin D and selenium, while enhancing iron, magnesium, folate, and fibre supply and decreasing saturated fat. Daily food expenditure slightly increases in the PBA scenarios (3–5%) and decreases in the WF scenarios (4–17%), with PBA diets being 10–20% more expensive than WF diets. Here we show, that replacing ASFs with PBAs can reduce the environmental impact of current Swedish diets while meeting most nutritional recommendations, but slightly increases food expenditure. We recommend prioritising ASF reduction and diversifying WFs and healthier PBAs to accommodate diverse consumer preferences during dietary transitions.

National Category
Food Science Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227715 (URN)10.1038/s41467-024-45328-6 (DOI)001180041100002 ()38296977 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85183715257 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-03-27 Created: 2024-03-27 Last updated: 2024-03-27Bibliographically approved
Basnet, S., Wood, A., Röös, E., Jansson, T., Fetzer, I. & Gordon, L. (2023). Organic agriculture in a low-emission world: exploring combined measures to deliver a sustainable food system in Sweden. Sustainability Science, 18(1), 501-519
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organic agriculture in a low-emission world: exploring combined measures to deliver a sustainable food system in Sweden
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2023 (English)In: Sustainability Science, ISSN 1862-4065, E-ISSN 1862-4057, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 501-519Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the EU, including Sweden, organic farming is seen as a promising pathway for sustainable production, protecting human health and animal welfare, and conserving the environment. Despite positive developments in recent decades, expanding organic farming to the Swedish national target of 30% of farmland under organic production remains challenging. In this study, we developed two scenarios to evaluate the role of organic farming in the broader context of Swedish food systems: (i) baseline trend scenario (Base), and (ii) sustainable food system scenario (Sust). Base describes a future where organic farming is implemented alongside the current consumption, production and waste patterns, while Sust describes a future where organic farming is implemented alongside a range of sustainable food system initiatives. These scenarios are coupled with several variants of organic area: (i) current 20% organic area, (ii) the national target of 30% organic area by 2030, and (iii) 50% organic area by 2050 for Sust. We applied the ‘FABLE (Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land-use and Energy) Calculator’ to assess the evolution of the Swedish food system from 2000 to 2050 and evaluate land use, emissions and self-sufficiency impacts under these scenarios. Our findings show that expanding organic farming in the Base scenarios increases the use of cropland and agricultural emissions by 2050 compared to the 2010 reference year. However, cropland use and emissions are reduced in the Sust scenario, due to dietary changes, reduction of food waste and improved agricultural productivity. This implies that there is room for organic farming and the benefits it provides, e.g. the use of fewer inputs and improved animal welfare in a sustainable food system. However, changing towards organic agriculture is only of advantage when combined with transformative strategies to promote environmental sustainability across multiple sections, such as changed consumption, better production and food waste practices.

Keywords
Organic farming, FABLE pathway, Sweden
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-215141 (URN)10.1007/s11625-022-01279-9 (DOI)000914329200001 ()2-s2.0-85145950351 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-03-02 Created: 2023-03-02 Last updated: 2023-03-02Bibliographically approved
Bunge, A. C., Wood, A., Halloran, A. & Gordon, L. (2022). A systematic scoping review of the sustainability of vertical farming, plant-based alternatives, food delivery services and blockchain in food systems. Nature Food, 3, 933-941
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A systematic scoping review of the sustainability of vertical farming, plant-based alternatives, food delivery services and blockchain in food systems
2022 (English)In: Nature Food, E-ISSN 2662-1355, Vol. 3, p. 933-941Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food system technologies (FSTs) are being developed to accelerate the transformation towards sustainable food systems. Here we conducted a systematic scoping review that accounts for multiple dimensions of sustainability to describe the extent, range and nature of peer-reviewed literature that assesses the sustainability performance of four FSTs: plant-based alternatives, vertical farming, food deliveries and blockchain technology. Included literature had a dominant focus on environmental sustainability and less on public health and socio-economic sustainability. Gaps in the literature include empirical assessments on the sustainability of blockchain technology, plant-based seafood alternatives, public health consequences of food deliveries and socio-economic consequences of vertical farming. The development of a holistic sustainability assessment framework that demonstrates the impact of deploying FSTs is needed to guide investments in and the development of sustainable food innovation. Gaps in the literature include empirical sustainability assessments of blockchain technology and plant-based seafood alternatives, public health consequences of food deliveries and socio-economic consequences of vertical farming.

National Category
Other Agricultural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-211642 (URN)10.1038/s43016-022-00622-8 (DOI)000878475500001 ()2-s2.0-85141185310 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-11-24 Created: 2022-11-24 Last updated: 2024-03-18Bibliographically approved
Sinare, H., Peterson, G. D., Börjeson, L. & Gordon, L. J. (2022). Ecosystem services in Sahelian village landscapes 1952-2016: estimating change in a data scarce region. Ecology and Society, 27(3), Article ID 1.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ecosystem services in Sahelian village landscapes 1952-2016: estimating change in a data scarce region
2022 (English)In: Ecology and Society, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 27, no 3, article id 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Burkina Faso and the wider Sahel region have experienced substantial changes in rainfall, population, and landscape use. These changes have altered ecosystem services, the benefits that people receive from ecosystems, and rural livelihoods. However, it is difficult to assess the magnitude of these changes because of missing and fragmented social, agricultural, and ecological data. We estimated changes in 10 key provisioning ecosystem services in rural Burkina Faso between 1952 and 2016. We used a simple model of plausible social-ecological changes to make a historical extrapolation that bridges these data gaps, and assessed historical changes. Our approach combined the interpretation of historic aerial photographs and satellite images, with field observations and interviews. We applied the approach for six villages in two administrative regions for six points in time. We modeled the use of historic ecosystems by analyzing a range of estimates of changes in the generation of each service and its value to people. We found that cultivated ecosystem services have increased 1.5–23 times over the study period, while the non-cultivated ecosystem services firewood, construction material, and medicine have decreased to 66–20% of their previous values. Per capita production of cultivated ecosystem services has remained relatively stable, while the per capita production of all other ecosystem services has decreased, to 54–11% of their 1952 values. Although alternatives are available for some ecosystem services, such as medicine and construction material, there are currently limited alternatives available for other services, such as firewood. Decline in wild food availability and consumption is likely to reduce the nutritional value of rural people’s food. Our analysis of changes demonstrates that shrubs and trees on fields generate many ecosystem services that are key to rural livelihoods, and that efforts to enhance crop yields should maintain shrubs and trees. Our approach for estimating historical ecosystem services may also be useful to apply in other data scarce regions.

Keywords
agroforestry, Burkina Faso, ecosystem services, landscape change, livelihoods, smallholder agriculture, West Africa
National Category
Biological Sciences Social and Economic Geography Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-208390 (URN)10.5751/ES-13292-270301 (DOI)000828469500005 ()2-s2.0-85135942187 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-08-30 Created: 2022-08-30 Last updated: 2024-07-04Bibliographically approved
Matthews, N., Dalton, J., Matthews, J., Barclay, H., Barron, J., Garrick, D., . . . Whiting, L. (2022). Elevating the role of water resilience in food system dialogues. Water Security, 17, Article ID 100126.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elevating the role of water resilience in food system dialogues
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2022 (English)In: Water Security, E-ISSN 2468-3124, Vol. 17, article id 100126Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ensuring resilient food systems and sustainable healthy diets for all requires much higher water use, however, water resources are finite, geographically dispersed, volatile under climate change, and required for other vital functions including ecosystems and the services they provide. Good governance for resilient water resources is a necessary precursor to deciding on solutions, sourcing finance, and delivering infrastructure. Six attributes that together provide a foundation for good governance to reduce future water risks to food systems are proposed. These attributes dovetail in their dual focus on incorporating adaptive learning and new knowledge, and adopting the types of governance systems required for water resilient food systems. The attributes are also founded in the need to greater recognise the role natural, healthy ecosystems play in food systems. The attributes are listed below and are grounded in scientific evidence and the diverse collective experience and expertise of stakeholders working across the science-policy interface: Adopting interconnected systems thinking that embraces the complexity of how we produce, distribute, and add value to food including harnessing the experience and expertise of stakeholders s; adopting multi-level inclusive governance and supporting inclusive participation; enabling continual innovation, new knowledge and learning, and information dissemination; incorporating diversity and redundancy for resilience to shocks; ensuring system preparedness to shocks; and planning for the long term. This will require food and water systems to pro-actively work together toward a socially and environmentally just space that considers the water and food needs of people, the ecosystems that underpin our food systems, and broader energy and equity concerns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V., 2022
Keywords
Food Systems, Good Governance, Water Resilience
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-211722 (URN)10.1016/j.wasec.2022.100126 (DOI)2-s2.0-85140475913 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-11-25 Created: 2022-11-25 Last updated: 2024-02-28Bibliographically approved
Søgaard Jørgensen, P., Avila Ortega, D. I., Blasiak, R., Cornell, S. E., Gordon, L. J., Nyström, M. & Olsson, P. (2022). The lure of novel biological and chemical entities in food-system transformations. One Earth, 5(10), 1085-1088
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The lure of novel biological and chemical entities in food-system transformations
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2022 (English)In: One Earth, ISSN 2590-3330, E-ISSN 2590-3322, Vol. 5, no 10, p. 1085-1088Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Synthetic chemicals and biologically engineered materials are major forces in today's food systems, but they are also major drivers of the global environmental changes and health challenges that characterize the Anthropocene. To address these challenges, we will need to increase assessment activity, promote alternative production practices with less reliance on such technologies, and regulate social campaigns and experiments. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cell Press, 2022
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-211904 (URN)10.1016/j.oneear.2022.09.011 (DOI)2-s2.0-85140251126 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-12-06 Created: 2022-12-06 Last updated: 2022-12-06Bibliographically approved
Stenvinkel, P., Avesani, C. M., Gordon, L. J., Schalling, M. & Shiels, P. G. (2021). Biomimetics provides lessons from nature for contemporary ways to improve human health. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 5(1), Article ID e128.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biomimetics provides lessons from nature for contemporary ways to improve human health
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2021 (English)In: Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, E-ISSN 2059-8661, Vol. 5, no 1, article id e128Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Homo sapiens is currently living in serious disharmony with the rest of the natural world. For our species to survive, and for our well-being, we must gather knowledge from multiple perspectives and actively engage in studies of planetary health. The enormous diversity of species, one of the most striking aspects of life on our planet, provides a source of solutions that have been developed through evolution by natural selection by animals living in extreme environments. The food system is central to finding solutions; our current global eating patterns have a negative impact on human health, driven climate change and loss of biodiversity. We propose that the use of solutions derived from nature, an approach termed biomimetics, could mitigate the effects of a changing climate on planetary health as well as human health. For example, activation of the transcription factor Nrf2 may play a role in protecting animals living in extreme environments, or animals exposed to heat stress, pollution and pesticides. In order to meet these challenges, we call for the creation of novel interdisciplinary planetary health research teams.

Keywords
Biomimetics, planetary health, Nrf2, oxidative stress, biodiversity, food systems, COVID-19
National Category
Other Social Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-197793 (URN)10.1017/cts.2021.790 (DOI)000688184900003 ()34367673 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2021-10-15 Created: 2021-10-15 Last updated: 2022-12-08Bibliographically approved
Porkka, M., Wang-Erlandsson, L., Destouni, G., Ekman, A. M. L., Rockström, J. & Gordon, L. J. (2021). Is wetter better? Exploring agriculturally-relevant rainfall characteristics over four decades in the Sahel. Environmental Research Letters, 16(3), Article ID 035002.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is wetter better? Exploring agriculturally-relevant rainfall characteristics over four decades in the Sahel
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2021 (English)In: Environmental Research Letters, E-ISSN 1748-9326, Vol. 16, no 3, article id 035002Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The semi-arid Sahel is a global hotspot for poverty and malnutrition. Rainfed agriculture is the main source of food and income, making the well-being of rural population highly sensitive to rainfall variability. Studies have reported an upward trend in annual precipitation in the Sahel since the drought of the 1970s and early '80s, yet farmers have questioned improvements in conditions for agriculture, suggesting that intraseasonal dynamics play a crucial role. Using high-resolution daily precipitation data spanning 1981-2017 and focusing on agriculturally-relevant areas of the Sahel, we re-examined the extent of rainfall increase and investigated whether the increases have been accompanied by changes in two aspects of intraseasonal variability that have relevance for agriculture: rainy season duration and occurrence of prolonged dry spells during vulnerable crop growth stages. We found that annual rainfall increased across 56% of the region, but remained largely the same elsewhere. Rainy season duration increased almost exclusively in areas with upward trends in annual precipitation (23% of them). Association between annual rain and dry spell occurrence was less clear: increasing and decreasing frequencies of false starts (dry spells after first rains) and post-floral dry spells (towards the end of the season) were found to almost equal extent both in areas with positive and those with no significant trend in annual precipitation. Overall, improvements in at least two of the three intraseasonal variables (and no declines in any) were found in 10% of the region, while over a half of the area experienced declines in at least one intraseasonal variable, or no improvement in any. We conclude that rainfall conditions for agriculture have improved overall only in scattered areas across the Sahel since the 1980s, and increased annual rainfall is only weakly, if at all, associated with changes in the agriculturally-relevant intraseasonal rainfall characteristics.

Keywords
Sahel, precipitation, rainy season, dry spells, trends, agriculture
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-192318 (URN)10.1088/1748-9326/abdd57 (DOI)000618028400001 ()
Available from: 2021-04-20 Created: 2021-04-20 Last updated: 2024-01-17Bibliographically approved
Röös, E., Bajzelj, B., Weil, C., Andersson, E., Bossio, D. & Gordon, L. J. (2021). Moving beyond organic – A food system approach to assessing sustainable and resilient farming. Global Food Security, 28, Article ID 100487.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moving beyond organic – A food system approach to assessing sustainable and resilient farming
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2021 (English)In: Global Food Security, ISSN 2211-9124, Vol. 28, article id 100487Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organic farming aims to minimize negative impacts on the local environment, but its contributions to global food sustainability also depend on a resilient food supply. We studied a farm aiming to move beyond organic and become “a sustainable farm of the future”, in the farmer’s own words. This meant going beyond local impacts to consider how the farm could contribute to global food security by transitioning to production of more crops for direct human consumption. Over a five-year period (2015–2019), the farm improved on the food security and resilience indicators included in the assessment (e.g., number of persons fed per hectare, diversity of products, and connections), while producing food at greenhouse gas intensity similar to regional averages. This approach of including global food security aspects along with environmental efficiency and resilience in farm-level sustainability assessments provides a way for farmers to engage as globally responsible biosphere stewards.

Keywords
Climate impact, Diversity, Food production, Efficiency, Biosphere steward
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-193793 (URN)10.1016/j.gfs.2020.100487 (DOI)000632506100009 ()
Available from: 2021-06-08 Created: 2021-06-08 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Folke, C., Polasky, S., Rockström, J., Galaz, V., Westley, F., Lamont, M., . . . Walker, B. H. (2021). Our future in the Anthropocene biosphere. Ambio, 50(4), 834-869
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Our future in the Anthropocene biosphere
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2021 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 50, no 4, p. 834-869Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an interconnected and tightly coupled globalized world in rapid change. This article sets the scientific stage for understanding and responding to such change for global sustainability and resilient societies. We provide a systemic overview of the current situation where people and nature are dynamically intertwined and embedded in the biosphere, placing shocks and extreme events as part of this dynamic; humanity has become the major force in shaping the future of the Earth system as a whole; and the scale and pace of the human dimension have caused climate change, rapid loss of biodiversity, growing inequalities, and loss of resilience to deal with uncertainty and surprise. Taken together, human actions are challenging the biosphere foundation for a prosperous development of civilizations. The Anthropocene reality-of rising system-wide turbulence-calls for transformative change towards sustainable futures. Emerging technologies, social innovations, broader shifts in cultural repertoires, as well as a diverse portfolio of active stewardship of human actions in support of a resilient biosphere are highlighted as essential parts of such transformations.

Keywords
Anthropocene, Biosphere stewardship, Biodiversity, Climate, Resilience, Social-ecological
National Category
Environmental Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-192023 (URN)10.1007/s13280-021-01544-8 (DOI)000628733600006 ()33715097 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2021-04-13 Created: 2021-04-13 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
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Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-3520-4340

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